» » Ripper Street

Short summary

A new drama set in the East End of London in 1889 during the aftermath of Jack The Ripper murders. The infamous H Division - the police precinct charged with keeping order in the district of Whitechapel- is in a chaotic state trying to keep order after a tumultuous time for London and reported infamously worldwide.

The first and second series of Ripper Street employed 5,000 Irish cast, extras and crew and contributed EUR20m in total to the Irish economy.

When the show was canceled by the BBC, an online petition to save it attracted over 40,000 signatures.

The first three seasons were filmed entirely in Dublin, Ireland.

DI Edmund Reid is based on the real life DI Reid who was in charge of investigating two of Jack the Rippers suspected victims. His real life boss was also Frederick Abberline as per the show.

In December 2013, the BBC announced that it was canceling the show after two seasons, citing low viewing figures in the United Kingdom as the reason for its cancellation. Tiger Aspect, the show's producer, began negotiations with LOVEFilm - since folded into Amazon Instant Video - about funding a third season. A deal was reached, and the third season began filming in May 2014, before beginning streaming on Amazon UK Prime Instant Video on 14 November 2014. However, the third season was not added to Amazon Instant Video in the United States, but aired instead on BBC America in early 2015 and in the UK in July 2015.

The division of the Metropolitan Police setting for this program, H division, was and still is a real division of east London that is today known at HT division. It covers the area of London governed as the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Leman Street has since relocated and closed its doors to the public, the divisional headquarters now being at Bethnal Green Police Station in Victoria Park Square.

At least 14 actors who star in Game Of Thrones are also in Ripper Street. They include: Jerome Flynn (Bronn/Sgt. Drake) Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy/Theodore Swift) Kristian Nairn (Hodor/Barnaby) Ian Glen (Jorah Mormont/Madoc Faulkner) Clive Russell (Brynden Tully/Chief Insp. Abberline) Anton Lesser (Qybern/Dr. Karl Krabbe) Francis Magee (Yoren/Davies) Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton/Commishioner Monroe) Joseph Mawle (Benjin Stark/ D.I. Shine) Philip Arditti (goatherd/Marvel) Dean-Charles Chapman (King Tommen/Harry Ward), Ian Gelder (Kevan Lannister/Joseph Chambers), Paul Kaye (Toros of Myr/Gabriel Cain) and Andy Kellegher (Polliver/Prison Guard).

MyAnna Buring is also know for her scandalous role in the BBC period piece Downton Abbey as Edna Braithwaite who seduces Tom.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Doukree
    I set up an account on IMDb solely for the purpose of raving about the show Ripper Street. I love it. The show is a period piece but doesn't get swallowed up by the kitsch of it. The dialogue is sharp and the storyline is excellent. The storyline doesn't adhere strictly to the Ripper mystery, because if you know anything about the actual events, it would make for a very short series. And that would be a shame, clearly. The characters have compelling, individual backgrounds & story lines which are beginning to flesh themselves out. I eagerly anticipate series 2.

    And if you don't agree, that's fine. But I had to voice my support.
  • comment
    • Author: Jerdodov
    I was surprised by this new TV series, as I haven't been used to the BBC producing a well thought out, piece of drama for quite a few years.

    One review that I saw in a national newspaper said, 'Yawn, Yawn' it's all been done before. I am glad I read that after I saw it. If it has been done before, then I haven't seen it.

    The acting was really good, and although the subject matter and gore was about as far as you would want to go on TV, I would sooner have it this way, than toned down to suit the more prudish element amongst us.

    As this was the first outing, normally you get the feeling that the actors are finding their feet with their new characters. I didn't feel that with this episode, they all looked comfortable in their roles and the show was much the better for it.

