Sex, violence, blood, murder and mayhem. That’s what one Jack the Ripper brought to the streets of 1880s London. Considered one of the greatest villains of all time due to his flare for the theatrical and his ability to not get caught. His escapades have stayed a point of interest in our history. But what was it like for the men who tried to maintain order and eliminate the fears the Ripper left in his wake after his killing spree came to a mysterious end? That’s what the new police procedural series Ripper Street plans to examine. Set in 1889, six months after the last murder, the series stars Matthew MacFayden as Inspector Edmund Reid, an honest cop and leader of the H Divison Police Precinct. Jerome Flynn also stars as Detective Sargeant Bennett Drake, a tough, mean bastard and Reid’s right hand. They’re joined by Adam Rothenberg who rounds out the main cast as Homer Jackson, an ex-army surgeon and former Pinkerton Detective. The three have the uneasy job of keeping the piece and catching some of the worst killers in London who’ve popped up all the while trying to quell any hysteria that the press is trying to drum up that Jack might still be ready to spring into action. A mystery with a little bit of blood and guts thrown in……and the occasional left hook.
After watching “I Need Light“, the pilot episode of the series, I can say that I am very interested in seeing where this show takes us. In the first episode, Reid and his crew are met with a female victim that has all the signs of a Ripper Murder. Has the man returned or is this a copycat? And what if it’s all just a smoke screen to hide something bigger? Is there a new kind of evil that’s making it’s way onto the streets of Whitechapel? I know, it doesn’t sound like it’s anything new to the genre. That’s because it isn’t. The concept and the style have been done before. What makes this show interesting is the characters and their dynamic. MacFayden’s Inspector Reid is a good man who sometimes has to get out of his comfort zone to ensure the safety of his district. For Reid, it’s all about efficiency. If you can do the best job possible, that’s all that matters. This is the sole reason that he reaches out to Rothenberg’s Homer Jackson, a man of questionable morals. Homer is your typical scoundrel who’s probably got his fair share of skeletons in his closet. The guy lives in bordello and spends most of his days drinking and fucking. There’s also a weird relationship going on with the madam of the house as well. Long story short, Homer is a mess but he’s a skilled surgeon and detective and that is what’s important to Reid. Reid trusts him more than the more “respectable” investigators at his disposal. His trusted hand, Drake, has a different opinion of Jackson, seeing him as waste of space. But his trust and respect for Reid means that he’ll work with Homer without argument…well, not too much argument. The relationship between these three men is what grounds this series and gives it that something special. The performances back up and deepen this dynamic and if this episode is any inclination, there is more great entertainment ahead.
If you spending the night in this evening tonight, I highly you check out the premiere episode of Ripper Street, airing tonight at 9pm on SPACE in Canada and BBC America in the states. Check out this trailer for the series and watch the show tonight.
Is it Ripping Good Times? I’d say so. Give it a watch and let me know if you agree.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!