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Ripper Street


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ripper Street (BBC/DVD)

Amazon.com

Is Jack the Ripper still on the loose in the streets of Whitechapel? That's the premise behind the sensational BBC drama Ripper Street, a police procedural and forensic investigation serial that's more than a century ahead of its time--if TV and gritty, realistic cop shows had existed in 1889, that is. Matthew Macfadyen is Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, a forward-thinking lawman in charge of H Division in squalid East London, where it has been six months since his department investigated the last murder committed by the notorious serial killer. But since Reid does not know that the last murder was the Ripper's final strike, the city has no reason to believe that he is not still at large. So when a gruesome crime is discovered that bears some of the hallmarks of Jack's M.O., panic grips Whitechapel again, and it is Inspector Reid's job to rule out the Ripper even as he's forced to relive the trauma of his unsolved investigation. This eight-part series was broadcast on BBC America in 2012 to much acclaim for its attention to period detail at the end of the Victorian era as well as for its unflinching exploration of the seedy underbelly of London's most sordid slum. Ripper Street has been described as a 19th-century Law & Order, CSI, or Criminal Minds, and it does share the same adherence to the procedural methods of great cop shows. But it is much richer for its use of colorfully idiomatic language, wit, intelligence, and a sensibility that's closer to HBO or a feature film than it is to network TV. Each episode focuses on the thorough investigation of a horrific murder (or murders). There is also an arc that follows an unfolding interconnectedness between characters, as well as the larger issue of whether the Ripper is gone and who he might have been. Assisting Reid in his police work is his loyal, tough-as-nails aide Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn), and a shady American surgeon and ex-Pinkerton agent Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg). Jackson turns out not to be all he says he is; the same goes for his close associate Long Susan (MyAnna Buring), a mysterious brothel owner who figures prominently in the show's larger thematic development. Reid and Jackson share an uneasy friendship and professional respect built primarily on the inspector's cleverness in police work and the doctor's keen mind for forensic examination.

The show's chapters all turn on some sort of technological advance or striking cultural change to propel a mystery and its solution. The premiere episode, "I Need Light," is structured around a new kind of camera that captures pictures sequentially to present an alternate version of real life. Reid is awed by the device, even as its appearance is the cause of great personal torment for him (the Ripper's potential return) and results in monstrous leaps of human cruelty. The episode also sets the stage for the show's general predilection for lurid motivations, in this case suggesting that the first motion pictures were pornographic snuff films. Other episodes deal with human trafficking, industrial espionage, and the use of biological weapons, and all are infused with highfalutin dialogue that makes their crafty narratives hum with intrigue. Also woven into the background fabric are encroaching sea changes such as the telegraph, the stock ticker, electric lights, and mass transit. The most important nuances, however, are in the way the hard-edged characters spin out their unfolding inner dramas. There may be modern techniques of criminal investigation and the encroachment of radical technologies enlightening Ripper Street's worldview, but it's solid storytelling that gives such a fresh look to the old-fashioned dirty deeds. --Ted Fry


Special Features

"Jack the Ripper: Prime Suspect" - Can modern forensic science finally solve the case of Jack the Ripper?"London Calling: Whitechapel" - Tour of modern Whitechapel, the setting of Ripper StreetThree Inside Looks from the cast and production teamCharacter Profiles

Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg, Amanda Hale, MyAnna Buring
  • Directors: Andy Wilson, Tom Shankland
  • Writers: Richard Warlow, Julie Rutterford, Toby Finlay, Declan Croghan
  • Producers: Stephen Smallwood, Colm McCarthy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AATGDUC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,379 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By debro1114 on February 3, 2013
Format: DVD
I'm a huge fan of British TV - and I don't believe "Ripper Street" has let me down - not one jot. If anyone, including some of the reviewers, are looking for none stop action and farfetched heroics, then this isn't going to be their cup of tea. I'd suggest watching American TV instead (and I'm American). This show is one where you'll actually have to listen to the dialogue sometimes. I certainly like Ripper Street much better than the current Copper on BBC America. All I can say is I'm a fan of the likes of Foyle's War, Morse, Lewis, Midsomer, Frost etc and I love this show - recommended!
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Format: DVD
History's enduring fascination with the gruesome crimes of Jack The Ripper continues unabated with yet another example of popular fiction being inspired by the legendary murderer. Truthfully, I have read enough books, seen enough television, and watched enough movies that cast Jack The Ripper into a central role that I feel like he's an old friend--albeit one I wouldn't want to invite home to dinner. So wearily and warily, I sat down to watch the BBC production of "Ripper Street." I watch a LOT on BBC, perhaps too much! Having recently watched both "Whitechapel" (a Jack tale set in present day) and "Copper" (a historical crime drama), I couldn't help seeing "Ripper Street" as somewhat of a stylistic cross between both of these shows. "Ripper Street" is set in London's East End circa 1889 in the ensuing chaos following the notorious murders. The show centers around a precinct called H Division. Six months after Jack's spree, they are still entrusted to keep the peace within the Whitechapel neighborhood where fear and hysteria run rampant. Although Jack's carnage may be a thing of the past (or is it?), his legacy endures and the streets are far from safe!

As more murders start to be discovered, the public paranoia immediately points to Jack's return. It's up to H Division to sort these crimes out and apprehend the real culprits. To be fair, it might not be entirely accurate to call this a show about Jack the Ripper. The atmosphere and setting of the show is historically linked and influenced by these murders, but the plotting stays the course of a more conventional police procedural with different crimes to solve episodically. The always reliable Matthew Macfadyen heads the investigative team with the assistance of Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amy on February 24, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I am absolutely addicted to Ripper Street! The characters are so layered and interesting and the stories are nail-biting! There is a masterful blend of humor, sarcasm, tenderness, romance, intrigue, mystery, and violence! The writing and acting are terrific! I DVR and re-watch the episodes several times! Truly an entertaining and interesting television show - one of the best in my opinion!
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History's enduring fascination with the gruesome crimes of Jack The Ripper continues unabated with yet another example of popular fiction being inspired by the legendary murderer. Truthfully, I have read enough books, seen enough television, and watched enough movies that cast Jack The Ripper into a central role that I feel like he's an old friend--albeit one I wouldn't want to invite home to dinner. So wearily and warily, I sat down to watch the BBC production of "Ripper Street." I watch a LOT on BBC, perhaps too much! Having recently watched both "Whitechapel" (a Jack tale set in present day) and "Copper" (a historical crime drama), I couldn't help seeing "Ripper Street" as somewhat of a stylistic cross between both of these shows. "Ripper Street" is set in London's East End circa 1889 in the ensuing chaos following the notorious murders. The show centers around a precinct called H Division. Six months after Jack's spree, they are still entrusted to keep the peace within the Whitechapel neighborhood where fear and hysteria run rampant. Although Jack's carnage may be a thing of the past (or is it?), his legacy endures and the streets are far from safe!

As more murders start to be discovered, the public paranoia immediately points to Jack's return. It's up to H Division to sort these crimes out and apprehend the real culprits. To be fair, it might not be entirely accurate to call this a show about Jack the Ripper. The atmosphere and setting of the show is historically linked and influenced by these murders, but the plotting stays the course of a more conventional police procedural with different crimes to solve episodically. The always reliable Matthew Macfadyen heads the investigative team with the assistance of Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg.
Read more ›
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By carol irvin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 18, 2013
Format: DVD
Matthew Macfayden left the very successful UK tv series called MI5 in the USA and SPOOKS in the UK. He was the lead spy and he did a splendid job. He left it to move into movies with his most notable role being Darcy in PRIDE & PREJUDICE with Keira Knightly. But his movie career didn't really take off so now he's back on tv, which might be his best medium.

He is the lead in this series about police work in London AFTER Jack the Ripper. Right off the bat you notice how primitive everything is in policing. He has to find his own coroner and he can't even pay him. He basically knows the goods on him though so can keep quiet about his past in order to use his services for free. However, he can set up a mortuary for him. Again, this is all super primitive but this is how it all started, the forensics of policing. This coroner is the next most interesting character in the series.

The cases are interesting, the first one being a copycat for Jack the Ripper and a second involving an orphan who is accused of murder. I think this series just needs time to develop itself. It is very promising.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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Ripper Street
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