The setting of the grimy, gray world of 1889 London, patrolled by a brilliant detective may seem familiar, but BBC America’s new series Ripper Street manages to give fresh life to an old tale. Ripper Street picks up six months after the last (canonical) Jack the Ripper killing, and while the first episode does lean heavily upon the hysteria of the famed murders, it is luckily not the show’s only reason for existing.
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew MacFadyen, playing the real-life detective who was brought in to help the seemingly incompetent police division) is in the tough position of investigating crimes in London’s Whitechapel district (perhaps more familiar to modern audiences as the setting of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film). Whitechapel is a small neighborhood with an incredibly large and impoverished population, and plenty of seedy characters for Reid to go up against. Hit the jump for more on Ripper Street, as well as how the show deals with the infamous killer, and more.