Ripper Street – I Need Light – S01E01


The spree of Ripper murders has just come to an end and the streets of London reel from the murderer who hasn’t been caught. The H Division is in charge of keeping order in Whitechapel and eye out for Jack the Ripper. Any violent crime makes them cringe as it could be a new calling card.

This is not the story of detective Aberline that many of us are used to, this a whole new group that needs to protect undesirable Whitechapel and continue the investigation into Jack the Ripper. Detective Inspector Edmund Reid leads a new band of agents as they work to keep order in the streets. And what an odd band they make. The opening sequence looks like it’s been shot for Fight Club.

For this opening episode it appears Jack the Ripper is back on the streets. As a tour groups recounts the murders and visits the sites, they discover a body. Soon, there is another. Is this the work of the Ripper or some twisted copycat? With some help from the Ladies of the Night and a doctor who frequents their establishment, the group puts together the clues that leads down some very dark roads. What appears to be a copycat might actually be the work of the media looking to make a story. What looks like more random prostitutes being killed may have roots in another form of entertainment.

This is indeed a dark story and certainly darker than we might except from the BBC. The threat of Jack looms large and they see him and his work in everything they do. Every clue makes them think he’s back at work. Every victim shows his violence. But they get so wrapped in the details they don’t see the forest for the trees. Soon, they have to separate themselves and work smartly. It’s an interesting story with the first episode being rather gritty and rough. It fits the time though. Whitechapel is riddled with squalor. There are no clean streets or satin sheets on this side of town.

I’m curious to see where they head with this idea. Will they offer clues as to who Jack the Ripper might be? Will suspects from the major books make their way onto the screen so a case can be presented for each one? Will Jack be caught? Will there be a new spree that was never revealed in the papers? An interesting an touchy subject to be sure. Will this new team present some new evidence and shed some light on the current day mystery?

Either way, I’m a sucker for a period BBC drama and one that centers on Jack the Ripper has my full attention. We have all the makings of something quite interesting, the head detective with the mysterious past, the second in command who settles disputes with his fists, the doctor who has some interesting night time habits of his own, the ladies of the evening who know all that goes on in the streets and might be willing to let a few details slip if the price is right.

I’ve only seen the one episode with two more in the wings waiting for viewing. I’ll have to jump into those and see where this takes us.

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Ghost Adventures – Snug Harbor Sailors – S07E19

Zak and team head out to Staten Island to investigate the old seaside town of Snug Harbor. In it’s previous years it was a haven for retired sailors, a place where they could go and be amongst other sailors. There are tales and legends of a matron who had an illegitimate son with one of the sailors and through her shame she locked the boy in the basement. He once escaped, killed his mother and then the townspeople turned on him and hung him from a tree. There is also a confirmed report that after giving Sunday service a Reverend was gunned down by one of the sailors for motives that remain a mystery. The sailor then turned the gun on himself and took his own life. There are also reports of a white female figure that appears on-stage in the theater. The theater manager took a picture and there is a completely white figure standing several feet above the stage along with the practicing orchestra. The figure is completely white as though all the pixels for the image have been removed.

A couple of interesting stories, so does the investigation go? For this investigation "Dateline" is going along with the investigation to document them documenting the location. That’s a bit different.

One thing to note about the first story, there is no evidence to support the idea that one of the matrons had a child with a sailor, that there was a child, that the child committed murder or that the townspeople hung him. There are no newspaper items, no written accounts from trusted sources, no journals, no corroborating evidence whatsoever to suggest this is a true story. They don’t even have a name of the matron, the sailor or the boy involved. Right off the bat this story is nothing but legend. It’s been handed down for so long that people just accept it. Until some piece of evidence comes to light this story is nothing more than a farce and needs to completely discounted. For Zak and the show to make such a big deal about it with their horror effects of a child stabbing his mother with a pair of scissors all the while soaked in blood is simply ridiculous.

The investigation yields very little in the way of evidence. As you can almost predict, there is the sound of footsteps and bangs throughout. For an old building that’s clearly settling that hardly seems surprising. Zak claims to capture EVPs of the extremely faint variety, most of which don’t make any sense. "1-D" how do you put that together?

The first part doesn’t really yield much so they head over to the church where the priest was murdered. Instead of doing the investigation outside where the event took place, they go inside and sit in the pews of the church. You kind of overshot there guys…

Nick says he hears something down in the basement of the church, but they don’t actually find anything. Zak keeps claiming that he sees shadows and balls of light that indicate the presents of spirits.

