Friday, December 06, 2013

Ripper Street cancelled and another kickstarter

No more tarts with hearts

I was shocked to learn, from a number of other blogs, that the BBC has cancelled Victorian crime drama Ripper Street, basically because it couldn't compete with I'm a Celebrity Get me out of Here in the ratings.  Especially as I was about to start work on two of the North Star In Her Majesty's Name figures based on the actors from the show. There is an online petition you can sign but it will do no good, I'm afraid.  Not because it hasn't had enough signatures, which it hasn't, but because that is now how the BBC works.  It is a monolithic governmental organisation that is far from responsive to anything, and will, like government, never acknowledge its mistakes.  My sister worked there for a couple of years as an external consultant and said it was the worst managed organisation she had ever come across.  A friend of mine was a BBC producer (he is now a freelance) and despite being quite a lot more liberal (not to say a complete pinko) than the Legatus, said that he felt like a fascist. there.  Odd then, that something as commercial as ratings now seems to hold sway over creative instincts. 

The key issue is, of course, why the BBC feel that they have to chase ratings at all given that they do not (yet) take advertising.  Shouldn't they just be making the best programmes they can?  Of course, I suspect that Ripper Street was very expensive to make compared with bunging a lot of members of the public in a tent and getting them to bake scones.  

There is only one piece of good news coming out of the BBC at the moment and that is that there will be another edition of James May's Toy Stories on January 3rd.  I remember going to the live event hosted by May a few years ago and the family and I watched them construct their massive Scalextric track at Brooklands when the first series was being made.  

I'm really hoping to get some painting done this weekend and may get some ECW figures out as I am going to play a game with Guildford Wargames Club on the 30th which will finish my rather poor wargaming year with something of a flourish.  I'm thinking maybe some dragoons or finish my cannon.  All I have to do is find the figures I know I started!

The other figures I am keen to start are Orinoco Miniatures Latin American Wars of Independence range.  They have been steadily issuing new figures of late with the Spanish coming out this week.  So I might start work on my British Legion this weekend.  There is no rowing for Guy tomorrow so that gains me a whole morning.  I've got to write a paper for the Colombian Government next week at the request of a UK Minister (thanks for volunteering me) but have decided I need to have some time off this weekend.  I'm sick of working seven days a week and only being paid for five!

I've just had a look at this month's Miniature Wargames and there doesn't seem much in there for me as it focuses on the Marlburian period.  This is very popular at Guildford but I just couldn't face starting it in 28mm and I tried to do some 15mm but gave up, as I just don't care for the period for some reason.  However I have just signed up for another Kickstarter. my fourth this year, for the new War and Empire 15mm ancients rules and range. I did paint some 15mm ancients from Xyston some years ago and did enjoy doing so.  I think that 15mm is really the only way to go for Ancients for me, unless you have the focus of Big Red Bat.

Another piece I picked up on Wargames News and Terrain was the announcement of a new set of Osprey Rules for the swashbuckling and pirate periods. These will allow ship to ship actions as well as skirmish infantry actions and will involve forces of between 15 and 30 figures on each side.  They are due out next summer.  I already have a number of pirates and Elizabethan Swashbucklers painted so this will be a must buy.  I wonder if North Star will do any fiures.  No one really does nice Spanish colonial garrisons as Henry Morgan fought at Panama or some more Spanish looking figures to take on the Foundry Elizabethan swashbucklers.  Here's hoping.


  1. WOW what a bummer! Ripper Street was fantastic! I guess its off to join the likes of Firefly.
    The series will still be a source for clothing palettes for Victorian era games.

  2. Shame about Ripper Street... if the BBC are going to dump it, what chance would there be of another network picking it up?

    I do rather like the Marlburian period: its close to the "pirate era" and for massed land battle you don't have to worry so much about skirmishers or forming squares... which I have found to a bit of a frustration in Naps...

    I could be tempted by the Pirate osprey rules;I do enjoy LotHS, but do find the Henchmen advances a little quirky to get your head round , similar to Mordheim apparently...?

  3. I'm also a fan of 15mm ancients, though I've managed not to jump on the W&E bandwagon. Too many half-finished projects in that scale already.


  4. I'm looking forward to an set pirate rules from Osprey. The cancellation of Ripper Street is very discouraging, but not surprising, BBC America canceled Copper because the the expense to produce despite the fact that it was gaining popularity.


  5. Agree the cancellation of Ripper Street is criminal - they wont even get to tie up the loose ends.

    Also saw the Pirate rules - will be getting a copy myself.

    Please to see you are painting again - nice figure.

    Interesting you have a son that rows - both my kids are into the sport - very good for them but it eats time.

    Good luck with trip to Guildford might head down the A3 myself one day


  6. Eric,

    I'm sure you'd be very welcome at Guildford!

    Rowing doesn't just eat time he's eating me out of house and home too!