Since June 2012, long before the first episode had even aired, I have been championing Ripper Street as an inventive, stylish and highly original British drama. How did I know it would be such a success and that I would love it so much? Well, to start with, given my interest in Detective Fiction and all things Victorian, it was right up my street and also the fact that so much talent was involved – everyone from the writers and directors to the stunning ensemble cast – I knew it would be one to watch. Indeed, every episode has exceeded my wildest expectations and it seems my faith in the show was well rewarded.
It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to interview and get to know so many of the Ripper Street family over the last year or so and I’m very proud to call many of them friends. Sadly however, our journey now seems to be at an end. So, for the very last time, please allow me to be your guide through the dark and bloody Ripper Street…
Damian Michael Barcroft
By Damian Michael Barcroft
Featuring exclusive contributions from the cast/crew of “Ripper Street”
Original art by Veronika Arisu Kuncová
WHITECHAPEL ~ CHRISTMAS EVE
PC Dick Hobbs
PC DICK HOBBS: Errrr, Excuse me, can I help you?
DAMIAN: Sorry, I was just having one last look around – one final trip down memory lane… Hobbs? PC Dick Hobbs…
HOBBS: Yeah, that’s me. Well remembered…
DAMIAN: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Whitechapel so quiet. So, they’re all gone now, nothing but memories and – you…
HOBBS: Where else is there for me to go? I couldn’t just leave the place abandoned, someone has to watch over Whitechapel.
DAMIAN: Does anyone know what happened to them all?
HOBBS: Erm, well, I know Mr. Reid settled down somewhere nice, Hampton-on-Sea if I remember correctly. And… err.. Bennett, he did something similar I think… and then Jackson… Well, God only knows what he’s up to…
DAMIAN: You know something Hobbs, it was never quite the same without you. We all missed you.
HOBBS: Well that’s very kind of you to say so. I loved every minute of it until my last breath. I just wish I could see Reid, Drake and Jackson again. Miss those guys a lot.
DAMIAN: We all do Hobbs. Well, I’d better be off, should be meeting some old friends at The Brown Bear later this evening. You’ll be staying here then?
HOBBS: Standing guard until they return, if they ever do return! – Whitechapel needs its H Division.
DAMIAN: Indeed it does. Well, Merry Christmas Hobbs.
HOBBS: Thanks mate. You too.
Sir Arthur Donaldson
DAMIAN: Good evening to you sir.
SIR ARTHUR DONALDSON: It will improve as darkness takes hold…
DAMIAN: I suppose if you had to spend eternity haunting somewhere, Tenter Street would be the place for you!
DONALDSON: It certainly has its attractions.
DAMIAN: You know, you were the first Ripper Street interview I ever did – seems like a long time ago now…
DONALDSON: Yes, I seem to recall that it brought about feelings of pleasure. I usually have to work far harder to achieve those sensations…
DAMIAN: Well, I just wanted to say thank you. Our interview gave me the confidence to pursue all the others that followed.
DONALDSON: I blush.
DAMIAN: Well sir, Merry Christmas.
DONALDSON: Same to you Damian. And I think I can speak for all the cast when I say your contribution to keeping Ripper Street in the social media spotlight has been absolutely outstanding. Personally, it was a genuine honour to play the villain in that all-important debut episode (as well as something of a pressure!) and this will remain a credit to be hugely proud of in the years to come.
The Brown Bear…
DAMIAN: Miss Cobden! Thanks for coming. Please sit down, will you join me for a drink?
JANE COBDEN: Certainly will sir…oh look sawdust on the floor, how quaint! Where is everybody?
DAMIAN: Well, I invited everyone but it looks like this is it – just you and me!
JANE: Nevermind. The ole Christmas do is a funny thing at the best of times, but round here you never know what they all get up to.
DAMIAN: So, are you all ready for Christmas?
JANE: Ah yes. Me and the great unwashed of Whitechapel have been planning a lovely day. What have you been up to?
DAMIAN: Just revisiting old haunts. Remembering ghosts from the past…
JANE: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne…
DAMIAN: Indeed, let’s drink to old friends.
JANE: Don’t go all sentimental on me will you? – I’m all for flouting gender stereotypes and all that, but I can’t be doing with a grown man weeping into his sherry.
