5 reasons why Ripper Street season 4 will be different

The Three Musketeers of Whitechapel are back

After three seasons even the best TV shows would struggle to be original. Its often the make or break moment which sees whether a show is going to go on to better things (Buffy), or end of a blaze of disappointment (Heroes). With an almost perfect ending to season three, fans (and the cast) were more than a little surprised when Amazon announced that Detective Inspector Reid and co would be returning to the blood-stained streets of Whitechapel for another season of Ripper Street. Surprised and slightly cautious.

After all, last we saw of the troubled copper he was moving to the seaside with his daughter for some much needed peace and quiet. So how is it that hes ended up back on Leman Street just two years later? GamesRadar+ hit the set of Ripper Street to find out why. Mild spoilers for previous seasons ahead...

Ripper Street season four will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from January 15, 2016 with new episodes released weekly.

For more on great crime shows check out Crime Scene magazine.

5. Reid hasn't taken to retirement well

We were all rooting for Reid to get his happily-every-after with daughter Mathilda, but it seems seaside life hasn't exactly agreed with the copper. "I think hes possibly... found living by the seaside a little challenging," Matthew MacFadyen tells us. "I feel like hes had his rest and recuperation and he sort of seems to be drawn back to Whitechapel."

And what about his father-daughter relationship with Anna Burnett's Mathilda? "Im not sure hes the perfect father, or shes the perfect daughter, but I think they have their bond." He says. "They found each other again, and he sort of... found her twice." Awww.

4. Expect more historically momentous events

This time around Ripper Street is going to focus a lot more on real life moments from British history, such as Queen Victoria's coronation. "The Munshi come over for the coronation, and we get caught up in an incident with them." Reveals Jerome Flynn. "Richard [Warlow]s so good at that kind of historical reference, hes always interweaving that."

And Flynn isn't the only one who enjoys the heavy historical element to the show. "Ive never done anything period before," says Matthew Lewis. "So it was a really great opportunity to jump into a bit of history, which is great. And I just think that [the] show just tackles that stuff really well." Agreed.

3. Jackson is a changed man sort of

Forget the drunken doctor who struggled to hold onto a job in the early days of Ripper Street. Adam Rothenberg's Jackson is a new man in series four. "Hes a nine-to-fiver and hes secretly working on Susans behalf on her defence, he tells us. "Hes faking his Jackson-ness in order to come around the other end, trying to get Susan out." But will he be able to save her?

Fans of season three will also know he's a father now too: "His first and fiercest passion is for Susan and he understands that the boy is now an integral part of that. So he loves his son in the way that you think 'Yeah, Im supposed to love my son', but he doesnt know his son, you know?"

2. There are new faces round every corner

While fans will be more than pleased to see the return of some familiar faces, there's also loads of new ones too. The main ones to watch out for are Shameless David Threlfall, who will be playing a villain called Abel Croker (above), and Matthew Lewis (yes, Harry Potters Neville Longbottom), aka police officer Samuel Drummond.

"With Drum, hes kind of the future of the police force really, and he adopts a lot of the new technology very quickly," Lewis tells us. Croker is a bit more of a suspicious character though, as Adam Rothenberg explains: "To Jacksons mind hes a petty criminal who runs the Wharf, who Jackson is enlisting to help him on his scheme to save Susan, and thats about it." Intriguing...

1. Drake is in charge now, but...

He's struggling. That's what we learnt from Jerome Flynn when we sat down with him on set. "Drake actually struggles with Reid coming back and is very sceptical about his intentions on why he wants to come back," explains Flynn. "He gets paranoid about Reid undermining him."

But surely he and Rose got their happily-ever-after? "Its a challenging time for them. I think the two years that passed were probably their moment in the sun." He says. "Theyre struggling; she really wants to have children, but cant manage that so theres issues around that, and... because I start really spiralling [at work]... the relationship gets challenged heavily by that." Sounds like there's challenges aplenty!

Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.