MacFadyen couldn't resist Ripper St
12:19am Saturday 19th January 2013 in © Press Association 2014
Matthew MacFadyen has said his new TV show Ripper Street isn't just blood and guts.
The Spooks actor plays detective inspector Edmund Reid in the BBC One drama, which is set in east London in the Jack the Ripper era.
"You have all that richness, and it has a thumping good narrative as well as blood and guts," he said.
"I had a few months of nothing, then a load of scripts all came at once, and this was by far the best. It's such terrific writing; it just barrelled along. I saw the title and thought, 'This has been done before', but it was so fresh, and it had all the qualities, interest and depth of a period drama."
Matthew, who met wife Keeley Hawes on the set of Spooks, said he didn't have a favourite Ripper Street episode.
"They were all brilliant. Apart from there being a story of the week, which worked really well, there's a narrative that goes over the whole eight episodes, certainly with my character, and without giving too much away, there's an emotive thing about my character's daughter," he added.
"I thought that worked very well, and I liked exploring that, but there's stuff about dockers' strikes, politics, child gangs, and they were just on the verge of great advances in forensics. Fingerprinting hadn't come in yet, so they were sort of on the cusp of really moving forward."