DAMIAN: Quite right. Well, Merry Christmas Miss Cobden, and whatever the future might hold for Whitechapel, a very happy new year!
JANE: And to you… oh, and do cheer up old boy. It’s not like it’s the last time we’ll all be together…is it? Hey, look! – the rest of the gang are arriving…
My thanks to:
Jonathan Barnwell as PC Dick Hobbs
Mark Dexter as Sir Arthur Donaldson
Leanne Best as Jane Cobden
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the cast and crew of Ripper Street…
What can I say? Ripper Street was one of the greatest experiences of my professional life. The production was superb in every way, my part of Mr. Goodnight was delicious, the cast and crew were brilliant. I shall never forget my time in Dublin. Such a shame the show was cancelled. It deserved a better fate than one of its victims.
– Edoardo Ballerini (Frank Goodnight, Series 1: A Man of My Company/What Use Our Work?)
“Ripper Street was my first job, straight out of drama school… so I had never experienced any of it before. To be honest, it was an absolute dream, it really was. I will never forget Matthew, Jerome and Adam, they really looked after me – they looked after everyone, they had an energy about them which was infectious. They were just a joy to be around – and so were MyAnna and Charlene. But the show just would not work without the incredible crew.
RIP PC Dick Hobbs
I will always be really proud that I was a part of such a brilliant show, it was the perfect start for me – and I have Kate Rhodes James to thank for that.”
Jonathan Barnwell (PC Dick Hobbs, Series 1)
“It has been a wonderful journey working with the great writing team, cast and crew on Ripper Street. Myself and my team have thoroughly enjoyed adding our stamp and making Dublin appear as 1889/90 London.
Personally working with directors like Andy, Kieron, Colm, Tom & Chris has been my highlight. Each very talented, bringing their own stamp and style to the show. I look forward to seeing them on set in the near future.
It is always a joy to have a mandate for the highest quality asked of all departments by Stephen Smallwood and Tiger Aspect. Each team brought their A game to this show.
VFX got to work closely with the remarkable Mark Geraghty helping extend his beautiful sets into wider vistas. There was a great balance between practical and visual effects.
It was also a great pleasure to collaborate with Prosthetics and Makeup, especially working with Waldo Mason on Se02ep03’s Phossy Jaw design.
As a team we’ve made something we’re all very proud of. I look forward to working again with the same cast and crew, whether it be Ripper Street or something completely different.
I tip my hat to Tiger Aspect, Stephen Smallwood, the wonderful writers, cast and crew of Ripper Street.”
– Ed Bruce (Visual Effects Supervisor, Series 1 & 2)
“Being part of the Ripper Street family and getting to play Long Susan for the last two years has been so much fun… Richard Warlow, and subsequently Toby Finlay, and our other writers created such a rich world for all of us to work in and inhabit – and everyone threw themselves into it – from sound, set design, props department, directors, casting, costumes, hair, makeup, camera, lights, cast, production, crew… It was a privilege to work with such talent and dedication… The audience response has been tremendously heart warming this year particularly and I tip Long Susan’s feathered hat in thanks to all for this support…”
– MyAnna Buring (Long Susan, Series 1 & 2)
Jamie Crichton – Writer
“Ripper Street is a show that exemplifies television at its best: it entertains whilst simultaneously informing. Where else can one interweave stories about the genesis of physical force Irish Republicanism and the War of Currents into the same episode? The London matchgirls strike, the telegraph boys, religious cults, heroin, the Elephant Man – just a few examples of the diverse worlds we learned about during the course of the series, each integrated seamlessly into compelling crime stories. These are narratives rich with history, and it will be sorely missed by those who appreciate finely crafted drama.”
– Jamie Crichton (Writer, Series 2: Dynamite and a Woman)
Simon Dennis – Director of Photography
“Having worked on Ripper Street and first hand witnessing the amazing inventive scripts, the incredibly authentic & extremely well crafted sets & props, the faultless & exquisite costumes, the intuitive & correct choice of directors, the wonderful hard working proud crew & technicians and of course the top draw first rate talent of the key cast and surrounding characters it baffles me that such a ‘respected & followed’ show has been cancelled! For me as a creative element it was a privilege to work on this exciting show that has everything TV lacks in our country – Solid, compelling well executed drama! BBC don’t know a good thing when they make it.”
