Haunted by the failure to catch London's most evil killer, Jack the Ripper, Inspector Edmund Reid now heads up the notorious H Division - the toughest police district in the East End. Charged with keeping order in the blood stained streets of Whitechapel, Inspector Reid must travel deep into the seedy criminal underworld of Victorian London.
Fighting for control, Reid and his men must uphold justice and the rule of law; but always in the background lurks the fear that the perpetrator might just be the Ripper, back for another reign of terror.
Reid's sergeant, Bennet Drake, is a hard man with some harder demons to bear. Handy with his fists, he is Reid's loyal law enforcer, hell bent on ridding the streets of the lowlife criminal scum he sees day in and day out.
Meanwhile, Captain Homer Jackson is the kind of man to be found hanging out of the bedrooms at Long Susan's brothel. Brash, American and with a voracious appetite for vice, his surgical and forensic skills are Reid's secret weapon when solving his cases. But with a long-held secret of his own, is Jackson the sort of man Reid can trust when the going gets tough?
Like Jackson, Long Susan's past is also a mystery, but she has exercised well-honed skills in business and self-promotion to survive and now runs one of the most salubrious brothels in the district. One of Long Susan's most profitable girls, everything about Rose is attractive to men - she is bubbly, brash and beautiful. Yet she dreams of travels, riches, and a life on the stage; something Drake yearns to give her, as she flits beyond his reach.
Ripper Street was first brought to by attention by a friend, and it seemed an interesting premise so I about recording it, only to realise that we didn't have the first episode, so when I saw this come up for review I figured why not request it.
Ripper Street is set not too long after the last murder of Jack the Ripper and is based upon Inspector Reid and his assortment of officers. Whilst Reid is no doubt the main character in the series there is a great range of characters, who we see in every episode, who all have good depth and background to them. Reid stands out in each episode that he's in, yet it is not self-centered, with just eight episodes in the season we manage to have a great range of characters, learning about their past and getting to know them well.
My first thought of this was due to the music and then theme song, very reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and it took a couple of episodes to stop thinking about that. The music is great fun though, really suits the occasion and brings a bit of vibrancy to what is otherwise a drab looking world, afterall we are in the poorer part of town. There are plenty of tense and sombre moments which is all conveyed quite well.
The show overall struck me as very CSI, there were plenty of chases on foot as well as fight scenes and fist fights, but also moments of investigation where they followed the clues, examined the body and used little tricks to work things out. It isn't a type of show that has me watching it episode after episode (as some TV shows I love) but we watched at least one per night over the past week which was the perfect balance, which also goes to show that on TV, with a week in between, I still would have watched it. Only 8 episodes is shorter than the average series but it was well done and has me keen to watch the next season.
I enjoyed this and got into easily with remarks like 'perfect time for a cellphone...' and the characters are wonderfully flawed. I will be keeping an eye out for season two of Ripper Street.
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"A man who is 'of sound mind' is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key."
Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)