In Review: Ripper Street – Live Free, Live True

The murder of a chemist lifts the lid on a back street abortion racket.

Synopsis: The murder of a chemist lifts the lid on a back street abortion racket.

Review: Reid and Drake stumble upon an Abortion racket when evidence reveals that a murdered chemist may have been providing them illegally.

Abortion is always likely to be one of those subjects that will divide opinion,  but whether you are for or against the practice this episode provides some insights into what the world was like when it wasn’t a legal option for women and also delves into the darker side of it insofar as one medical practitioners use of providing dodgy abortions as means of sterilizing the poor and impoverished of London as his ultimate solution to curtailing hunger and disease.

As a part of his investigation Reid seeks the help and advice of Dr Frayn at the Obsidian clinic and gets earful of her feelings towards the practice of illegal abortions and the damage that she has seen when having to patch these women up after the fact.

Frayn is pretty much the key player in this episode as she unwittingly exposes Dr Rolle as the murderer, but also learns of his plans to sterilize the poor of Whitechapel as part of his class war. The scene where Rolle exposes his scheme to Frayn is pretty compelling and made my jaw drop the the floor at how casually this man is condoning murder and robbing these women of choosing whether or not they may want to have children at a later date.

The episode also moves Drakes relationship along with Rose who has now moved in with Susan and says that he can call on her whenever. Personally for me this relationship is getting kind of old. Just have them tie the knot already or kill her off. For me it feels a little to much of a soap opera trope, and need to either go or be resolved.

Ripper-Street Long Susan

Meanwhile Susan in her continued attempts to become a legitimate business woman runs into a road block via the gentlemen club stopping her from being able to get a fair deal on her building development, but thanks to a conversation with Rose she realizes that she has the wealthy gents of London by the short and curlys thanks to her past as a Madam and can use it as a means of blackmail.

It would seem that Susan is in for a pretty tough time though because by close of the story her father has arrived and if first impressions are anything to go by. He is not someone to be trifled with.

This episode was another one that was short on the action and placed emphasis on the investigation and character development. It dealt with a lot of very topical stuff and handled it all with a great deal of sensitivity while keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Ripper Street - Live Free, Live True
  • Handled some very sensative issues without dumbing them down
  • Drakes on off relationship with Rose is kind of getting old.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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