– Simon Dennis (Director of Photography, Series 2)
Photo: Simon Dennis
Photo: Simon Dennis
Photo: Simon Dennis
“I cannot praise highly enough the talent, in every department, that goes into making Ripper Street the fantastic show that it is. I was privileged enough to spend 3 weeks working with the team on the final two episodes, and the professionalism & creativity combined with a sense of fun made it a fantastic experience. The scripts, cast, and production values make it a truly unique show, the likes of which our general TV scheduling sorely lacks. I’m astounded that this is the end of the road for a show that has such a huge following/fan-base, and some of the best ratings around – but nevertheless I’m grateful to have been even a part of it. The BBC will rue the day they let this one go!”
– Craige Els (Botha Brother, Series 2: Our Betrayal Parts 1 & 2)
Photo: Garret Farrell
“To be part of the team that brought such a wonderfully gritty and real depth to the Victorian city of London and in particular, Whitechapel was a real honour and privilege.
The show with its colourful characters and language really connected with people and it was only through both the fantastic cast and crew’s commitment to bringing really verisimilitude to the screen that this was possible.
From gruesome murders to hilarious one liners it had everything and will be looked back upon by both the audience and anyone who had a part in bringing it to life with the fondest of memories.
For my part, every day brought new challenges and opportunities to breath life into the murky underbelly of London through the soundscape and it’s a great feeling when you see it all come together in such a believable and sometimes terrifying fashion!
From the Brothels and Gaming houses of Tenter Street to the Jail cells of Leman street I for one will miss the Journeys we took through Whitechapel.
Farewell Ripper Street.
– Garret Farrell (Re-recording mixer, Series 2)
“As I write this, we remain dead. If there exists a reprieve, some last minute vaulting heroism from the wings before the curtain drops, it has yet to stride brightly forth. On Monday night the final show of the second series will air, and we have to assume this is last orders, final call, the end of the end.
But what a blast it was while it lasted. What a privilege to write for such a cast, who would push themselves so hard and so deep in their performances. What a pleasure to have a production team who would tirelessly render my most outlandish locations and theatrics real in every sordid detail. But more than any of that: what an unparalleled, astonishing, bittersweet joy to feel the eruption of anger and disbelief from fans of Ripper Street at its cancelling. We tried to make the best show we could, the show we wanted to watch; and it’s a happy thing, even at this disappointing time, to know that so many people connected with that.
Thanks for coming along on the ride with us.”
– Toby Finlay (Writer, Series 1 & 2)
Photo: Steven Hall
Photo: Steven Hall
“I got a call in January 2012 to go to Dublin and work on a new TV Drama called Ripper Street. As is common with TV Drama series, they were spending a lot of money on the first 2 episodes so decided to add a 2nd Unit DOP and an additional Camera Operator on episodes 1&2. I thought the cast were excellent, I’d worked with Jerome Flynn years ago on Soldier Soldier and I knew Matthew MacFadyen from my time on Spooks and Ashes to Ashes (he’s in a couple of episodes and his wife, Keeley Hawes, was the central character). As with all TV Drama’s the schedule on Ripper Street was pretty crazy, but being based in Dublin for 2 months was great fun and very enjoyable. I thought Dublin doubled for 19th century East London very well, but to be honest the choice of location was more to do with Irish tax breaks than available and accessible Victorian architecture. The central set was built in a disused barracks near Kilmainham Jail – which was also used as a location, and we also shot at Dublin Castle and the old Poolbeg power station. As a viewer, I thought Ripper Street was very good and certainly delivered in a visual sense. Mark Geraghty’s Production Design was a ‘triumph’ as the critics would say and with some simple but effective CG set extensions the tight budget goes a long way.”
– Steven Hall (Director of Photography, Series 1: I Need Light/In My Protection)
Kieron Hawkes – Director
“Whenever I hear people say things like this I think it’s bullshit, but I honestly really did love working on Ripper Street. The crew are incredible; every department was razor sharp both artistically and technically. It would genuinely be impossible to make a show of this scale and size, in the time, without an amazing crew that work together like a well-tuned machine. The cast were nothing but a joy to direct. The atmosphere on set, because of them, felt open and creative. It’s tough going into an established, successful show, and more so as a relative newcomer, but I was made to feel welcome and part of that creative process from day one. It seems bonkers to me to cancel the show at this point, as well as sad. Having been part of the show, and based on my witnessing of the enthusiasm, creativity and brilliance of the production side of the project, I can guarantee the best of the show was yet to come, but certainly on it’s way. Ta.”
