Tag Archives: Ripper Street


Oh dear Lord, if the cancelling of the tremendous and brilliantly written and acted Ripper Street is one sign of the corrupting cynicisms at the BBC, tonight’s Death Comes to Pemberley (pointless conclusion tomorrow) is the final proof. This loosely drawn and badly mocked up take on a future beyond Pride and Prejudice is exactly the corruption of awful commissioning editors and cynical writers, jostling for place and getting together to muse on what will sell. So they mix a take of now ‘popular’ characters, Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet or Mr Whickham and cobble it together with a supposed detective drama, hence the introduction of decent actor Trevor Eave as the sleuth, like Shoestring in a wig.

It is so bad, so boring, so totally unrelated to the depth of Jane Austin’s marvellous characters and deep social understandings too, not only should the great lady be spinning in her grave but the creators should be hobbled together and pelted with copies both of Persuasion and Hercule Poirot. It aches with the tragic infections of Downtown Abbey too in the search for successful Christmas TV and is so full of anachronisms, cheap attempts to be ‘period’ and hollow references to the ‘duty of great ones’ or ‘I will not be constrained by place, Sir’ that all the actors should be shot or moved to an episode of Dr Who. There is no character, certainly any reflection of Austin’s vividly living people, no script and no point. It is empty prejudice that has none of the pride of Ripper Street and it, like its creators, should be garroted at source.

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What misery to be about to write praising the BBC’s brilliantly scripted and superbly acted Ripper Street, only to discover the murderers in BBC management have just axed the damned thing. If we have heard about the Golden Age of television in the US, with series like Homeland and many others, why is it that pathetic Britain always ruins the things it is best at? Ripper Street wins by avoiding creaky clichés like Jack the Ripper and instead goes for something that is rich, complex, historically convincing and socially important too. It has created very original characters and it never shies away from issues from Banking to Homosexual repression. It has been marvellously eccentric with its characters and at times deeply moving.

But just as it is getting better and better, lo and behold some idiot in White City street axes it, in another act of TV Murder. It is because the BBC, suffering from no leadership whatsoever, and after the Jimmy Saville scandals and others, is dominated by cowards and in fighting cynics who can only make their own way and feather their nests by getting rid of some one else’s excellence. There may be hope, with the Guardian announcing five hours ago they may have found a funding partner, but why isn’t the BBC that partner? We should all go down to the BBC building and pull up paving stones, tear back railings to assault the over paid ignoramuses and scrawl THE BBC WILL NOT BE BLAMED FOR NOTHING in dripping blood.


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