The mystery of infamous serial killer
Jack “The Ripper” has and always will be an intriguing part of
Britain’s history, which is shown by the countless productions
created surrounding the conspiracy. Ripper Street is the
latest reiteration of the legend, and while it suffers from
inconsistent production and acting quality, the different angle it
takes with the story is undeniably intriguing.
It’s April 1889 and Jack “The Ripper”
hasn’t been heard of in six months. The Whitechapel H Division
police force has been handed the responsibility of finding and
arresting “The Ripper” but have failed to find him, so when reports
of more women being murdered in the streets of Whitechapel begin to
surface, Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew McFayden, Spooks) and
Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn, Game of Thrones) are
under increasing pressure to put the killer behind bars.
The eight episode miniseries focuses on
one murder case each episode, which is a fairly standard formula for
a show with this premise. What Ripper Street does differently
compared to the majority of crimes shows that have come before it is
that it frequently dives into the personal lives of both Reid and
Drake as they attempt to solve these crimes, although it’s difficult
to explain these plot elements without spoiling key moments in the
series. Nonetheless, there’s a reasonable amount of unpredictability
in the story.
It’s hard to ignore that Ripper
Street’s art style is inspired heavily by Guy Pearce’s
Sherlock Holmes films; gritty grey filters and unsettling camera
angles are handled well but are used relatively unfrequently so when
they are present Ripper Street feels a little uneven. There
are strong acting performances by McFayden, Flynn and a handful of
others, but the minor cast can be sometimes poor and rips the
emotion from a scene very quickly.
Fans of British crime thrillers will
feel right at home with Ripper Street, a dark and intriguing
miniseries that’s a little rough around the edges.