Ripper Street: Evening Telegraph Interview with Matthew Macfadyen

MATTHEW MACFADYEN seems to be everywhere at the moment. When he’s not promoting laser eye surgery for a certain Harley Street firm, or providing voiceovers for a posh department store, he pops up in DVDs such as The Three Musketeers. However, for now he’s back on the box with this new period drama. ‘It’s a Victorian cop show really,’ he explains. ‘I had a few months of nothing then a load of scripts all came at once and this is by far the best. It’s such terrific writing — it just barrelled along.’ The new series follows a Victorian police division investigating murders on the blood-stained streets of London’s Whitechapel. Macfadyen plays Edmund Reid, a Detective Inspector who tried, and failed, to capture Jack the Ripper six months earlier. So when a young woman is found brutally murdered in a crime which bears the hallmarks of the Ripper, ex-police boss Frederick Abberline believes the killer is back. However, Reid believes a new evil is at work. Crime busting sagas in the Jack the Ripper era are nothing new, and even Matthew admits he was struck by a sense of déjà vu. ‘I saw the title and thought ‘This has been done before’, but it was so fresh, and it had all the qualities, interest and depth of a period drama.’