Ripper Street is everything Copper could have been and wasn’t. The time period, characters, violence, sex, personal traumas, and relatively unjaundiced view of the past are all the same.
Ripper, however, gives us characters we can get interested in and mysteries and suspense we can commit to. It also, interestingly, has fairly straight-forward plots.. seemingly to reflect the “simpler times” that people think existed. I spent the first several episodes over-thinking the story and waiting for twists that were never to come. However, I was not disappointed by the simplicity and clarity, only mildly confused at first and had to adjust my expectations. It was better to just go along for the ride and enjoy the world and characters than to worry about tricky endings.
Macfadyen (MI-5) and Flynn (Game of Thrones) make an odd, but highly supportive, pairing as boss and subordinate. And the relatively unknown Rothenberg adds an interesting balance and set of variables. Balancing the male half, Buring (The Descent, Twilight: Breaking Dawn) and McKenna (Misfits, Being Human) and Hale provide some female perspectives of various sorts.
And the best new is that it is returning for a second season, so your investment into the characters isn’t lost.