    I am looking forward to episode 2, to see if they (BBC) can keep up the good work.
  • comment
    • Author: Kelenn
    Ripper Street is a triumph on many levels. The acting is superb, the mysteries are riveting, and the narrative from week to week makes you more immersed and vested in the characters. The concept allows us to see how detectives solved crimes way before CSI, DNA, and forensics. But here's the real appeal of the show: There are many strong characters (police, prostitutes, girlfriends, mistresses, wives, criminals), each of whom have very differing motivations and aspirations, that constantly collide with each other. Their secrets, their intentions, and their loyalties add a fantastic backdrop to the "mystery of the week" making for one compelling drama. Bravo!
  • comment
    • Author: Rasmus
    When i first saw this show it felt a lot like i was watching the Sherlock Homes movie..But i have to admit it's nothing like that

    The Plot is managed superbly..The acting of all three lead men is just great..Not once it felt unnatural..Giving all three of them different back stories and their twisted personal lives is clever writing indeed..Different plots in every episode just keeps the audience hooked..Villains from episode to episode are also well written and the mystery just keeps you on the edge of your seat..

    The sets of this show are just amazing and i was just hooked after the first Episode..This production from BBC is a fantastic piece of TV..You should definitely give this show a try .
  • comment
    • Author: Adoraris
    In my opinion, the British mystery/drama "Ripper Street" leaves the US "Copper" for dead. To all who have based their reviews on a single viewing, please give this show another chance. The acting and writing are brilliant and the characters are well-developed. Each episode leaves you wanting more. I particularly like the forensic scenes. Very interesting to see how far the science had developed during this period in British history. The stories are also well-paced, combining a good balance of action, drama and mystery. Don't give up on "Ripper Street" just yet because you just might be surprised by this British take on a "whodunnit?"
  • comment
    • Author: It's so easy
    I truly love this show!!! The actors are so captivating and addicting. I can't get enough. You are instantly drawn in from the second it starts. Through their performance they make you feel connected on such an emotional level. I really enjoy "getting lost" in a show that i watch; this show is so consuming that you cannot help but get lost in it. I cannot wait to see what comes next season. I just hope that the series continues as triumphant as it began; with all the wonderful writers, actors, directors, producers, and everyone else that made it such a great success. Shows such as these make "movie" night suspenseful and enjoyable! The shear talent/gift that it takes to create these story lines/plots/themes never creases to amaze me!
  • comment
    • Author: Ces
    Do you like period productions of crime and punishment? Then this is for you. Gritty, reasonably suspenseful with complex story lines and scripts that work well for the setting, albeit with a few anachronisms for the time.

    Acting is top notch, positive role models are presented, sets are amazing and overall production is intriguing.

    I am constantly amazed at how much work was invested in each scene of this show, how much thought was put into script and storyline.

    That being said, English entertainment simply is not for everyone, but if that's a hurdle you can jump and you like a good period mystery series this is as good as almost any.
  • comment
    • Author: Melipra
    I watch little TV and even less pot-boiler dramas, but Ripper Street drew me in from the start. The dialogue is so beautifully written, and delivered that it underlines the differentiation of the age that the program is set, and the age that we now inhabit. So clever is it though that it is always transparently clear.

    In this way the show reminds me somewhat of the recent Spartacus series.

    The fact that there is light and shade in every character, and there are no absolute heroes or villains really does demonstrate the ambivalence of the times.

    It is a cartoon, for sure rather than a factual historical program, but it does tell a lot of the early days of the police force in London.

    I am yet to be disappointed by a single episode. Bravo BBC !
  • comment
    • Author: Gavikelv
    British drama knocks Coppers into a cocked hat (helmet??). I love Tom Weston-Jones and the Irish ruggedness is very appealing, but for quality acting and set believability, despite the slickness, Ripper Street sets the new standard in period TV detective series.

