The period crime drama, set in 1880’s East London, stars Matthew MacFadyen as D.I Edmund Reid. The series deals with various crimes committed in the East End and the development of new technologies – such as the film camera – which aide the police in their investigations.
The gritty drama has drawn criticism from some viewers for its the violent and sexual content within the episodes. However, actor Matthew MacFadyen has defended Ripper Street. The actor told tabloid newspaper The Sun that ‘People are fascinated by Victorian attitudes towards sex and society….And back then in the East End there was enormous poverty. Actually, it was the Ripper murders that brought to light the dire poverty in the East End. They showed them up to a greater audience’
The opening episode of Ripper Street dealt with the brutal murder of a young woman in Whitechapel with DI. Reid determined to prove the murder was not the work of Jack the Ripper. Starring alongside MacFadyen in the drama are Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg and MyAnna Buring.
Ripper Street is a co-production between the BBC and BBC America; it is part of BBC America’s drive to commission more original content to entice new viewers to the broadcaster. Ripper Street premiered to decent ratings in the UK but subsequent episodes have seen a drop in viewers.
Ripper Street continues at 9pm on BBC One on Sunday.