After its uncertain future following season two, the Victorian crime drama will be returning for a third season. But this time with more blood, violence and Cockney accents than an Eastenders Christmas special.
When the BBC cancelled Ripper Street, the show’s global fanbase were vocal in their outrage. Shortly afterwards, Amazon Prime came to the rescue by providing a new home for its third season. What’s great about this is that more than just providing a green light for it’s production, the lack of watershed and network restrictions appear to have given the show’s creators more freedom, as the new season offers even more special effects and bloody carnage than ever before.
The first episode, “Whitechapel Terminus”, sees the cast reunited four years later, and their lives have drastically changed. This leaves the episode struggling slightly, as it tries to build a bridge between seasons two and three, and at times there is slightly too much exposition rather than simply jumping into the story. The first 15 minutes of the show have a very pensive tone, but it’s worth staying tuned for the explosive event that brings all the characters back together again, forcing them to live and work alongside each other despite the clear tension.
Having reintroduced each character and firmly established their new lives, episode two, “The Beating of Her Wings”, appears to be the beginning of the overall story arc within season three, which will once again surround Reid’s personal life, with an old storyline re-surfacing. Matthew Macfadyen’s and Jerome Flynn’s sincere performances are what really carry this episode along, as the pair are reunited on a murder case. With Jackson called in too, it often feels like old times between the trio, particularly with Jackson’s one liners scattered gingerly throughout. It’s fair to say that the writers haven’t lost their skill for dark, witty humour.
Despite season two’s rather ambiguous ending, it seems the show won’t be tying up old ends, which is great as it allows for full focus on the new lives the writers have created. Although, what is certain is that with Joseph Mawle not featuring at all in season three, that the Jedediah Shine story is dead and buried. Or at least for now.
The biggest clue for future storylines was given at the end of season two, when Long Susan freed herself from the restraints of Silas Duggan. After orchestrating his death, with the help of Jackson, the most important information garnered was that she inherited his vast fortune and extensive property portfolio. Long Susan has always been an interesting character, struggling to remain independent despite the pressures of being a woman within the Victorian era. This season sees her character developing more than ever before, as she is given the power and opportunity to really make a change within London’s East End.
Everything about the show, from the acting, to the storylines, and the outstanding production design, keeps Ripper Street firmly grounded as a quality crime drama, that provides a much needed niche among the innumerable cop dramas.
Amazon Prime may have brought Ripper Street back for another season, but it’s the stellar performances and the reliable writing that will keep the fans coming back for more.
Season three of Ripper Street will be available for Amazon Prime Instant Video members at 9pm on Friday 14th November