Today is not just a great day for fans of Ripper Street but for the cast itself – and especially MyAnna Buring who has remained involved in the online campaign to revive the period crime drama, which was axed by the BBC in December.
Known for playing Long Susan opposite Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg, the 34-year-old Swedish actress was instrumental in encouraging fans to petition in favour of the show returning. This morning brought their reward with the announcement that a third series will be made by Amazon Prime Instant Video. Production could begin as soon as May with episodes made available exclusively on the online streaming service before being shown on BBC1 a few months later.
When RadioTimes.com spoke exclusively to MyAnna earlier today, she was full of praise for the fans who “inspired” the deal to bring back the crime drama set in Victorian Whitechapel.
“Without the audience support I don’t think the BBC would be willing to look into a deal like this. I don’t think Amazon would have come on board and I don’t think it would have been possible without them.
“They created this energy and drive for everyone who was pushing to get this show back. They’ve played a massive part and it’s quite lovely in this day and age to know that we do have a voice and as an audience member you do have a say in what you get to see and distributors and financiers will listen to you.”
And she’s right. Ever since the BBC first announced the cancellation back in December last year, the support has been pouring in with a series of petitions earning thousands of signatures. Here at RadioTimes.com, we received and read scores of outraged comments reacting to the axing and, in turn, we marvelled as readers showed their enthusiasm for Ripper Street once again by voting it their favourite show of 2013 – a turnout which didn’t go unnoticed by MyAnna.
“Radio Times have been the most amazing supporters of the show,” she said, “and we were blown away with all the support that you gave us. Winning the best drama was incredible and having publications like you allowing a television-watching audience to remain very involved is fantastic. It keeps the dialogue alive and that’s exciting. You allow us to remain invested in the story long after we’ve finished filming it and you’re the connection between us and the audience. It feels like we’re celebrating it with you guys, too. You did champion us.”
So, now the show is being taken on by Amazon, will we see a change in tone from creator Richard Warlow and his team of writers? “I think perhaps the writers are going to be less scared of pushing storylines,” revealed MyAnna. “For example, the nine o’clock watershed and the restrictions that might place on a show – I think they’re not going to worry about it so much.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to get more violent or more gritty or anything like that – I think it’s quite a violent show as is but not gratuitously so. It shows violence for a reason – it is a cop series set in the late 1800s. You can’t tell a story like that and not have violence, I feel you’d be doing a disservice to the story. But without a doubt I think the writers can breathe now.”
Buring can expect plenty of those storylines to include her character, Long Susan, after Warlow revealed to RadioTimes.com that she will “come right to the forefront of things this time around”.
“I’m intrigued to see where Long Susan is going to go and where they push her,” added Buring. “We saw her go through quite a lot last year, bless her cotton socks, in having to deal with a husband being useless, not being able to stand up for her or look after her in any meaningful, useful way and having to succumb to the horrific demands of [Silas] Duggan.”
Viewers will no doubt be excited to see what the future holds, but is MyAnna hoping there is life in Ripper Street beyond the confirmed third series? “I think it could go on and on but the way I am thinking at the minute is just celebrating the third season and eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen in that before I worry about a fourth.
“We didn’t feel like we’d finished the story last time and now it feels like we get a chance to create some closure. Whether that happens or whether they carry on is in the hands of the writer and audiences and our producers.” Watch this space…