Monday 21 January 2013

Review - Episode 4 - Ripper Street - 'The good of this city'

Hi folks;

As I suggested last week, the series, in my humble opinion, continues to improve, episode by episode, even allowing for a residue of strange language.

This week yet again adds far more to the depth of the characters, and we are now starting to see relationships bloom.

'The good of the City' sees a prominent Industrialist Stanley Bone (Paul McGann) exposed as a good guy on the face of things, but a troubled and manipulated 'Frankenstein'  at heart, 'engineered' in his epileptic treatments by a cold and clinical psychiatrist Dr Karl Crabbe (Anton Lesser).

An imaginative and simple multiple murder scenario, exposed a former 'Toffer' - Lucy Eames (Emma Rigby)  - as a lost and confused epileptic, used and abused in so many ways, and a real 'victim' of 19th century England; the mother of Bone's children, introduced to Bones by their common ailment.

As 'Long Susan' (MyAnna Buring), her former 'Abbess', rescues her from one risk, by stabbing to death a rent collector who has just shot dead Lucy's Mother, she is inadvertently returned to the hands of the scheming Dr Crabbe.

Long Susan is unceremoniously detained by DI Reid (Matthew Macfayden) and her relationship with Captain Jackson (Adam Rosenberg) tested, as Reid dramatically challenges Jackson, pinning him to the wall and making clear his real views, whilst Long Susan is locked in the cells.

The keeper of the Jewish Orphanage, Deborah Gohen (Lucy Gohu) becomes involved, taking in two of Lucy's children, only to be beaten and have them abducted from her. The scene where Reid returns to apologise, subtly gave us a glimpse that Reid clearly has 'feelings' for her, and seemingly the feelings are reciprocal. A plot to watch in the next four episodes, no doubt!

DS Drake (Jerome Flynn) continues to display the hard but slightly insecure or hesitant sidekick.

PC Dick Hobbs (Jonathan Barnwell) continues to emerge as a budding bright cop. I hope he is allowed to grow, and not become a sacrificial lamb, as often happens in an emerging hero.

'Off the wall' Captain Jackson demonstrates his unique scientific genius, swallowing a potion Reid has picked up from Dr Crabbe's institute, before going off on a humourous gun-toting 'trip' and declaring "Its amphetamine!" in a Eureka moment!

The local 'Hack' Best (David Dawson) emerges as a contemptuous but useful ally in the fight against crime in H Division's area, and a subtle shift from intolerable nuisance to tolerable nuisance was nicely developed.

As always, good overcomes evil, and the victims are rescued and their lives bettered; Long Susan gets away with murder - well, manslaughter more probably, putting her on par with both Jackson and Drake; Mrs Gohen gets her feet inside the Reids' front door; it is assumed Dr Crabbe gets his comeuppance and Stanley Bone meets the only form of ironic death that could come from the episode...SHOCKING!

I hear rumours that the BBC may not make a second series after the first eight episodes if opinion is generally bad. 

I hope this is not the case, as a convert!

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