Ripper Street to return for second series
Story by Jack Foley
GRITTY Sunday night detective drama Ripper Street has been given a second series.
The BBC has announced that a new set of eight episodes will air in 2014.
Ripper Street‘s first series, which unfolds in London’s East End after the hunt for Jack the Ripper was called off in 1889, has averaged 7.1 million viewers, according to ratings analysis that includes seven-day catch-up viewing.
The show stars former Spooks favourite Matthew Macfadyen as a police inspector investigating a series of grisly crimes. Jerome Flynn co-stars as his sergeant colleague and Adam Rothenberg plays an American surgeon and former Pinkerton detective.
Ironically, the series attracted headlines when the first episode drew more than 90 complaints about insensitive scheduling because of the combination of sex and violence so close to the 9pm watershed.
But critics have praised the show for its authenticity, while viewing figures have held firm and, on some weeks, risen despite strong competition from ITV rival Mr Selfridge.
And its success has spread to BBC America, where it has been the US cable channel’s most successful drama apart from Doctor Who.
Announcing the second series, BBC drama commissioning controller, Ben Stephenson said: “Quality and ambition run through Ripper Street, from Richard Warlow’s original scripts, the incredible cast and the captivating direction.
“All combine to create a period series with a modern and gripping edge that will return for a second series in 2014.”