Thursday, March 28, 2013

To See or Not to See: Ripper Street

I haven't been talking about very many shows or movies here of late and I'm not sure why. I keep planning to - I've seen some great stuff of late. Somehow I just keep neglecting to do posts. Well today I'm doing one. Ripper Street is a pretty new BBC show that just recently wrapped up airing its first season here on BBCA (it's available on DVD now as well).

This historic crime drama features the Whitechapel district division post-Ripper. The incomparable Matthew Macfadyen plays the famous Edmund Reid, head of the division, and Frederick Abberline also makes brief appearances throughout the series. Reid/Macfadyen's second in command, Bennett Drake, is played by Jerome Flynn (a familiar face to any fans of the Game of Thrones series) and Adam Rothenberg rounds out the main cast as Homer Jackson, a former Pinkerton who now calls London home.

The show's a win for me for a number of reasons. First, the writing is great. The episodes feature the tension and politics of the time and for the most part stand alone. There are some story arcs that continue through the series - Reid and his daughter, Jackson's past, and Ripper - but for the most part you can jump in at any episode.

Then you have the cast. I'm was a big fan of Macfadyen and Flynn already but Rothenberg quickly won me over (I'm a sucker for a Pinkerton).

If you haven't checked out the show, I definitely recommend doing so very soon. Apparently a second season has been ordered for next year! I should mention the show is quite graphic at times. If you're not a fan of dark detective shows, you may want to steer clear.

Here's a trailer to pique your interest:

If you're a fan of this kind of stuff, I can think of some great books along the same lines:

Alex Grecian's The Yard (London post-Ripper), Lyndsay Faye's Dust and Shadow (Jack and Sherlock Holmes) and Kieran Shields's Truth of All Things (Pinkerton main) both come highly recommended by a historian friend of mine. I loved Stephen Gallagher's Bedlam Detective (time period and particularly dark), which is a follow up to Kingdom of Bones but can be read alone.

For some modern reads, I recommend Cody McFadyen's Shadow Man, SJ Bolton's Now You See Me, and Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star.


IYamVixen2 said...

I kept meaning to watch the show and tried to DVR it, but it was opposite two other shows already in the q. Maybe later on if they do reruns.

Becky LeJeune said...

Vickie if you have OnDemand the whole season is on there.