– Kieron Hawkes (Director, Series 2: Threads of Silk and Gold/A Stronger Loving World)
Photo: David Hobbs (see his youtube link below for more pictures)
“On the Set of Ripper Street 2, on the final days filming with the lead actors Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg, Roger Yuan & Damien Molony with David Hobbs & Barbara Gergely from Mr Hobbs Coffee. Also thanks to Mark Noonan/Production for contacting me, as first point of call.
The Photos were taken in Clancy Barracks in Dublin on the Friday 30th August 2013 .
I was hired by the Main actors, to offer a Mobile Coffee /Traditional Barista Service to all the Actors and Crew / Extras as a way of saying thankyou, to everyone for their hardwork and support while filming in Dublin. Matthew Macfadyen came to me early on to check everything was ready and was really happy, and agreed to pose for some nice photos with me and Barbara.
I would just like to wish all the Actors & Production Crew all the best, and I hope there will be a Ripper Street 3, as the Series has been a breath of fresh air, in terms of Real Quality Drama, and the standard of acting has been excellent and original, the special effects and action scenes, really cool, and when I met Jerome Flynn he, looked like he had been training with Mike Tyson with the make up he had on.
I applaud the BBC for producing this series.”
– David Hobbs (Owner of Mr Hobbs Coffee)
“Working on Ripper Street has been the highlight of my summers. Both seasons were just as amazing to be a part of as each other and I would do anything to go back and do it again. The cast and crew were simply amazing to work with and I wish them the best of luck in the future.”
– Rebecca Hughes (Supporting artist, Series 1 & 2)
“What can I say about what has happened except “craziness”. It’s the only word that makes any sense of it. Ripper Street was an amazing place to work, unbelievable crew and an amazing cast. It never felt like going to work, there was just so much fun on set. Well done to everyone involved and hopefully we will see it back soon.
I will leave everyone with just the words “WHALE OIL”. Hopefully Jerome will read this and get a chuckle from it : ) Joe”
– Joseph Kirwan (Set Medic)
Aaron Ly with Kunjue Li
“Working on Ripper Street was such an honour for me. What an amazing cast and crew. Not to forget the amazing stunt team who worked with me on episode one.”
– Aaron Ly (Wong King Fai, Series 2: Pure as the Driven)
“Getting cast in Ripper Street was my first role and so it will always be very special to me. However, it’s only now I think I’m truly beginning to appreciate how incredibly lucky I am to have worked on such an accomplished, entertaining show, teeming with such a talented group of actors, writers and directors. Despite having a small role, I was overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of spirit surrounding the whole production and not only did I learn so much from both cast and crew, I also had loads of fun. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that they all just happen to be incredibly sexy.
Really and truly though, thank you one and all, always.
– Hannah Mamalis (Ettie, Series 2: Become Man)
Photo: Waldo Mason
“I’d just like to say what a pleasure it’s been to work on both series. Everyone has been fantastic to work with, at every level, and I will miss the experience very much. Thanks especially to Cait for getting me on board and Sharon & team for their fantastic collaboration.
– Waldo Mason (Special Make-up effects, Series 1 & 2)
Ripper Street. A world unlike anything else on British Television. By turns it has been: gloriously violent, beautifully grimy and then surprisingly tender amidst all this. It wears it’s genre stripes with pride, but is centred (like all great television) around compelling characters.
It shows a world that we think we know (the East End of the Ripper) and every week casts it in a new and fascinating light, always developing and growing the landscape; mythic and boldly stylish in how it achieves this.
I loved directing the two episodes I worked on because I knew all the time: I would watch this and I would love this. I got to work with incredible people and collaborate in the making of something to be proud of.
The tenacity of all those involved in managing to make something this proudly distinctive in a grey landscape, where so much is insipid and dull, is truly heartening. It shows that British TV still has balls.
It is particularly pleasing to see the reaction to the decision to axe the show. But who could have thought it would go down without a fight? They want to behead Ripper Street? I hope they like bloody spittle in their eye.