    I thought the break in Boardwalk Empire would leave me nothing to watch, but this new BBC series absolutely does the business if, like me, you like the genre. For me,despite his talent, Matthew Macfadyen has struggled to dispense with the Spooks mantle which has likely served rather albatross- like for some time (even the M&S adverts failed in this respect). That is over. It will be scriptwriters and production teams that determine the continued success of this series. And I haven't even mentioned the wealth of other talent on display here....... enjoy!
  • comment
    • Author: Seevinev
    As soon as I saw the add for this TV series on channel 10 (australia), I instantly fell in love with it. It has one of my favorite actors, Jerome Flynn, in it, who is also from Game Of Thrones. This series has great music, acting and a really good plot. I love movies, well pretty much anything that is to do with the Victorian era. Crime stories in the Victorian era are probably some of the best stories ever (just my opinion). Jerome Flynn suited the mercenary type role really well, as he does in anything. All round, this is an amazing series that anyone with a fascination with the Victorian era should watch. This is my first review, so I hope it was helpful and you liked it. Thanks
  • comment
    • Author: Murn
    Just caught up with this and admittedly was initially dubious given the earth of literature and movies on this most infamous of unsolved crimes. This series combines strong narrative with detailed period history, never failing to disappoint by bringing in forensics, the development of The Met, social history, criminology all via the strong characters of Reid, Bennett, Rose et al. We see all from Freak Show Victoriana, to Molly Houses, back street abortionists and Music Hall. A lot of work and shows. Sheer craft. The make up for the episode including John Merrick rivals that of Chris Tucker for The Elephant Man and the anatomical post mortem work cold readily compete with the likes of Dexter and Six Feet Under. Simply unmissable and vital viewing for Americans.
  • comment
    • Author: Eigonn
    This series has absolutely gripped me from the beginning. Set in the grimy Whitechapel area of Victorian London in the immediate aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders, this show is just flat-out sublime in casting, sets, costumes, period atmosphere, writing, and soundtrack.The hugely underrated Matthew McFadyen is glorious as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, who is haunted (in more ways than obvious ones) by the unsolved Ripper killings. His colleague , Inspector Bennet Drake, is played to weary perfection by Jerome Flynn, who is thankfully by no means relegated to a secondary "sidekick" role. Drake and Reid are joined in their crime-fighting efforts by the American Civil War veteran/physician/medical detective Homer Jackson, who as portrayed by Adam Rothenberg, is a combination of chain-smoking Byronic hero and lab geek. If you're tired of shallow characterizations and inept screen writing masquerading as substantive TV dramas, then this is the show for you!
  • comment
    • Author: Coiril
    Ripper Street is a wonderful series, with both brilliant acting and story lines. Although set around the same time as Jack the ripper and references occasionally made, it focuses more on other elements from that time period which is refreshing. I normally do not take much interest in period dramas, however Ripper Street has me hooked 100%! If the BBC do decide to continue down the route of cancellation they will be making a huge mistake,there is a massive fan following for Ripper Street and it would be such a shame to lose one of the best shows on the BBC. There are still many stories that could be told and many characters that could be explored further.
  • comment
    • Author: Steamy Ibis
    This show continues to improve each year. Each of the cast members are top notch, including those in supporting roles, but it is Jerome Flynn who truly shines. Set up to be a tragic figure on whose shoulders must reside the weight of each of the several worlds he has to juggle between Whitechapel and his social life. He is a classic Shakespearean angst-ridden hero. The only of the three male leads that can always be counted on, even if doing what needs to be done is to his own detriment. Jerome Flynn seems to have fun in Game of Thrones. In Ripper Street, he is Prometheus unbound.

    The other true notable among this ensemble cast is MyAnna Buring, who plays the character Susan. Once a daughter of privilege, her fortunes rise and fall like the sea. And Buring's face shows every triumph and tragedy as they pass. Being a true ensemble, it would be hard to nominate any of the cast as a lead actor, but Flynn and Buring deserve supporting nods.

