I was devastated when I read about this this morning. It’s possibly one of the best period dramas set in Victorian London I’ve ever seen. It’s a crime drama with none of the gore, fighting and realism taken out. So why has Ripper Street been cancelled?
First off we should look at the slot it fills in the TV schedule. It airs on BBC One at 9pm on a Monday night, the exact same time as ITV shows I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It proves that more people would rather watch a reality show than an original drama that shows you a bit of history. In fact I’m a Celebrity had 8.8 million viewers to Ripper Streets 3.2 million during Monday’s episode. Big difference for a comparison in two very different shows.
Ripper Street is a great period crime drama with a storyline and setting quite different to period dramas like Downton Abbey and The Paradise. Ripper Street is downright gritty and bloody, just like a copper show set in Victorian East London should be. The first season followed on from the capture of Jack the Ripper and season two follows on from that, showing that East London still has lots of murderers to catch and crimes to solve. If this doesn’t interest you then the main trio of Matthew Mcfayden (Det. Insp. Edmund Reid) Jerome Flynn (Det. Sgt. Bennet Drake) and Adam Rothenberg (Captain Homer Jackson) definitely will. Each of the performances are brilliant and very similar to what you’d expect of Victorian detectives in a crime populated area. The men aren’t the only great performers. MyAnna Buring is everything a Victorian lady probably shouldn’t be as Long Susan the brothel madam who usually crosses paths with the detectives.
Ripper Street is currently airing its second series and only has two episodes left. The viewing figures for this series have dropped quite a bit compared to season one and some on the web and regular fans have said this could be down to the nature of some of the story lines. There have been a few brutal murders of females, beatings and the like but in all fairness this as helped make the show feel more realistic. What’s Victorian London without some brothels and scandal?
The main reason I’m sad to see Ripper Street go is that it’s a crime drama that keeps you on your toes and second guessing the whole way through. There’s times when you can’t work out who the killer could possibly be. I found you also learn something in each episode. It’s an eye opener to see how different the police system is and how women were treated in the time. The actors are superb, the costumes and settings are spot on and the writing is true brilliance in a time with lots of period dramas.
So why the BBC are dropping this series now, so close to the end of season two, is beyond the comprehension of a lot of fans. It makes you wonder what programme will be created to take it’s place. I’m not a fan of reality shows and now the ratings of one have practically killed off this beautiful show I fear for the future of dramas. ITV have also recently cancelled their modern day crime drama Whitechapel, leaving the question what will be disappearing from our screens next?