Ripper Street series three: five things you should know

Ripper Street is heading back to BBC1, but what have Reid, Drake, Jackson and Long Susan been up to – and who is joining them for the new series?

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Reid, Drake and Jackson are back on BBC1 for Ripper Street series three but things are a little different – and not just because the series is now the product of Amazon Prime Instant Video. Four years have passed since we last saw the detective trio and relations are rather frosty…

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Now, we won’t spoilt things – any eager fans can catch episode one tonight on BBC1 from 9pm – but, just to whet your appetite, here are a few snippets of crucial information… 

1. Rose on the rise

When we first met Rose Erskine (played by Charlene McKenna), she was scraping a living working in Long Susan’s brothel. How things change. Nowadays she’s the toast of the town – a music hall star playing to rapt audiences across the land. But that doesn’t mean she’s left her Whitechapel roots behind. In fact, in the series opener she’s back outside H Division, dressed in her silks and finery as she continues to moon over Bennet Drake. 

2. Introducing Mimi… 

But Rose isn’t the only woman in town. Series three sees the return of Long Susan – with a new business, new employees and a new hairdo – but she’s no longer the apple of Captain Jackson’s eye. That would be Hermione (known as Mimi) who, quite literally, kicks H Division’s resident bad boy out of bed. Her father is the new owner of Blewett’s Theatre of Varieties and she proves pretty handy in a crisis during episode one. We have it on good authority that she’ll be sticking around…  

3. Relations are frosty

As we return to Whitechapel, relations between the ‘big three’ aren’t what they once were. The last four years have been good to Sergeant Drake since he swapped London’s East End for Manchester where he rose through the ranks to become an Inspector. The same can’t be said for Reid and Jackson who are no longer on speaking terms – a set-up neither is benefiting from. Reid is a hermit, nose in his books compiling an epic database of the Whitechapel underworld while Jackson – no longer working for the police – has sunk back into drunkenness and debauchery. 

4. Off track

It wouldn’t be spoiling things to say there’s an epic train crash within minutes of the start of series three. Reid and his team may be used to dealing with murder and extortion, but the fallout from this latest calamity is on a whole different scale. The good news? It reunites our favourite trio – but the scale of death and destruction wreaked by the disaster is no cause for celebration as H Division attempt to piece together just who was behind the fatal collision.

Sherlock on board

Cast your mind back to the end of series two and you might remember Long Susan doing away with Silas Duggan of Obsidian Estates. With his money now lining her pockets, Susan’s become a force for good, opening a clinic with the help of his coffers and hiring Dr Amelia Frayn (played by Sherlock’s Louise Brealey) to run it. “Lou is magnificent,” the show’s creator Richard Warlow tells us. “Obviously she comes from a very successful crime show so that’s great. She’s such a fine actress and she’s been great to have around. A lovely addition.”

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Series three of Ripper Street begins tonight at 9pm on BBC1