Characters: Ripper Street
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Played by: Matthew MacFadyenDetective Inspector of H Division.
- Berserk Button: The few times he loses his cool is when a case involves his family.
- By-the-Book Cop: Edmund Upright, pure as the driven snow. However his morals are called into question in season 2.
- Distressed Dude: Count the number of times he needs to be saved.
- Fair Cop
- The Inspector: Reid, although unlike many examples of this trope he doesn't have a younger assistant tagging along nor do Jackson or Drake really act as The Watson.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's trying to police the most crime-ridden section of London with nowhere near enough resources yet still tries to be a good cop.
- The Leader: Of the main trio and of H-division.
- Papa Wolf
- Your Cheating Heart: With Deborah Goren in S1, and Jane Cobden in S2 - although by S2 he and Emily are estranged.
Played by: Jerome FlynnSergeant for H division. Served in Egypt.
- Berserk Button: Rose. Don't mess with Rose.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- The Big Guy: Not quite the tallest (Reid's actor is slightly taller), but the most intimidating looking, and the go-to guy for punching people and kicking in doors.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Someone in-universe points out that "drake" is a male duck.
- Heroic BSOD: After Bella's suicide.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran
- Undying Loyalty
Homer Jackson/Matthew Judge
Played by: Adam RothenbergFormer army surgeon and Pinkerton. Came to the area under mysterious circumstances with Long Susan.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Sobriety and a conventionally professional attitude aren't his strong points. Fortunately, forensic science is.
- The Coroner: Jackson's official role, although he has also been seen gathering information and kicking ass.
- The Gunslinger: One of the few characters who even carries a gun (with good reason), and indeed he is marked as American more than once by it.
- I Have Many Names: He's changed his name and skipped town when things got too hot at least once; it's implied that this is something of a habit for him. Though Matthew Judge does appear to be his original name, as his brother has the same surname.
- Jerkass: He goes out of his way to sleep with Rose after learning that Drake was sweet on her. Did we mention the madam of the house is his wife?
- Official Couple: He married Susan and they had to flee from her angry father.
- Pinkerton Detective: Formerly
- The Smart Guy
- Smoking Is Cool
Susan Hart ("Long Susan") / Caitlin Swift
Played by: MyAnna BuringThe local madame.
- Costume Porn: She gets some gorgeous Victorian dresses
- Damsel in Distress: In "Become Man"
- A Mother to Her Girls
- Mama Bear: Very much so, notable toward Lucy and Rose.
- The Gunslinger: She carries a pistol with her and gives it to one of her girls, who was working the police to find Rose, in "What Use Our Work".
- Let's Get Dangerous: At times. She's certainly comfortable with a pistol.
- Miss Kitty
- Official Couple: With Jackson. It's why she left her luxurious life; her father didn't approve of him.
- Sympathetic Murderer: She killed that man that was about to kill one of her girls. In S3... less sympathetic.
- Rebellious Princess
Played by: David DawsonAn unscrupulous journalist that is often at odds with Reid.
- Break the Haughty: He's almost never right then he lost his ear (see below).
- Behind the Mask: It's not totally incongruous with his other appearances, simply something that never comes up in his antagonistic interactions with the H Division team, but his private tenderness and concern for his boyfriend in Threads Of Silk And Gold is quite sweet, as well as shedding some light on his earlier position on moral hypocrisy.
- The Dandy
- Ear Ache: The Pinkerton looking for Caitlin Swift cut off his ear when he refused to reveal her location.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- In the first episode, he gets into a physical scuffle with Reid and counters Reid's own attempts to shake him down by suggesting he knows more than he lets on about the man's Dark and Troubled Past and wouldn't be afraid to tell the wrong kind of people. Shady, manipulative smartass not afraid to employ underhanded methods when under pressure or just for kicks? Sounds like Best.
- For the second season: Best adjusting his prosthetic in the mirror, saying wryly to himself "Who's to say you are not beautiful?".
