Jack the Ripper left behind a trail of terror that has withstood time since the 19th century. After four series, BBC2's crime drama Ripper Street returns with the first of a two-part story to rattle the bones of horror fans for its fourth series.

Based in Whitechapel, east London – set in the wake of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders – the Victorian series follows on three years since Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) left Whitechapel for a quiet life by the sea with his daughter Mathilda.

Drake (Jerome Flynn) is now in charge of his former manor and Susan (MyAnna Buring) is incarcerated at Newgate prison – despite her upbeat spirit – as Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) continues to feed lawyers with cash to prevent her from being hung.

Facing his seaside boredom, Reid finds himself drawn back to east London after discovering that Isaac Bloom – a Jewish mathematician who helped him on two previous Whitechapel investigations – is sentenced to death by hanging for a murder he is alleged to have commit. The execution is set to take place that week.

As Queen Victoria prepares to celebrate her diamond jubilee in 1897, the streets of east London are exuding an ominous, unnerving vibe. As Drake investigates the murder of a Muslim lawyer found washed up at the docks, the ongoing case of the Whitechapel Golem continues to lurk in the background.

Watch Ripper Street on BBC2 at 9pm tonight.

bbc ripper street
BBC2's Ripper Street returns tonight at 9pm BBC