BBC’s Ripper Street was cancelled after its second season, but now, thanks to an agreement between Amazon and the BBC, the show will be continuing for a third season. The BBC announced it’s return recently, saying that its “critically acclaimed drama series Ripper Street has been commissioned for a third season.” The show was originally cancelled due to poor ratings, but now “Ripper Street will continue to be co-produced by BBC America and in a new landmark deal, Amazon has acquired UK subscription streaming rights.” Amazon has echoed the news, saying that Ripper Street will begin production in May, and will be available to those subscribers to Prime Instant Video — though that will be somewhat later in coming than to those who can watch it on BBC One, reports The Guardian.
The show is set in London in 1889, just after the events of the Jack the Ripper murders. Detective Edmund Reid, Bennet Drake, and Captain Homer Jackson work at the H Division, the precinct in charge of maintaining law and order in the violent and gritty White Chapel District during a dangerous time. “The series is a vivid, sensual, and violent drama that explore the lives of those who have seen the worst of humankind, but who nonetheless struggle each day to bring law to the lawless in the dark heart of London,” says the BBC of the show.
Mathew Macfadyen (Anna Karenina), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), and Adam Rothenberg (Mad Money) all star in the show. At the time of its cancellation, Flynn said of the cast, “We’re all in shock.”
“We’re all in absolute shock, because it’s a wonderful job and we feel like it’s kind of this unfinished work. So we’re hoping it will turn around if anyone from the BBC is listening,” said Flynn, according to Mirror. “There’s these wonderful storylines which Richard (Warlow) and Toby (Finlay), the writers, have marked out and it’s one of the most captivating characters I’ve played and also been part of in terms of the story, so it is suddenly like a marriage being broken.”
At the time, according to Mirror, a BBC spokesperson had said, “We are very proud of Ripper Street, which has enjoyed two highly ambitious series on BBC One. However, the second series didn’t bring the audience we hoped and in order to make room for creative renewal and new ideas it won’t be returning.” Well, luckily for fans, it turns out their room for the show after all. Thanks, Amazon!
As for Amazon’s reasoning behind the move, it’s possible that it is looking to attract an audience to it’s streaming content via international content that might otherwise be difficult for viewers to access. Myanna Buring, the female star of Ripper Street — who plays Long Susan, a Tenter Street brothel resident — said that the deal with Amazon constituted a “first for a British television show,” and that it revealed a “new paradigm” for content in the United Kingdom, according to The Guardian.