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Ripper Street: Season Three (DVD)
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Ripper Street: Season Three (DVD)
Track down pulse-racing action, lurid thrills and gripping suspense in this Ripper of a third season. Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen, MI-5) travels deep into the seedy criminal London underworld hellbent on taking back the blood-stained streets of Whitechapel. But Reid isn’t fighting this battle alone. He’s joined by Detective Inspector Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn, Game of Thrones), a hard man who prefers to let his fists do the talking, Captain Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg, Tennessee), a brash American with a voracious appetite for vice, and Long Susan (Myanna Buring, Twilight), a madam with shady secrets. Season 3 begins with a violent train heist that ignites a chain reaction. While it reunites former lovers, it leads to a surprising conclusion.]]>
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.55 inches; 4.8 Ounces
- Item model number : 1000564771
- Director : Various
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
- Run time : 8 hours and 5 minutes
- Release date : June 23, 2015
- Actors : Various
- Studio : BBC
- ASIN : B00T3IKQM2
- Number of discs : 3
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,236 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Each episode on the DVD/Blu-Ray is six to seven minutes longer than on the BBC-America cablecast (55-56 minutes per episode on BBC-America).
Surprisingly, the DVD/Blu-Ray episodes are also two to three minutes longer than the Amazon Instant Video downloads:*
Episode 1 = 62 minutes vs. 60 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 2 = 62 minutes vs. 59 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 3 = 61 minutes vs. 59 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 4 = 62 minutes vs. 59 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 5 = 62 minutes vs. 59 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 6 = 62 minutes vs. 60 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 7 = 62 minutes vs. 60 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
Episode 8 = 62 minutes vs. 60 minutes on Amazon Instant Video
EVEN MORE INTERESTING:
The Amazon UK Instant Video website claims the following running times:
Episode 1 = 66 minutes
Episode 2 = 68 minutes
Episode 3 = 67 minutes
Episode 4 = 66 minutes
Episode 5 = 63 minutes
Episode 6 = 75 minutes
Episode 7 = 67 minutes
Episode 8 = 69 minutes
What would account for the difference in playing times between the U.S. and British Amazon Instant Video downloads?
Isn't Amazon one big happy company?
I have not ruled out the possibilities that this may be a misprint, or that the longer UK times are due to Previews of Coming Attractions being tacked on to the main program.
Are Americans even allowed to download from Amazon UK?
If you have seen and timed (not just heard about) one of these Amazon UK downloads, I would be grateful for a Comment at the end of this review. **
"Ripper Street" is a British police series set in Victorian London.
Contrary to the title, it is not about the hunt for Jack the Ripper, but is set in Whitechapel shortly after the Ripper killings.
Lead character Detective Inspector Edmund Reid is obsessed with his failure solve the Ripper case.
And that's not all he's obsessed with - very much a flawed hero.
Extremely violent - Police interrogations frequently involve beating a confession out of the suspect.
The female characters are mostly current or former prostitutes (with or without a heart of gold).
This is the dark side of Sherlock Holmes' London.
What Would Basil Rathbone Do?
Seasons One (2012) and Two (2013) were produced by the BBC.
After complaints about general naughtiness, the BBC elected not to produce a third season.
Amazon stepped in and produced Season Three (2014) as pay-per-view video downloads.
BBC Home Entertainment has now issued Season Three on Blu-Ray and DVD.
I guess they've buried the hatchet.
Inspector Edmund Reid: Matthew Macfadyen
Sergeant Bennet Drake: Jerome Flynn
Captain Homer Jackson: Adam Rothenberg (an alchoholic American ex-army doctor who finds part-time work as a London police medical examiner)
[hint: for ease of navigation, read the review though to the end, then come back and click on the links.]
Season 1 = Ripper Street (Blu-ray) --- or DVD: Ripper Street
Season 2 = Ripper Street: Season 2 (Blu-ray) --- or DVD: Ripper Street: Season 2
Season 3 = REVIEWED ON THIS PAGE, Blu-Ray or DVD
Season 4 = Ripper Street: Season 4 (BD) [Blu-ray ]
Season 5 = Ripper Street: Season Five [Blu-ray ]
No extra features.
I was worried that, minus BBC support, Season Three would would be done on the cheap, but this fear proved groundless.
Amazon produced a quality product - sets, costumes and cinematography are first class.
The quality of the writing is remarkable.
The plotting is almost too imaginative (a lot of inter-connecting plot-lines), but it's so well done that I had no trouble believing it.
I assume that anyone who wants Season Three is already familiar with Seasons One and Two.
Season Two ended in general mayhem and the three principals have not talked to each other for four years, but by the end of the first episode of Season Three:
Inspector Reid is promoted to Chief Inspector (tentatively).
Sergeant Drake is promoted to Inspector and takes over Reid's old command.
Captain Jackson is still despised by everyone, but his medical knowledge is still indispensable to the investigation.
BULLETIN --- Internet website "denofgeek.us" is reporting that Amazon has renewed Ripper Street for Seasons 4 and 5.
