NOTE: What follows is the season two synopsis from the official press pack which I have edited very slightly to avoid a potential spoiler. My sincere thanks to Tiger Aspect Productions for supplying the publicity and promotional materials.
– Damian Michael Barcroft
EAST LONDON 1890. The long shadow of Jack the Ripper may be receding, but the job of preventing Whitechapel from descending into hell has never been harder for Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his loyal deputies Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake and Captain Homer Jackson. As the century enters its final decade, recession stalks Great Britain, its preeminent role in the world is under threat. And nowhere is the bloated British Empire’s problems felt more keenly than in its dark heart: the East End of London.
Against a society in rapid decline, the men of H Division battle new crimes – the wickedness of imperial ambition comes home to roost on Whitechapel’s streets in the form of a new drug scourge; a Eugenicist stalks the freakshows; a female gang with twice the ferocity of their male counterparts sets itself on vengeance against their industrial tormentors; escaped bombers, energy magnates and subversive cult Svengalis. All these and more will test Reid and his allies to their very limit – whilst at every turn they face corruption in their own ranks, from the neighbouring force of Limehouse’s K Division, and its formidable and entirely amoral leader, Detective Inspector Jedediah Shine.
The team face challenges on the home front too. Without his wife, Emily, to anchor him Reid wrestles personal demons of guilt and isolation. Homer Jackson, no longer bound by the need to keep a low profile, questions the suitability of Whitechapel as a place to call home. And Bennet Drake has new commitments which may cause him to lose the brutal intensity that was a hallmark of his policing.
Meanwhile at Tenter Street, ‘Long’ Susan Hart struggles to protect her home and livelihood from the secret debt she owes the ruthless moneylender, Silas Duggan. Whilst Rose Erskine, once Susan’s best girl seeks a new life – and fame – on the stage of the Whitechapel music halls.
The past is gone but our heroes need to find a way to come to terms with a new present in order to combat the ever-shifting menace of life on the Whitechapel frontline.
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