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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Ripper Street'
(Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg, Amanda Hale, MyAnna Buring, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2013 / BBC Video)

Overview: Haunted by the failure to catch London's most evil killer Jack the Ripper Inspector Edmund Reid 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?

DVD Verdict: Although 'Ripper Street' professes to be a story that follows The Ripper and all that the man put Whitechapel through back in the day, after the very first episode his title-esque phantom leaves us well behind. Because each story that follows barely mentions him, let alone attempts to hunt him down!

But, that's okay as 'Ripper Street' features some incredible, nay spectacular character performances. You really do get invested in the characters beyond them solving their cases. The world built for them to "play in" is tremendous to behold, although I can't speak as to its historical accuracy, of course!

Highly entertaining and yet surprisingly dark for the most part, each of the eight episodes is its own storyline, although characters come and go inbetween. Matthew Macfadyen plays Inspector Edmund Reid, the central cop character and one who has suffered great personal lose. From 'Game of Thrones' comes Jerome Flynn as Reid's tough Sargent Drake; a man who has his own personal pang of conscience come the sixth episode.

A troubled American doctor (Adam Eothenberg), fleeing from a dark past in the United States, serves as the Inspector's medical examiner. A man fond of his drinks, drugs and whores, he actually resides in a whorehouse! Anyway, the cast, scenery, clothing and darkness of the series make it resemble 'Copper,' and much like that TV show this one isn't a series for the faint of heart. Indeed, there are things that will really make you uncomfortable as you watch. That said, come the last epsiode, the series is wrapped nicely, but allows for a second series to pop up soon - which, I think, is something that we all want. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the special features of:

Jack the Ripper: Prime Suspect - Can modern forensic science finaly solve the case of Jack the Ripper?
London Calling: Whitechapel - Tour of modern Whitechapel, the setting of Ripper Street
Three Inside Looks - from the cast and production tea,Mbr> Character Profiles