See my comment dated May 18, 2015.
AVOID THE FOLLOWING UNLESS YOU HAVE A REGION-FREE BLU-RAY OR DVD PLAYER: Ripper Street-Complete Series 1 & 2 [Blu-ray ] --- or DVD: RIPPER STREET-COMPLETE SERIES 1 & 2
These are the British Region B Blu-Ray and Region 2 DVD releases of Seasons 1 and 2 combined.
They won't play on North American Blu-Ray players (Region B) - or - North American DVD players (Region 1).
* I haven't watched the U.S. Amazon Instant Video downloads - these are the timings listed on the Amazon Instant Video web page.
I did watch the BBC-America cablecasts and can confirm that each episode was cut by six to seven minutes.
** Just to repeat:
I am not allowed to purchase the Amazon UK version because I don't have:
1) a British e-mail address (with .uk at the end)
2) a credit card issued by a bank in the UK.
I am certainly not going to boycott the inexpensive Blu-Rays of the show because of this.
Not to be morbid, but I am over sixty and don't know if I have the time to wait out a boycott.
Also, as I mentioned in the review, I have never actually seen an Amazon UK download, nor do I know anyone who has.
Therefore I cannot absolutely vouch for the accuracy of the timings posted on the Amazon UK website.
This is the Amazon UK Instant Download website:
All of the characters are tormented by past experiences which can be learned in the first 2 seasons. Season 3 gives us the story of how they all end up back together in White Chapel after 4 years.
-Inspector Reid is the Backbone of the team as the law enforcer who seeks to modernize criminology by reading up on advances and increasing his skills while dealing with loss and pain in his personal life.
-Inspector Drake is the Heart of the team who denies himself love, and has the contrast of being good with his fists, and being able to take a lot of physical pain.
-Captain Jack is a brilliant doctor who spends just as much time drinking and enjoying the local professional ladies as he does saving or autopsying the patients.
-Madam Susan is strong and cold in defense of ever having her heart broken again, and moves from Madam to Philanthropist in the 3rd season.
There are not many shows out there that can boast being consistently good for every Season that they have aired. Ripper Street is definitely one of those shows. The characters remain interesting and familiar, the plots are strong, and if you like Mystery, Period pieces, and/or Detective shows, you will enjoy Ripper Street.
Top reviews from other countries
This drama delves into an age (the late 1800s) rarely covered by the BBC so, whilst the episode storylines never really struck me as THAT intriguing, along with the quality production-values/presentation the delicious 'period' dialogue and, especially, the outstanding acting performances of the lead cast made it something really quite special.
HOWEVER, I can only review series 1 to 3 on Blu-ray as I didn't buy the later series as firstly, I was baffled how a continuation could properly exist as I thought that most of the significant aspects came to such a clear, satisfactory resolution in series 3. Secondly, I nonetheless then watched in HD the broadcasts of Series 4 (late last year) and found the screenplay to be a sorry, VERY pale shadow of what had already passed - so much so that I almost couldn't continue watching it. Series 5 re-gained some of the familiar/pleasing 'ground' from Series 1-3 but, for me, still fell woefully short.
My feelings about how this programme 'evolved' are supported by highlighting the production history, since the BBC (wrongly IMHO) cancelled the programme after series 2 due to viewing figures dropping from around 8million to 3 million BUT 'Amazon Prime Instant Video' took over, if for no other reason one would hope that a 3rd series at the very least was necessary to 'tie things up'.
However, this series 3 seemingly provoked increased viewing figures so 'Amazon Prime Instant Video' then produced series 4, later deciding to expand/split it to make series 4 and 5; this tells a story and, having subsequently learned these facts, helps to explain even more my dissatisfaction with those last 2 series.....
It is so tricky to describe the over-arching theme of 'Ripper Street' since it would be revelationary and spoil things for first-timers, BUT with the caveat that it essentially misses the crucial elements (perhaps for the revealing issue I mentioned ?) the disc box for Series 1 (NOT the Amazon synopsis) has a good stab at doing it and is just as relevant as the one for this series, even if it does describe a little more about series-specific details (too much IMHO), so here it is :
"Haunted by the failure to catch Londonʼs most evil killer, Jack the Ripper, Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) now heads up the notorious H Division – the toughest police district in the East End.
Charged with keeping order in the blood-stained streets of Whitechapel, Reid and his men find themselves fighting to uphold justice and the rule of law; but always in the background lurks the fear of the Ripper – is he back for another reign of terror.
The shadow of the Ripper is still felt in the neighbourhood by the vigilantes, the sensation-seeking newspaper hacks and the men who hunted – and failed to find – the notorious murderer. It seems that even though the notorious killer has disappeared, there are plenty more willing to stain the streets of Whitechapel with their victims’ blood..."
However, due to my earlier caveat I need to add immediately that one shouldn't be dissuaded by the 'Ripper' element of the programme title nor the way it prevails in the above description (and anyway, in this third series the 'Ripper' elements are non-existent !).
