Finally had the time to catch up with Ripper Street season three, resurrected from the BBC’s brutal, precipitous axe by Amazon.
And I am very pleased so far!
I was worried that the move from the Beeb to Amazon would perforce obligate budgetary constraints, that the Whitechapel they had painstakingly created in the first two series would be shrunk to a few passing shots and polygonally-challenged CGI.
It’s all there. The costumes, the sets, the outdoor scenes. All of them are as they were before. So, I’m guessing that they did not lose any of the existing talent in the transfer. The cinematography is still sumptuous and it frames each wonderful actor perfectly.
I can’t help but feel that people at the Beeb must be watching S3 and kicking themselves. There is a charm in having a detective series set in this time. No mobile phones, no googling, no CCTV-ex-machina. All this leaves more room for the actors to explore their characters. Contrarily, I would love to see a future detective yarn in which our brains are squished by heady VR, AR and other tech which is in our infancy now.
Beyond that, I have a warm, fuzzy happiness from seeing these actors together again, sparring and sparking. This is such wonderful work that deserves every recognition. The new curveball of Obsidian Estates, the ponderings on anarchy, the state, the police are simultaneously historical, contemporary and apposite. Most importantly, although it concerns itself with the broader questions of society, RS does not succumb to ISSUE OF THE WEEK-itis that is the pitfall of many modern dramas.
So, if you were chary about Ripper Street on Amazon, please do dip your toe in the river. It has changed but it is the same.