Stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothenberg tell TV Times about character paranoia and real-life jealousy during filming of the new series of Ripper Street...

This week BBC2 airs Ripper Street’s fourth series and the action begins with a two-year time jump that sees Inspector Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) tiring of the quiet life, after moving to the seaside with his daughter Mathilda at the end of series three. The main cast explain more, revealing character developments and why they’d swap a warehouse for Corfu any day!

News of an injustice takes Reid back to London where he resumes policing, albeit with a few misgivings….

Matthew: “Reid’s had his rest and recuperation and he seems to be drawn back to Whitechapel. He turns up out of the blue as a favour to someone and then he gets re-employed, so it’s a bit odd for Drake and Jackson.”

Indeed, acting inspector and one-time confidante, Drake (Jerome Flynn) doesn’t really know how to react.

Matthew: “Drake definitely struggles with Reid’s return, he’s very sceptical about his intentions and he gets paranoid about being undermined. It’s a strange new dynamic, both for the characters and us as actors.’

Meanwhile, maverick American medic Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) is desperately searching for a way to save his beloved Susan from the gallows, after he discovered the depth of her criminal activity at the end of last series.

Adam: “He’s putting on a veneer of being the same guy he always was but secretly he’s working on her defence. He’s trying to put over to Drake and anyone who cares to watch that he’s just a drunk who doesn’t care, but really he’s saving his money and trying to get Susan out of prison.”

Jackson needs the assistance of a ducker and diver on the docks, Abel Croker, played by Shameless star David Threllfall.

Adam: “He’s a petty criminal who runs the wharf, Jackson is enlisting to help him on his scheme to save Susan. That’s all I can tell you!”

The three lead actors are united in their dedication to Ripper Street and Jerome explains why they love it so much.

Jerome:”The quality of the writing, the characters and the world that has been created just keeps me coming back for more. It’s such a rich, wonderful job – I’d be lucky to find another one like it in my career.”

While Matthew filmed Ripper Street in Dublin, his wife, Line of Duty star Keeley Hawes was shooting hit ITV drama The Durrells out in Corfu. Matthew admits to a twinge of envy.

Matthew: “We’d been filming in a disused hotel somewhere and she was texting me sunny photos from a beach. It looked very uncomfortable. It must have been too hot to work in… no, I was jealous!”

Watch the opening episode of the new 7-part series of Ripper Street on BBC2 this Monday at 9pm

Content provided by Emma Bullimore