BBC considering reversing decision to axe Ripper Street


The BBC are said to be in talks to reverse their decision to axe their period crime drama Ripper Street. The series was cancelled earlier this month, with the BBC citing falling viewing ratings as the reason for its decision not to continue with the show. However, after sparking outrage from viewers, the BBC are looking at the chances of enabling the show to return.

Ripper Street, which stared Matthew Macfadyen as a Jack the Ripper-era East End police Inspector, launched as part of BBC One’s Christmas schedule in 2012 with around 8 million viewers. At the end of the second series (which finished this Christmas) the number had fallen to just over 3 million.

In spite of the clear decline of dedicated viewers, the corporation’s decision to axe the show has caused outrage amongst its fans, with many asking why one of their best dramas has to go simply because some have stopped watching it. BBC One was also criticised in scheduling the second series to run at the same time as ITV’s hit I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! which regularly wins in the ratings battle.

Since the axing, viewers have started up online petitions, the largest of which has currently attracted over 33000 signatures.

Ripper Street was a UK/USA co-production between the BBC, BBC Worldwide, BBC America, Tiger Aspect and LookOut Point. Speaking to the Radio Times, a spokesperson for production company Tiger Aspect said “The creative team have great vision and high ambition for future series of Ripper Street. It would of course be marvellous to find a route to make these plans reality”. The BBC has commented saying they are now “looking at partnerships that could enable Ripper Street to return, but at better value to licence fee-payers”.

Riper Street follows what is becoming a tradition of BBC-axings, after they decided to cancel recent dramas such as Upstairs Downstairs, The Hour and The White Queen. It remains to be seen if they will put Ripper Street Series 3 into production and, if this does go ahead, what new form the drama will take.

Ripper Street Series 1 is released on Blu-ray disc and DVD by BBC Worldwide. The second series box set will be released in 2014. 



About Author

Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.


  1. Now will BBC wake up and do the same for Copper. There are tons of Copper fans who would pay a premium to see Season 3 and get a resolution and closure to the story-line they were left hanging with at the end of Season 2. It was bloody disgusting how they left us with a permanent cliffhanger and no answers. Copper is so good it deserves more seasons as well. Do you hear us BBC?

  2. Please please bring back ripper street 8 million viewers is not bad considering all the channels we get now and as a licence payers don’t we deserve some good quality programmes

  3. I hope they do bring Ripper street back, i love the show it’s amazing, it’s part of britains history and they just decide to axe it obviously they don’t realise what this show teaches people about victorian london.

  4. Richard Walker on

    The BBC’s ability to manipulate cause and effect is frankly outrageous. How many years after Michale Grade’s deliberate marginalisation of Doctor Who they are still up to the same tricks. Take a good drama show with solid viewing figures and move it to a slot in which it is always going to struggle and then conclude that there is something wrong with the programme rather than those really responsible. I think it’s called a Straw Man Fallacy.

  5. BBC has some good shows, the big problem is many people don’t know about them until its too late. When dealing with historical related shows, wouldn’t it make sense to advertise said shows on say perhaps the History channel. I for one will simply stop watching BBC America if you get one or two seasons of a show then a total cliffhanger with no conclusion to the show. The likes of Copper and Ripper Street.

Leave A Reply