There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the BBC, in its infinite wisdom, decided to axe Victoria-era crime drama, Ripper Street, even though it had been scheduled poorly and suffered a slight dip in ratings. It was still a solid draw and it had obviously accrued a loyal fan base, so it was a huge surprise when the Beeb decided to let it go. But wait! Never cross a Victoria-era crime drama fan, as has now been proved: Ripper Street is coming back!
The show – starring Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg – just got better and better during series two and it really felt it was hitting its stride. Plotting was better, pace and narrative were better, even the acting was better. So to have it wrenched away was a shame, but as soon as it was a very vocal fan base started to kick up a stink. Petitions were created and anger was vented across social media. Almost immediately a rumour started to circulate – that LOVEFiLM was to revive it as an internet-only series.
This made total sense. Just under four million viewers might not be enough for the Beeb, but for any broadcaster that could afford to make the show, especially an internet portal like LOVEFiLM, this would be a potentially huge subscription driver.
And today the rumour has become fact. The BBC has announced that it has struck a co-pro deal with LOVEFiLM, now called Amazon Prime Instant Video, to bring back the show for a third series. According to Digital Spy, It will appear on the internet portal a ‘few months’ before the BBC broadcasts it.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to bring back Ripper Street for a third series by working with the right partners. This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee payer, ensuring that the BBC can also commission an entirely new, yet to be announced drama series,” says the BBC’s drama big cheese Ben Stephenson.
The new series will start filming in May and Amazon Prime will also show the first two series on its service.