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Review of Ripper Street ‘A Man of My Company’

Neela Debnath

ssusan 2 300x245 Review of Ripper Street A Man of My Company

MyAnna Buring as Long Susan in 'Ripper Street' (BBC)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 7 of ‘Ripper Street’

This week was the penultimate episode in the series and saw the Whitechapel trio investigate the murder of an engineer of a ship company but that was only part of the story.

Most importantly, the audience finally learned the truth about Homer Jackson or Matthew Judge and Long Susan. It was a simple love story of a man falling for his boss’s daughter and running away with her. The secret wasn’t as dark and mysterious as it was thought to be. Viewers may have been expecting something quite sinister and a bit grisly – the show is called Ripper Street after all but it was all quite tame.

Instead the shocking moment of the episode came when Hobbs was murdered. He was killed in such a callous way, first paralysed by having his spinal cord cut, then tossed into the Thames to drown. Throughout the series Hobbs has been an endearing character on par with Drake, Jonathan Barnwell has given a wonderful performance as the young officer and it is a pity to lose him.

Hobbs’ eagerness to learn from and please his superiors makes his character so appealing. On top of that he has not yet been tainted by the horrors of Whitechapel. It is all the more tragic because of the potential that he had has now been extinguished. Hobbs would have been part of a new breed of police officer, employing forensics and careful analysis to help him solve cases. He was under Reid’s wing and had learnt so much from the forward-thinking detective. Moreover, he is so likeable that if one of the lead three decided to leave he would have made a welcome addition to the team. For this very reason it seems to me a risky move on the part of the writers, even if it does make for a bold and dramatic twist in the story.

This episode was full of all sorts of twists and turns in the plot, and framing Jackson as the Ripper was one an artful little triumph that is going to carry over into next week. It seems that Long Susan’s father did get the last word after all when it came to his daughter and Jackson. It will be interesting to see how Reid and Drake manage to get Jackson out of this fix.

All in all A Man of My Company leaves the desecrating of history books to one side this week. There were hardly any anachronisms this week to speak of instead it was all about the big secret that viewers have been dying to know since the start. There was much drama and action – particularly the showdown in the middle of the East End – Wild West style. The scene somehow worked, with the dame rushing to her man once the gun slinging ended. It was very much a cowboy cliché and yet it never seems to get old.

For me, the untimely death of Hobbs seems so unjust of the writers and I hope some form of replacement fills this gap. As much as I like Sergeant Artherton, the officer with the big, bushy ginger beard whose seems to only communicate via his eyes, I don’t think he could quite step in should Jackson end up getting hanged. Perhaps they will bring in a plucky, young woman to mix things up? Although how this would work against the backdrop of Victorian England will be interesting to see – then again from what we’ve seen on Ripper Street so far anything is possible.

Next week on Ripper Street… Can the show outdo itself for the finale? Will Jackson swing for a crime he didn’t commit? The Jack the Ripper murder case is reopened. The case that everyone hopes to be explored in the series finally gets an airing.

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  • MoodyKitty

    I spent most of it trying to work out why the men appeared to be wearing very loud golf trousers in Victorian London.

  • twistedrama

    Yes, fantastic trousers; but where can you buy them?

  • LINDA PIPER

    Love this series.Some Victorian fashions were a bit “off”,Being Victorian didn’t mean automatically having good taste.Much the same can be said for fashion today.The actors are superb,both in the depiction of their character and their development of them.I’m intrigued as to where the script writers are going to go next after the next epiisode.Always supposing that their is a next series to write episodes for.Wouldn’t be the first quality drama to mysteriously vanish after one series.On a personal note:- my late Grandmother was born the year before the Ripper murders and only diedin 1993 at 105 years of age.Could be that tis is a goodly part of the reason I find this series intriguing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/theresa.marshall1 Theresa Marshall

    The historical accuracy of this series leaves a lot to be desired, it relies on violence to shock rather than a good story and you can tell it was made to sell to American audiences as it has a Wild West flavour to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adele-Winston/809679055 Adele Winston

    Please get a TV reviewer with some knowledge of TV.

  • vas

    Of course historical accuracy is a lot more important in a drama then plot, originality, character development and dialogue. We should sacrifice all of these things for historical accuracy because firstly it would be so much more entertaining and secondly your average viewer is probably a history professor. Oh…and god forbid the creators try to make the show appealing to a wide audience…..scandalous!!!

  • snotcricket

    Not too sure about that……..the series made it quite plain in the first epsiode the difficulties of the relatively new police forces & their neighbours & how gangs ran whole areas of London & other parts of the UK, the power of the establishment & its abiltiy to influence/close investigations etc…………………Oooer, it hasn’t changed too much has it.

  • june seghni
  • Megan B

    “Hobbs would have been part of a new breed of police officer, employing forensics and careful analysis to help him solve cases. ” And selling stories to the newspapers and fitting people up no doubt.

  • Megan B

    You forget – must be full of Americans so it can be flogged across the Atlantic to make more money to keep pension pots full.


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