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Ripper Street is a BBC TV series set in Whitechapel in London's East End in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg. The first episode was broadcast on 30 December 2012 as part of BBC One's Christmas 2012 package. It began airing in the U.S. on BBC America on 19 January 2013. It was confirmed on 29 January 2013 that Ripper Street will return for a second 8-part series to be aired in early 2014.


A joint BBC and BBC America production written by Richard Warlow, Julie Rutterford, Declan Croghan and Toby Finlay and directed by Andy Wilson (4 episodes) Colm McCarthy (2 episodes) and Tom Shankland (2 episodes). The series includes scenes of the seedier side of life during the late Victorian era, including bare-knuckle boxing, early pornography and prostitution.

Director Tom Shankland said of the series, "Whitechapel's not an area that was short of vicious murders and any woman found murdered with a knife in the consequent months was held up as a Ripper murder... So we’ll touch on Ripper in that way but not dig anybody up or change the canonical five... All the period depictions I’d seen of that particular crime story had almost been a bit too well behaved in a slightly slower way and shots have to be a bit wider to show off the nice furniture, but if you can think of something awful, it was happening [in Victorian London].


The story begins in April 1889, six months since the last Jack the Ripper killing, and in Whitechapel H Division is responsible for policing one and a quarter square miles of East London: a district with a population of 67,000 poor and dispossessed. The men of H Division had hunted the Ripper and failed to find him. When more women are murdered on the streets of Whitechapel, the police begin to wonder if the killer has returned.

Among the factories, rookeries, chop shops, brothels and pubs, Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake team with US Army surgeon and former Pinkerton agent Captain Homer Jackson to investigate the killings.

They frequently cross paths with Tenter Street brothel madam Long Susan, who came to London with Jackson from America and lets him reside at the brothel. Their relationship becomes strained due to Jackson's attraction to one of her most profitable girls, Rose Erskine, and because of his close involvement with H Division and Reid.

Sensationalist newspaperman Fred Best knows a dark secret about Reid's daughter's death. Although still being troubled by her daughter's death, Emily Reid determines to make a new life by helping the fallen women of Whitechapel despite her husband's reservations.

Each episode features stand-alone crimes that serve to test Reid, Drake and Jackson, both in their working and private lives.

Slang Used In Various EpisodesEdit

  • Cracksman - A burgler, a safecracker.
  • Crusher - Policeman.
  • Lurk - Place of concealment.
  • Molly house – homosexual, specifically transvestite, brothel.
  • Nipper - Young child.
  • Pig - Policeman, usually a detective.
  • Rookery - Slum or ghetto.
  • Scratch - Line drawn in the ground where boxers stand at the beginning of a round.
  • Snide - Counterfeit money.
  • Thomas - Prostitute's client.
  • Toff - well-dressed or upper-class person, generally male.
  • Toffer - High class prostitute.


A region 2 (Europe), 3-disc set and 3-disc Blu-ray set will be issued on 18 March 2013. The same DVDs in region 1 (U.S. and Canada) will be released on 12 March 2013.