Ripper Street, Closed Casket. Television Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Cast: Matthew Macfadyen, Adam Rothenberg, MyAnna Buring, Killian Scott, Matthew Lewis, Benjamin O’Mahony, Jonas Armstrong, Joseph Mawle, Mimmi Morton, Anna Burnett, Kahl Murphy, Kye Murphy, Ian Pirie.

There is always the feeling of definitive and upturned world when it is the detective who finds themselves on the run, the officer who has upheld the law in the best way possible for the town and times he lives in, suddenly thrust into the world of dark, of the ignoble and the fear of being hunted. All those times they have chased down a criminal and won, now in the heat of moral decay, counting for nothing as other officers with grudges and jealousy of success running hot through their veins, close in on their quarry.

The sensation that overwhelms the reader or viewer in these circumstances is one of injustice, yet as the opening episode of the fifth series of the phenomenally intriguing Ripper Street shows, injustice can be hemmed in, it can be seen as the unravelling of law and order throughout and as Closed Casket is a metaphor for the trust in those we consent to police us being turned into anarchy and vendetta.

The trouble with the series, is one of timing, for such a hugely popular show on the B.B.C., to have allowed it to fall into the hands of people such as Netflix and Amazon is beyond disgraceful, yes they paid to keep it going beyond what the management at the Corporation saw viable but to then allow it to take time to come to terrestrial television, to the five main channels, is one that might see viewers unresponsive to its return; you cannot expect the general public to care about a programme when the host of the show does not seem to care either.

For all that Closed Casket is a great return and in one final series of the Victorian police drama, it already has all the hall marks of being one without equal. With the death of Jerome Flynn’s Detective Inspector Bennet Drake already hindering the much loved team, and the murderous tendencies of Jonas Armstrong’s Nathanial still haunting the Jewish quarter of the East End, it would seem that Detective Inspector Reid’s life is already under serious threat, to compound that with the return of Inspector Jedidiah Shine, played with great intensity by Joseph Mawle and the continuing political games of Augustus Dove, a man with many secrets, time for vendettas and revenge will no doubt intensify and spill over onto the streets of London.

A great return for such a respected series, however one tinged with the sense of money once again talking more than art is allowed to breathe as the programme has been too long allowed to skulk in the shadows.

Ian D. Hall