During the past few weeks the BBC have been cleverly placing adverts for their autumn dramas alongside the mammoth popularity of the London Olympic Games. Now the BBC announce another great autumn night drama for us to sink our drama hungry teeth into. Ripper Street.
Set in April 1889 – six months since the last Jack The Ripper killing, East London is emerging into a fragile peace, hopeful that this killer’s reign of terror might at last have run its course. Nowhere is this truer than in the corridors of H Division, the police precinct charged with keeping order in the chaos of Whitechapel. Its men hunted this maniac; and failed to find him.
Ripper Street is their story. A police procedural set in the teeming streets of the East End as it moves into the last decade of the 19th Century. H Division was responsible for policing a relatively small area of just 1¼ square miles, yet into that space were packed some 67,000 people; a seething, bustling mass of the poor and dispossessed.
Between the factories, rookeries, chop shops and pubs that mark out this maelstrom moves DETECTIVE INSPECTOR EDMUND REID (Matthew Macfadyen) – a forward thinking detective haunted by a tragic past mistake. Accompanied by the ever loyal local brawn of DETECTIVE SERGEANT BENNETT DRAKE (Jerome Flynn) and the mercurial brilliance of the U.S. Army surgeon and one-time Pinkerton detective, CAPTAIN HOMER JACKSON (Adam Rothenberg), Reid seeks to bring justice and the rule of law to a world that is forever on the brink of mayhem.
Ripper Street is not another backward-looking ‘Hunt the Ripper’ story, but a fictionalised trek into the heart of a London borough living in the blood soaked aftermath of that forever anonymous killer. It is an investigative procedural about dedicated policemen for whom life – and crime – go on. Here is the short but intriguing trailer for the series.
Catch Ripper Street this Autumn on BBC1.