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07 January 2013 @ 08:03 pm
New BBC Show: Ripper Street  
With the demise of Merlin, I'm on the lookout for a new BBC show. And while there is almost no overlap in terms of genre between Merlin and Ripper Street, I gave this Victorian crime show starring Matthew MacFayden a look.


The series takes place in Whitechapel a handful of months after Jack the Ripper struck fear into the hearts of many. DI Edmund Reid (MacFayden), based on the real life inspector who was involved in the Ripper case, is now in charge of H Division, a segment of the police tasked with maintaining order in the most chaotic of neighborhoods. He's assisted in his endeavors by DS Bennett Drake (Jerome Flynn) and former US Pinkerton agent, Dr. Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) who acts as the unofficial pathologist. So far only two episodes have aired with six left to go, each one encompassing a single storyline.

To be honest, I don't find the show to be that great with regard to the writing. Some of the lines are hamfisted with the actors barely able to deliver them without looking silly. The mysteries themselves have so far been lukewarm for me. But what does draw me in is all the character stuff. A huge surprise, I know. With the 3 main characters we get your classic character backstories. The workaholic protagonist with a tragedy in his past (Reid), the mysterious foreigner with a shady past (Jackson), and the diligent, hard-nosed fiercely loyal sergeant (Drake). Of the 3, it's Jackson's storyline I'm most interested in. The 2nd episode shed a tiny bit of light on the past Jackson ran away from in America, a past shared with Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) the current madame of the local brothel where Jackson apparently lives. I'm sort of desperate to know what happened back there and how it may or may not all come to ahead with Reid should the latter find out. It surprised me a little that amongst all the notable British actors, it's the fairly unknown American one (Rothenberg) who has rapidly become my favorite with his snark that only highlights his keen intelligence at his craft.

In the actors chemistry department, the core 3 actors do generate a kind of ease with one another that I hope continues to develop as at this rate I'm only watching this show now to see the characters grow rather than the plots.
 
 
 
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: DTamers_BeautifulNightguardian_chaos on January 9th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, a show based on Jack the Ripper? I had a history professor once who was obsessed with the guy. The professor was so sweet and introverted most days, but then would get so enthused when discussing the theories that surrounded the Jack the Ripper case. It was amusing to watch. It's so maddening that no one was ever really sure who the guy was.

And I hear you about the need for British shows! They are a much-needed commodity, to be sure. *nods* If this one doesn't do it for you, I hope you can find the show that does!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 9th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
The show Whitechapel which I haven't really discussed on this LJ was also a Brit show that dealt with Jack the Ripper. British media in general seems to go to this well a lot along with Sherlock Holmes.

Ripper Street is surprisingly not that concerned with the Ripper himself but rather just the time period. And actually that's a credit to the show. I've enjoyed the look of Victorian England they've gone with even though I'm guessing there are tons of historical inaccuracies. But I do love watching Jackson at work, despite the fact that most of his work involves cutting open corpses.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BBT_NerdDance!guardian_chaos on January 9th, 2013 01:53 am (UTC)
I think you might have recommended Whitechapel to me before, but I never got around to seeing it. Am I wrong? I feel like you said at one point that you thought I'd like it. Perhaps I'm thinking of something else, though I don't know what.

And hey, that is refreshing. I'd think with a name like Ripper Street, it'd be a huge temptation to focus on just one guy and then run out of ideas once the crime spree ends. So do you think this is your show, or will you keep looking?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 9th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
I may have very well recommended Whitechapel then. It's a pretty entertaining show, particularly the first and third season. Season 2 was a bit of a chore.

So do you think this is your show, or will you keep looking?

I'm definitely going to keep tuning in to see where it goes. It's only 8 episodes in total so it won't be a huge commitment. And it'll tide me over before the newest Being Human starts!
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: ST_Captain'sChairguardian_chaos on January 9th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
You know, despite having several rather die-hard TV obsessions, it takes a lot for me to even check out other shows. I must be depriving myself of a lot. *coughs* At least I'm loyal!

8 episodes is certainly not too difficult. And yes! Being Human needs to get here quicker! I must have more Hal!moments on my screen!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 9th, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)
A clip from the new season was shown on DigitalSpy with Hal still sitting tied to the chair with Tom spoon-feeding him. Meanwhile, the flat's gone to hell because Hal can't clean it, driving him slowly crazy. "At least give me a blindfold! No one should have to see this mess!"
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BBT_NerdDance!guardian_chaos on January 9th, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)
A clip from the new season was shown on DigitalSpy with Hal still sitting tied to the chair with Tom spoon-feeding him.

WHATWHATWHAT!? WHAT? *has fit of hyperventilating* 'SCRIB, I CAN'T COPE WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU'VE SLUNG AT ME SO CASUALLY. *collapses and becomes a pile of giggling hysteria*
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 9th, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
Watch the really bad grainy video for the entire interview with cast plus footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91PrF2IOnu8

As a side note, I'm always thrown when I hear Damian Molony's Irish accent.