Wednesday, 23 October 2013 16:56
In the opening moments of ‘Pure As The Driven’, a policeman is hurled through the first floor window of an East London building and impaled on the iron railings below, and - BAM! - just like that we’re back in the grimy, gritty, glorious action of BBC One’s Victorian crime drama Ripper Street. Meaning, in other words, that it’s time to reach for the smelling salts.
Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) and his cronies Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) and Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) are soon on the case of the impaled bobby, and before long they find themselves in the heart of London’s Chinatown, in search of mysterious beauty Blush Pang. Before the hour is out there has been the discovery of lies, corruption, murder, and a dangerous new drug that looks set to flood London. Oh, and the Elephant Man has popped up for good measure as well.
Not quite as rigorously compelling or charmingly over-the-top as the best episodes of Series 1, ‘Pure As The Driven’ is nonetheless a strong opener, giving us plenty of fun with the Story of the Week and establishing solid series-long strands.
Despite the rough and tumble approach, there’s a wit and elegance to proceedings. The costumes and sets are brilliant, as is the period dialogue and thrillingly vivid slang. And there’s also the sense that this is a show that wants to give us a bit of everything.
READ MORE HERE: http://www.cultbox.co.uk/reviews/episodes/8240-ripper-street-series-2-episode-1-review