    Streaming now on Amazon Prime, this is a show you do not want to let go by.
  • comment
    • Author: Alsanadar
    I am so glad that Amazon took over this magnificent show, and after having watched all episodes so far, I have nothing else to say except a huge thank you and I'm looking forward for Season 5. The acting, clothing, police uniforms, pubs, market places, the docks and everything else is very precise. None of the actors mumble their scripts, the accents (for example the Polish English) is perfect. My father who was a policeman, during WW2, would have enjoyed this type of series, as it shows how much the force has progressed since the 1890's. Matthew MacFadyen never stops to top the charts for me as I have followed him through all of his acting career in other shows, but in Ripper Street, he actually lives and breathes the part. Although in season 4 for he gets a demotion, one can still see that he is in full control. As for the Theme Music, couldn't have been better then this choice.
  • comment
    • Author: Lanadrta
    Originally a BBC series now a joint Amazon BBC production Ripper Street stands head and shoulders above other detective dramas set in the late 19th century. The Ripper Street follows Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his the team of detectives based at Leeman Street in the East End Of London. Reid had hunted Jack the Ripper. The Police's failure to catch the infamous serial killer forms a backdrop to the story. However Ripper street is not a reworking of The Ripper story it is firmly set post-Ripper and follows Inspector Reid as he struggles to protect the largely poor immigrant population of the East End from murder, organized crime, anarchist plots and assorted mayhem.

    Played by to remarkable effect Mathew MacFadyen Inspector Reid is very loosely based on a real life Inspector Edmund Reid who was a remarkably forward thinking man with a love of science described by newspapers of the era as "the best all detectives". However the script writers have created for Reid a new back story that explains why this very moral policeman is prepared to bend the rules in the interest of the greater good.

    Reid is accompanied by a posse of strong well drawn characters some pretty dubious all their own back stories and played by an amazing good cast, who make well written dialogue come alive. The result is western set in Victorian London, more Hell on Wheels than Sherlock Holmes.

    The production values are remarkable, sets and costumes are flawless and the script, direction, editing, cinematography and sound are near perfect
  • comment
    • Author: Heri
    I cant get enough of British Actors and writers, they kick the poop out of most N.American TV!! Creative period piece with all the juicy crime thriller "who done it" that I love. I hear they are coming out with some more seasons but not through BBC some other reality show beat them out??!! OMG what is our world coming to? I love the lead actor,Matthew Macfadyen and admired his work in another period piece he did called Little Doret, which is also excellent but quite different from this. In this Season of Ripper Street I love how the time is right around the Ripper murders but not about them, creating some true life feel to the imagined murders of that day. I am hanging on as every episode ends to get to the next one. I will look to contacting BBC to urge them to sign this show up for another season. If you haven't watched it I encourage you to do so and know you will enjoy every minute!
  • comment
    • Author: Kahavor
    Just finished watching Series 3 and I love this show! The whole series story line pulls you in and doesn't want to let you go. I love that Amazon picked this back up and kept it going. Please keep producing this series! I recommend this show to anyone. There is more obvious violence than typically seen on TV but it makes it grittier and more realistic than many other shows. The relationships between the main characters are complex and there is no romanticizing of what life would have been like during this period in this area of London. It is a heavy story line with definitely a dark undertone, however there are moments of brightness. I will definitely watch this show over again.
  • comment
    • Author: Kizshura
    Seems to be a consensus floating about on season 3 being the best of the lot. Quite intelligent storytelling with intelligent dialogue, good suspense although sometimes a bit predictable. Authentic dirt & dust & sets & props & costuming. Would have helped, and this is consistently true for period movies, if the actors appearances were more authentic, e.g. mottled teeth, splotchy skin, bugs in the hair. Usual twists 'n turns in suspense, crime dramas. Rare 8+ rating from IMDb.

    If you haven't figured it out or already know it's East London, late 1800s and shortly after Jack the Ripper. Follows the Sherlock style work of British and America transplant detectives.

