The Victorian-era show, which takes place in London’s East End just months after the Jack the Ripper murders, will return to screens for a new eight-episode run in 2014.
It stars Matthew MacFadyen and Jerome Flynn as police inspectors investigating a new set of killings in Whitechapel, while Adam Rothenberg plays a former Pinkerton agency detective turned surgeon who is drafted in to the case.
The show has not proven popular with everyone, with the corporation receiving over 90 complaints about the graphic sexual and violent content in the first episode on December 30.
Despite this the show – which is screened just after the 9pm watershed – has been a ratings hit for the BBC, with 7.8million tuning in to the first show, and figures remaining strong since then.
‘Quality and ambition run through Ripper Street, from Richard Warlow’s original scripts, the incredible cast and the captivating direction,’ said the BBC’s drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson.Last Sunday’s episode pulled in 5.2million viewers, being only narrowly beaten by ITV1′s Mr Selfridge, which had an audience of 5.4million.
‘All combine to create a period series with a modern and gripping edge that will return for a second series in 2014.’
MacFadyen has also defended the show’s more graphic content, saying: ‘People are fascinated by Victorian attitudes towards sex and society. And back then in the East End there was enormous poverty.
‘It was the Ripper murders that brought to light the dire poverty in the East End,’ the actor added. ‘They showed them up to a greater audience.’