That's because, as hinted at, for me the MUCH more crucial story element is the specifics and what surrounds the relationships (in every sense of the word) between the lead characters and their related personal issues,,,.
Those aspects are the driving force for the series and the underlying current within each episode - so much so that the often derivative, occasionally rather bland/often forgettable 'crimes' which might headline a particular episode are the 'garnish' to the main meal of the characterisations and their progress throughout the entirety of all the programmes series; I rarely felt challenged or captivated by any 'whodunnit' aspect of the plot....
- and that is exactly how it should be, since the delicious period-dialogue and (above all) those lead acting performances are supreme.
I must also add now that the production-values are similarly superior and that there is a notable musical soundtrack, emphasised by the fantastic and, for me, striking opening-credits images and infectious/addictive score; short it might be, but it instils great emotion in me whenever it plays and (usually) is the pre-cursor to a subsequent positive viewing experience. Having said that, again on the theme of cancellation and 'those' series 4 and 5, it is perhaps not surprising that they also differ from series 1-3 by virtue of the opening-credits score being different; pertinently AGAIN, I should point out that closing credits to the very last episode of series 5 play out with that 'original.opening-credits score (the score is usually unique to the episode), in homage to better times IMHO - a small point perhaps, but it is for me significant....
Violence and criminal fatalities are copious, largely dictating the need for a '15' viewing certificate for matters such as 'strong bloody violence, gore and sexualised nudity' - this programme is not for the squeamish, BUT bad language is absent !
Matthew Macfadyen in the lead role remains quite superb throughout - his dominance is almost matched by the revelation of Jerome Flynn (for me, not before seen), who similarly acts his socks off. Adam Rothenburg and MyAnna Buring are also excellent, but Macfadyen and Flynn particularly excel in the smaller aspects of their performances, with easily-missed significant nuances to their voices and expressions, but especially small physical acts (eg nervous twitches, blink and you'll miss them !) to portray the vivid, striking and fully-rounded characters they play.
The presence of Macfadyen and Flynn, and the quality of their contributions, is the single, MASSIVE foundation stone to 'Ripper Street' - and they are so essential since it is (unarguably) the relationship between their characters that similarly drives the core of 'Ripper Street'; they are something to behold....
This third series quickly has elements which suggest a lowering of quality, since lead character behaviour is more regularly lacking in credibility than before and secondary characters do things which are ridiculously brazen. The Jerome Flynn character continues to be more prominent, and the 'Ripper' aspects exist but are not plot creators, merely there for association. This series has virtually no themes associated with real historical events occurring in London at that time, which was a strong feature of series 1.
Whilst those production-values might be very good, it cannot go unnoticed that much reliance is made of quality CGI to add background to the relatively small but excellent period sets; those plus the dialogue and costumes are the final ingredients added to the existing quality of the acting, screenplay and music to make 'Ripper Street' so successful for me.
Like with series 1 and 2, everything is wonderfully sharp and richly portrayed on Blu-ray; the sound is also very well presented, with a lot of use made of the spatial capabilities of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack to broadcast off-screen sounds for example.
So, whilst the individual episode plots might feature often rather uninteresting details the overriding and substantially more captivating feature of them, and the series overall is the main characters, how they interact and their relationships/personal issues. Those aspects are portrayed in exemplary fashion, in no small part because of the intricate period-dialogue but more so due to the quite excellent acting performances. Add very convincing production-values, notably the costumes and set-dressing, and an often rousing musical soundtrack - all presented marvellously on Blu-ray, and it's hopefully clear why I enjoyed this superior BBC drama so much.
This third series is even less satisfying than the first when compared to series 2 (but it's not by a lot), for me largely due to the episode-specific plots having more 'association' with the main characters and them often lacking quite a bit of credibility.
However, a LOT of matters are resolved definitively and in a lot of ways quite satisfyingly, one way or another, and for that reason I think that this series is where this superior BBC/Amazon drama should have ended.
How best to describe this series? Well imagine modern series like CSI and similar but transported back to the era of Jack the Ripper and based around the area of Leman Street police station in the East End of London.
The attention to detail is amazing and the production fantastic. The actors portray the roles perfectly. Matthew Macfadyen plays the remarkable Inspector Edmund Reid who is ably supported by Sergeant Bennett Drake played by Jerome Flynn. The American, Captain Homer Jackson is an ex-Pinkerton agency man (Played by Mark Rothenberg) who is a forensic scientist of some skill and who is more than slightly involved with Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) who is the Madam at the local brothel.
The cases are often full of intrigue, twist and counter twist and, if you like historic stories as well as a good detective series then I cannot recommend this series too highly.
Be warned however that language can be quite strong as can the action. Remember the era that these tales are based in.
All in all, completely absorbing and excellent.
Frankly, I still cannot believe the Beeb were stupid enough not to renew this show, and the the reins had to be taken up by good old Amazon.
I now have all three series of this excellent telly prog, and this third series is as good as any.
Superb performances from all concerned, interesting and intelligent scripts, super settings and locations, decent production values and continuity - what else could you wish for!