    Hard to believe that BBC canceled the show after the second season only to be rescued by Amazon (who would have thought) and even though it had a finale feel to it supposedly it's up for another year or more.
  • comment
    • Author: Goldendragon
    This is the best and most well written and acted show BBC America has ever produced. Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg, the three lead characters, create a synergic ensemble while each character is sexy and smart on his own. I love this show. I don't know why BBC America continues to rerun the most insulting cooking show over and over again ad nausea but doesn't rerun this quality show. I look forward to each Ripper Street episode. When a new show runs, I cannot leave my seat until complete. Like a well written symphony, this show builds with verve and crescendo. The actors are tremendous. More Matthew Macfadyen, please!
  • comment
    • Author: Leyl
    I started this series because of Matthew Macfadyen. I love his acting and thus came upon Ripper Street. I did not regret it the slightest bit. Love how it was done during the Ripper's era and quite interestingly that it is after Ripper's killings where people feared that the killer still to walk amongst them and may still strike at any moment.

    I love the plot and the cast and the set. Basically everything!! Especially back in those days where livelihood is very difficult, they show the hardship one has to go through and it really shows the raw emotions and sad truth in this world which I find it to be scarce in shows these days. It is quite a thought provoking show and I do miss shows like these. I love the friendship and characters of Reid, Drake and Jackson. And love the language used in that era. It also intrigues me of the methods used to catch a bad man with primitive technology where things like DNA was not even known. You can really feel for the characters.

    Very well written and wonderful actors. I was quite surprised that the show was axed but luckily saved by Amazon. Really looking forward to the third season. Unfortunately, many shows like these (thought provoking) seem to not successfully catch the attention of the audience. Hopefully more people will discover this wonderful show and the show must go on :)
  • comment
    • Author: HeonIc
    So disappointed with the series finale, ugh!!! I have been watching this series since the beginning and I have loved every minute of it. The story line, acting, actors, all top notch - so you can imagine my disappointment when I read the series was coming to an end. Who wrote that last episode?!? It was too ridiculous for words!

    I don't understand the thought process as to why Matthew had to die. Wasn't it enough that he was sent back to America as part of the deal? The only thing that made that a little easier was that he was taking Conor and finally that poor child was going to be loved and looked after by a parent - not for long however!

    How about Matilda! The last words she had for her father - what was that about?!? I thought that was rather harsh considering the poor man had been tormented most of the show because he felt responsible for her death (although he never stopped looking for her).

    And poor Mr. Reid....I adored his character and in the end they made him out to be this unhinged lunatic moving in and out of reality, with everyone he loved moved away or dead, and with no life or friends outside of work. What a sad, pathetic ending for such a brilliant, and yes at time, tormented character. Sooo disappointed. He certainly deserved a happier ending.
  • comment
    • Author: Stick
    What I mean by that is from looking at some of the reviews posted so far that they have judged it on one episode and I think I may also be a bit premature with this review, but, here goes. I am fortunate not to have seen Matthew MacF in 'Spooks' so have nothing to judge him by. I have liked Jerome Flynn since his 'London's Burning' days and apart from 'Badger' has a pretty good CV in acting (let's also forget his Robson and Jerome days). I have also not seen Adam Rothenberg in anything before. I had been really looking forward to seeing Ripper Street since I first heard of it way back in the Spring, it's been a long wait to see JF back acting and loved him and Peter Dinklage as a kind of double act, so to speak, in Game of Thrones. The problem is that anticipation of that length can foster a doubt as to whether it will be actually any good, so I watched Episode One slightly nervously expecting to be disappointed as British drama has been quite poor of late. Luckily I was not to be disappointed, it was solid and enjoyable, well acted by all the major players and an interesting storyline set in