When they head over to the theater they continue to get orbs moving around and Zak is firmly convinced this is spirit energy moving around and paying them a visit. While Nick hears voices and movements on the stage, Zak gets pictures of orbs out in the audience. Are these really piece of evidence? Is there more to this than just illuminated specs of dust? Whatever the case may be there is certainly no "woman in white" making an appearance on the stage and certainly no clear cut figures like the one in the photo.

In the end Zak feels the three buildings still resonate with the energy of the departed. I’m going to disagree. There is nothing to suggest the captured anything more than the sounds of a settling building and captured cars moving past the obvious building and street lights. They certainly didn’t capture the sound of a boy committing murder against his mother because that story never happened. To be honest I’m pretty disappointed they glamorized such a weak story and tried to make it sensational for television ratings.

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Ghost Adventures – Wyoming Frontier Prison – S07E18

For this episode the guys are off to Wyoming to investigate a prison with a violent history. At least that was the original intent, but by the time they actually get out there they’re doing everything but investigating the prison.

We catch up with the guys in an RV as they make their way to a prison that could have a death toll as high as 200 inmates. There are many confirmed deaths as prisoners on Death Row met their end either by hanging or the gas chamber. But there is another side to the story which speaks of prisoner on prisoner violence. There are several stories on inmates hanging each other, throwing people over the ledge and ever turning on the guards and bludgeoning them to death.

I have to say I’m confused by this investigation. Instead of focusing on the prison and the interesting albeit dark history, they end up staking out some home where odd events have been reported in the garage. We then spend the next 20 or so minutes in the library and then wandering the streets looking for the owner of the "garage" so they can look into it. What’s going on here? Do we really want to watch footage of them sitting an RV eating pretzels and farting on each other? When this sort of thing happens, my opinion of these guys drops to an all time low. Way to show professionalism guys, nice work.

Anyway, they fool around for who knows how long, get access to the garage and claim to find some phantom cat. They see some odd shadow moving in the corner of the IR camera. They also claim to see a shadow or figure in the mirror. Too bad that’s not caught on camera. However, since there are claims of something with black tentacles going after people and objects flying off the shelves you would have expected something a little more from this place. Overall they barely walked away with any interesting.

Meanwhile, Billy is at the prison listening too all the noises of the place. Here is something that really bothers me. The prison is empty, yet it makes a ton of noises. There are bangs, pops, creaks, groans and all sorts of other things. Now maybe this is some sort of paranormal activity, but more than likely this is an old ass building that makes a ton of noise as the pipes expand and contract. It seems to me these are perfectly normal noises for a building of that age. The proper thing to do would have been to run the audio for a couple of nights and see if they hear the same thing over and over again. If they do, that’s just the way the building sounds.

But… There are a couple of interesting things in the prison. I don’t know about this light or figure that Billy was chasing, but that camera twisting and falling over is odd as hell. When it first happened, I thought Billy was actually picking up the camera to take it off the tripod. It seems to move one way and then the other before it crashes to the ground.

Granted the legs could have collapsed or something with the tripod came undone, but damn that looks odd.

I also have to ask, what the hell is wrong with Nick and his flipping out when he feels something touch him on the head. I’m sorry, but he’s being doing this for how long? Why in the hell is he flipping out like that? He does this a lot. The flipped out at the Linda Vista Hospital too. He’s gonna break his damn neck if he doesn’t settle down.

To be honest this episode was odd. They come unglued in the prison, they go wayward with some secondary location, they sit around in an RV stinking up the place and they get worked over noises that sounds perfectly normal. I’d like for them to redo this investigation and give more attention to the prison and perhaps come up with a real explanation for that camera tipping over.

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Ghost Adventures – Killer Nightlife – S07E15

Here we have yet ANOTHER highlight reel from previous investigations. This time it’s all about haunted nightclubs including Bobby Mackey’s Music World, The Old Washoe Club, Kell’s Irish Pub, The Lyceum, Moon River Brewing Company and Excalibur Club.

Quite honestly these recap shows really getting boring. If there aren’t any new episodes, that’s fine, but this continually slicing together previous footage is getting old. When you start doing "Greatest Hits" it’s usually the precursor to retirement. Seven years has been a good run so no one can complain about that, but if that’s the route we’re going, let’s have something better than this.

Maybe this is an end of the year thing and something new will be coming once we get to the new year. Let’s hope so anyway, I’m bored as hell with what they’re doing now.

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