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The false ear attached to his glasses he starts wearing in series 2.
- Straight Gay: As of "Threads Of Silk And Gold".
Played by: Charlene McKennaOne of Susan's hookers.
- Damsel in Distress: Twice. In "I Need Light" and "What Use Our Work?"
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Until season two, when she becomes a waitress.
- Just Friends: With Drake.
- Nice Girl
- Took a Level in Badass: Beats down the group of cultist trying to kill her and Drake.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Drake. Resolved as of S3.
Played by: Jonathan BarnwellA young cop in H Division
- Determinator: Deconstructed. He always follows through with his orders, including those to watch the engineer's wife, but he then goes up against Goodnight, against whom he stands no chance, and dies.
- Killed Off for Real
- Nice Guy
- Non-Action Guy: While he might be a cop, he's only been shown in one fight, in which he loses his life.
- Shrinking Violet: Has shades of this.
- Tagalong Kid: The other officers even refer to him as "the boy".
- The Quiet One
- Widow Woman: Leaves one behind when he dies.
Played by: Gillian SakerThe woman Bennett Drake married between the first and second season.
- Cult: She is secretly part of one.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She was part of a cult and her daughter died.
- Driven to Suicide: After her cult was arrested, she stabs herself because she believed she could never repair her relationship with Bennett.
- Happily Married: With Bennett until it was horribly subverted.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Nearly, but marrying Bennett saved her from that.
- Second Love: And painful aware of it.
Played by: Damian MoloneyA young Irish constable who transfers to H-Division from Bloomsbury.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He was "A little Paddy wretch, destined for jail or an early grave" before he joined the police.
- Driven to Villainy: He has to do Shine's bidding, because Shine's in possession of Flight's damning criminal record. Though for the most part, Shine's kept him in the dark about how he uses the information Flight supplies him with.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Twice. First when he realises that Shine must have killed Joseph Merrick, and again when he watches Shine kill Nathaniel Hinchcliffe.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: H-Division thinks he is one for Hobbs.
- The Idealist: He wants to be a good man.
- The Mole: He's actually sent to Whitechapel by DI Shine, to report on whether Reid is about to discover any more of Shine's corrupt schemes.
- Walking Spoiler: Pretty much.
Played by: Joseph MawleHead of Limehouse K-Division, and thoroughly corrupt.
- Affably Evil: He usually acts very friendly, and smiles most of the time.
- Ambition Is Evil: The promotional material describes him as "A man obsessed by his own power and will. A will that has corrupted him and, if he has his way, will corrupt all and everything that falls within his reach."
- Big Bad: Half the episodes of series 2 revolve around stopping him somehow. But he's actually also The Dragon to a Bigger Bad slumlord.
- The Dragon: To Silas Duggan. He kills off people so Duggan can usurp their properties.
- Dirty Cop
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's got a girlfriend in his first episode, and seems to treat her well. He pretends not to know her later, when Reid hauls her off to jail.
- Evil Eyebrows: Has a serious pair of them.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: So much that viewers have trouble understanding what he's saying at times.
- For the Evulz: He doesn't work for Duggan for the money, he simply likes killing.
- Large Ham: He's got his moments.
- Karma Houdini: To Edmund Reid's great despair.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: The murder of Joseph Merrick.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Joseph is said to be a very nice guy in real life.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: He seems to think so a lot of the time.
- Would Hurt a Child: Certainly.
- Sesquipedalian Smith.
Played by: Joe GilgunThe adult leader of a gang of street urchins.
- British Teeth: In a show where most characters seem to have very good teeth for Victorian London, his stand out.
- Burn The Orphanage: He tries to literally do it.
- Evil Eyebrows: They have life of their own.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Smokes evil pipe while preparing to kill.
- Kubrick Stare.
- Mad Eye: He seems to be able to move his eyes independently of each other.
- Tattooed Crook: His hands are covered with tattoos in the shape of playing cards, each representing a different crime.
- The Fagin.