Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ripper Street proves yet again that crime pays for free-to-air TV

Myanna Buring (left) with her co-stars Adam Rothenberg, Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Sarah Mulligan.

JULY 27, 2013 8:00PM

IT'S the battle of the period crime dramas tonight as Channel 10 goes toe-to-toe with Nine in the war of the underworld ratings.

From across the pond comes UK series Ripper Street, starring Matthew Macfayden as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, pounding the cobblestones of London in 1889 looking for the crooked and corrupt in a community still jumping at every shadow thanks to the crimes of the infamous Jack the Ripper.

Nine's latest offering in the Underbelly franchise, Underbelly: Squizzy, features Jared Daperis as the nation's first celebrity criminal.

Ripper Street was a massive success in the UK, pulling in seven million viewers, and is well into shooting its second season, while Squizzy is the sixth instalment in an Underbelly franchise, which has been a consistent ratings hit.

The Underbelly franchise may be famed for its darkness, but in terms of pure menace and drama, it's the opening episode of Ripper Street that takes the honours over Squizzy.

MyAnna Buring, who plays brothel madam Long Susan in Ripper Street says it's "a far cry from Downton Abbey", where Australian audiences last saw her as a scheming maid.

"Don't be fooled into thinking it's a period drama - this is a crime show," she warns. "Long Susan scares the hell out of me.

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