'Ripper Street - Season Three'
(Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg, Amanda Hale, MyAnna Buring, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / BBC Video)
Overview: 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.
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 of the very first season 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 - and has done throughout its three season run thus far. 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 episodes is its own storyline, although characters come and go in-between. Matthew Macfadyen plays Inspector Edmund Reid, the central cop character and one who has suffered great personal loss. From 'Game of Thrones' comes Jerome Flynn as Reid's tough Sargent Drake; a man who has suffered his own personal pang of conscience; more than once.
As pointed out in the introduction, Inspector Edmund Reid (Macfadyen) 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, as always, by the aforementioned Detective Inspector Bennet Drake (Flynn), 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. Indeed, it was a pleasant surprise that 'Ripper Street' actually got this third season; all due to Amazon Prime/UK. It was streamed online first in the UK, then air later on the BBC in Britain and, eventually here on BBC America. Thanks to all who signed the online petitions and kept the good word circulating! 'Ripper Street' deserves a fourth season ... but does that mean another online petition, perhaps?! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.