On the Bubble: Ripper Street

Posted on January 30, 2013


Ripper Street BBC America

I became a Matthew Macfadyen fan with the TV series MI-5. His starring role in Death at a Funeral only sealed the deal. I don’t remember when I became interested in Jack the Ripper, but perhaps it was around the time I started reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

I very much enjoyed Whitechapel, a modern series set in London’s East End where history helped solve contemporary crimes.

So when I saw Matthew Macfadyen starring in a procedural set in 19th-Century London, immediately after the Ripper murders, I wanted to watch.

We Watched It

Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Macfadyen) investigated the Jack the Ripper killings. The way the police handled the investigation infuriated him, and now he is determined to modernize how they investigate crimes. He’s dragging Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) and an American Pinkerton agent, Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) with him.



On the Bubble

One thing that bothered me about Copper, which we dropped, was the way they blurred modern knowledge and 19th-Century knowledge. So far, Ripper Street has not done that – but it might.


I very much like how Reid is a crusader. He believes that the law must protect everyone, no matter their station in society. He would sacrifice everything for that belief. That’s a strong, clear, focus on which to build a character.

That said, I’m not sure where it comes from. I’ll be interested to see.

I also think they’re going to have trouble with gender issues. Women did not have a lot of freedom in the 19th Century, and that was true everywhere.

However, without some suffragettes and pioneering women, Ripper Street is going to be a total sausage fest. That does not bode well for ratings.


What actors have you followed from show to show?

Posted in: television