– Colm McCarthy (Director, Series 1: The Weight of One Man’s Heart/Tournament of Shadows)
“I guess it’s just unbelievable that our journey was so ruthlessly cut short when we were just in the middle of telling our story. That said I’ve had such a ball on this show and will miss my Ripper family more than I can say. Rose was SO much fun to play a wonderful fire ball of contradiction and heart. The cast and crew are diamonds every one and I know they’ll go on to create more genius in the future. x”
– Charlene McKenna (Rose Erskine, Series 1 & 2)
“As an actress who’d just graduated from film school here in Dublin, the chance to be even just a small part of a prime-time BBC drama was such a blessing… and I was even luckier in the fact that it was the beautifully made Ripper Street! (My scene was filmed on the very last day of Series 2, so yes, very lucky indeed!) Its opened many doors for me professionally, and I’ve proudly told all my family, friends, and peers all about the show and my brief-but-fabulous time on set… I mean, how many peeps get to go to work and run about in a 100-year-old skirt and a legit corset (which the lovely costume ladies informed me works like jeans; tight at first but they adjust to your bodyheat)!?
On set, and at the wrap party, I got to meet most of the talented cast and crew, and throughout, there was one very common thread linking all the chatter; everybody was not only incredibly proud of the show, but they all spoke sincerely of how fortunate they felt getting to work on such a fab, friendly, warm and professional set! And I really couldn’t have asked for a better start in the industry. *Thank you* so very very much to all who made my experience possible and so memorable, I truly hope season 3 happens in the new year!
And on a final note, since filming, I travelled to London and walked through Whitechapel on a Jack the Ripper tour… and I discovered that ol’ Jack very possibly murdered one of my ancestors, Rose Mylett! So I certainly felt a much deeper connection to my character of ‘Agatha’ (one of Miss Susan’s ‘Tenter Street’ gewls) and the women portrayed on the show.”
– Sheila Moylette (Agatha, Series 2: Become Man)
Lorna Marie Mugan
“Ripper Street has been such a creatively stimulating show to work on. It has been a real privilege to work with the talented ensemble of cast , writers, directors and the various creative teams in camera, art, makeup/hair and wardrobe. There was a great sense of commitment to excellence right across the production from the beginning . This blossomed and grew, delivering a compelling second series and opening new paths and possibilities for the characters . There are many great stories yet to be told.”
– Lorna Marie Mugan (Costume designer, Series 1 & 2)
“I had a ball working episode 6, the cast and crew were wonderful and so professional, I feel it is a great privilege to have worked on such a classy well made drama! As a fan of the show I think it’s such a shame that it has been cancelled”.
– Chris Patrick-Simpson (Samuel Gaddis, Series 2: A Stronger Loving World)
Amber Jean Rowan – Ida
“I loved working on Ripper Street it was such a lovely experience, the cast and crew were very sweet and such fun. Ripper Street has opened lots of doors for me so I am very grateful for being a part of it 🙂
I love the show!!
You’re all legends!
– Amber Jean Rowan (Ida, Series 2: Become Man)
Gillian Saker and Jerome Flynn
“Ripper Street was my first ever professional job. I couldn’t have possibly had a more wonderful introduction to the industry; the cast and crew are kind and nurturing and there was a genuine and contagious excitement that could only come from working on something that everyone loves and cares about deeply. Truly, truly grateful. Big love to all!”
– Gillian Saker (Bella, Series 1 & 2)
“Ripper Street is an all round cracker of a show. It has characters to fall in love with and storylines that keep you waiting with bated breath for the next episode. Being a part of Ripper was a blessing and it couldn’t have been more enjoyable.”
– Elva Trill (Stella Brooks, Series 2: Am I Not Monstrous?)
“For the Irish cast & crew, Ripper Street has been a source of both joy & pride. A wonderful working atmosphere, convivial yet diligent. And the immense satisfaction at seeing the end-product which can hold its head high with the best TV drama in the world. Acting, direction, design but above all writing of a superior calibre. If it does go, as we say in Irish Ní bheidh a letheid ann arís – Its like will not be there again!”
– Jonathan White (Madam, Series 1: The King Came Calling)
Goodnight Whitechapel and a very Merry Christmas!
~ Damian Michael Barcroft ~
Edmund Reid and friend