RIPPER STREET sounds like a great idea for a series — a police procedural set in the aftermath of Jack the Ripper’s rampage — and we all know the British excel at doing period pieces, but I hope the execution of this teaser is not a reflection of the way the series will be handled.
A lone man being chased through the rain by three unknown men? Hmm, there’s definitely not enough information in this clip to hook the average viewer and get folks psyched for the show — unless you happen to know the premise. People could be forgiven for getting the idea that this series will focus on the hunt for the Ripper (and assume that’s him being chased). Too much of the teaser is wasted on the Olympic stadium and the title card.
Here is the BBC’s synopsis of the series:
April 1889 – six months since the last Jack The Ripper killing, East London is emerging into a fragile peace, hopeful that this killer’s reign of terror might at last have run its course. Nowhere is this truer than in the corridors of H Division, the police precinct charged with keeping order in the chaos of Whitechapel. Its men hunted this maniac; and failed to find him.
RIPPER STREET is their story. A police procedural set in the teeming streets of the East End as it moves into the last decade of the 19th Century. H Division was responsible for policing a relatively small area of just 1¼ square miles, yet into that space were packed some 67,000 people; a seething, bustling mass of the poor and dispossessed.
RIPPER STREET is not another backward-looking ‘Hunt the Ripper’ story, but a fictionalized trek into the heart of a London borough living in the blood soaked aftermath of that forever-anonymous killer. It is an investigative procedural about dedicated policemen for whom life – and crime – go on.
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) – a forward-thinking detective haunted by a tragic past mistake. Accompanied by the ever-loyal local brawn of Detective Sergeant Bennett Drake (Jerome Flynn) and the mercurial brilliance of the U.S. Army surgeon and one-time Pinkerton detective, Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg), Reid seeks to bring justice and the rule of law to a world that is forever on the brink of mayhem.
Again, not much to go on, however I will definitely give this eight-episode series a shot when it is imported to these shores on BBC America.