RIPPER STREET Series One – DVD Review

BBC / Warner

ripper02London 1889, the Jack the Ripper murders seem to have stopped though are still treated as an open case for the H Division of the police department. Starring Matthew Macfayden (MI-5) as Det. Insp. Edmund Reid along side Captain Homer Jackson (former Pinkerton and a Doctor) and Sgt Bennet Drake the team does what they can to keep Whitechapel safe.

I’m a sucker for stories set in the late 1800’s and part of this might go back to my own fascination with the Ripper case. The show does a great job with the sets and costumes and the overall look is eerie and feels very real. Not so much a lack of color, but muted colors. Filmed in Dublin near Trinity College the sets are very authentic feeling. It sets the tone for the show nicely. Some of the places used in the show still exist, including the actual police stations and pub they frequent.
The first episode involves a murdered woman and people are quick to want to pin it on the Ripper. Knowing that would cause panic, Reid tries to quell that by solving the case quickly. Each episode stands alone, but like most good TV they are better watched in order as there are underlying sub plots and nuances that improve as the show progresses. Reid is haunted by his daughter’s death and it has messed up his home life, Captain Jackson is hiding something as well, which we discover as the show goes on. I find it interesting that they use forensics in ripper01the show which were very new at the time, but they do manage to keep to things of the era so we aren’t jumping the shark by seeing them use DNA or something like that. By the end of this first season we have a very colorful cast of characters and some main characters that are very easy to become invested in. I think they do a very good job with their plotting and the actually crime solving part is done well. Maybe it’s because I read so much mystery, but I get really irritated when a Crime TV show has lazy writing with the culprits easy ro spot early on. I want a crime show to challenge me a bit and Ripper Street does that.

I would be quite content watching hours and hours of this so I hope there will be more, and as it happens a second series was commissioned before the first episode even aired.