    the aftermath of the Ripper murders (not about them as many mistakenly believe) although his presence in the area is a kind of sub plot. The second episode did seem to start digging into the personal histories of each of the three main characters, giving hints about them and leading me to want to discover more about what makes them who they are. This episode was much better than the first, however, it does strike me that it could have done with a little more research, although for the storyline having the boy sentenced to hang three days after being found guilty added more tension than if they had gone with the laws of the time. Also Teddy Bears were not made until much later in Germany and in the first episode there is a movie camera six years before moving pictures were invented (I have mentioned this on the message board) However, all that aside, it is a good police drama with a twist. I shall continue to watch it. Jerome, I thought you sounded just like Tommy Cooper when you sent Tom into the recruiting office, just like that,not like that, like that. Would just like to add, with just one episode left, that this had just got better and better.
  • comment
    • Author: Capella
    Even though season 4 was a disappointment I persevered with season 5 with the hope that some of the glory of earlier seasons would resurface. But it was all gloom and doom with no more spark left.

    They should've left season 3 be the last because what they've created thereafter is an abomination.

    Seasons 1 - 3: Every episode was about solving a crime, but being aware of the characters' flaws. There was a main thread throughout due to Reid's daughter that kept us wondering. They kept the stories surprising and interesting. The acting was superb, especially Inspector Reid.

    Season 4: They introduce a long winded hairy story about a wolf that runs episode to episode. There is no more crime busting, only egoistic characters that make it a chore to watch each episode.

    Season 5: The same monotonous wolf story persists, except the writers have decided to create more flashbacks, darker sets and more unhinged story lines. It was like each episode became darker, drearier and more delirious. But at the same time the episodes were dragging on, as it became apparent that the writers were stumbling through the series with writer's block and a deadline and inflicting their hatred of the show on us. So I skipped an episode as I figured that I wouldn't miss much, and I didn't. During the last episode I couldn't believe that anyone could make such flummery. The last episode was like a blotch of ketchup on a wedding dress. It was the worst piece of film making and script writing that I have experienced since watching Alexander. This ruined Ripper Street.
  • comment
    • Author: Siatanni
    This is a great TV show not because of its period dramatic scenery and wardrobe. It's not great either because it's like Downton Abbey meets a crime thriller. It's an amazing show simply because it has a clever formula.

    Ripper Street takes its name from the famous killer of England's past but the show is not about him. It starts out with a small group of policemen trying to decide if serial killings are linked to Jack the Ripper. We learn how this team goes through its rudimentary CSI and time specific police tools to solve a class. By the 3rd episode, we learn Jack the Ripper isn't part of this show, he only inspired the title. It is after all a great title I'm sure you will agree.

    It's a good cast that runs this show. It really does make me think I am in the time period when I'm watching. Once the formula is established, it opens the way for so many stories. The many themes and visual effects keep this show interesting. Let me restate that the actors give it their all and they are brimming with talent. Timely characters appear here and there. For example, in season one we meet and see the Elephant man deliver dialog with other characters we hae become familiar with.

    Because this show does follow a formula, I think a person could skip episodes and still get the story. It's not necessarily "full" of personality but to those who get into period pieces and good crime stories, I recommend this show. You might call it a Downton Abbey crime drama.
  • Series cast summary:
    Matthew Macfadyen Matthew Macfadyen - Det. Insp. Edmund Reid 36 episodes, 2012-2016
    Adam Rothenberg Adam Rothenberg - Cpt. Homer Jackson / - 36 episodes, 2012-2016
    MyAnna Buring MyAnna Buring - Long Susan / - 34 episodes, 2012-2016
    Jerome Flynn Jerome Flynn - Det. Sgt. Bennet Drake / - 32 episodes, 2012-2016
    David Wilmot David Wilmot - Sgt. Donald Artherton / - 25 episodes, 2012-2016
    Charlene McKenna Charlene McKenna - Rose Erskine / - 23 episodes, 2012-2016
    David Dawson David Dawson - Fred Best 19 episodes, 2012-2016
    Anna Burnett Anna Burnett - Mathilda Reid / - 18 episodes, 2014-2016
    Clive Russell Clive Russell - Ch. Insp. Fred Abberline / - 16 episodes, 2012-2016
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