Former detective Edmund Reid stalks the sewers of London raising his drawn and hollowed face to the shadows of the drain bars, peeking up into the cold white light of a Victorian sun in search of the cannibalistic serial killer who murdered his friend and colleague Bennet Drake.

Sounds exciting! And would be. If I knew what was going on…

The sheer amount and magnitude of occurrences to have taken place in Ripper Street’s police offices in Whitechapel has left me completely and utterly lost as to what’s going on in the story of Edmund Reid and his comrades, alcoholic army surgeon Homer Jackson, brothel proprietor Susan Hart, and actress Rose Erskine.

There’s been sackings, hiring’s, staff restructures, and a fire! The place was burnt to the ground! At the end of one of the series. Was it the fourth? Or the third… Anyway. It doesn’t matter. It’s still there. And there you go! Exactly the right expression to sum up Ripper Street.

It – doesn’t – matter.

It doesn’t matter. It would matter to me. An atmospheric criminal detective thriller set in the murky streets of Victorian England. But with so many colossal twists and turns the humble viewer becomes immune to them. Like the body building up a tolerance to something. Alcohol, drugs, pop music. We have that first rush of adrenaline hearing Gary Barlowe’s dulcet tones, then, after the second and third song, the insatiable vacuum that is our mortal coils just goes ‘meh. Want something else.’

This is what has happened with Ripper Street. Partly because of all the changes. Partly because they don’t close the series off great. Series four was left on a cliff hanger that went straight into series five. But between series four and five is about eight months… Eight months! I can’t remember things after eight minutes. Does the scriptwriters at the BBC think I watch the last episode of Ripper Street then turn my TV off and sit in my room for eight months waiting for the next series to begin? Anyway. It doesn’t matter…. Here’s my attempt at a catch up.

Drake was murdered by a cannibal who tore his throat out with his teeth at the end of last series and died in the arms of his friend and former boss Edmund Reid. Drake was important because he was the current former police chief when Reid retired, or was suspended, or left, I don’t know… Anyway. It doesn’t matter. What matters is now Reid and his colleagues have returned to London as outlaws, because Reid did something, and Jackson did something, and Hart’s a brothel owner, which I think was illegal back then, but it might not be, but anyway, it doesn’t matter… They’re running around London as outlaws chasing the villain whilst being chased by the villain! The notorious Jedidiah Shine! Who is now the chief of H division! Which, I don’t know how that’s happened… Anyway. It doesn’t matter…

The show looks good, and if you don’t have Sky or Netflix, or a videotape player, your only other choices on a Monday night at 9pm are to watch Fearless on stupidtv. Sorry! ITV. 24 Hours In Police Custody, or Supermarket Secrets…

The choice is yours.

By Harry Jamshidian

Daydreaming scriptwriter and part-time reviewer living in Kingston.