Transtemporality and Transmemory in Beforeigners:

Or, “Jack the Ripper has timeigrated”, Again


  • Lucyna Krawczyk-Żywko University of Warsaw


Beforeigners, demythologisation, 'Jack the Ripper', migration, time travel, transmemory, transnationality, transtemporality, victims


The time-travelling or ever-present Jack the Ripper has been one of the recurring tropes in popular culture. At first glance, the second season of the Norwegian series Beforeigners (2021) seems to join the never-ending and ever-entertaining chase of the elusive Whitechapel murderer, but on closer inspection, it deprives him of his mythical status. Informed by contemporary migration discourse, scientific advancement and social (d)evolution, the narrative makes the viewers manoeuvre between the 1888 facts, cultural memory of those events, and ‘modern’ murders, thus subverting their ideas of the killer and creating another transmemory of this polymorphous character. However, this article argues that while the series deploys transnationality and transtemporality to enable the detective(s) to trace and demythologise the Ripper, it perpetuates the status of the victims as mere clues to his identity.