TV for an Anglophile: Mystery Edition #2

Today, the Golden Globes nominations were announced (with a nod for Best Actress for Tatiana Maslany!), and along with it the usual “who got snubbed” pieces.  And I couldn’t help notice how many of the snubs mentioned across several websites dealt mostly with the overlooked actresses this season.  So, in that spirit, I thought I would share with all of you a great female ensemble period mystery drama: The Bletchley Circle.

Set in post-WWII England, The Bletchley Circle focuses on four women who served as code-breakers during the war in England’s top secret facility at Bletchley Park.  All of them went their separate ways during the war, but have not forgotten the importance and excitement of the work that they used to do.  When one of them, Susan, notices a pattern on the news regarding murder victims found around town, she goes about trying to convince the local authorities that they are dealing with one killer, and not to treat the murders as separate incidents.  With little proof, the authorities entertain her as much as they can given her top secret background, which is always alluded to but never confirmed.  So in order to catch the killer, she reaches out to the only people she can openly discuss her past with: her old code-breaking crew at Bletchley Park.

This period mystery drama showcases a wide variety of female talent.  And a great story.  Watching these women work, and more importantly, work together, given their very different backgrounds, is a sight to see.  The viewer is instantly intrigued not only by the mystery and chase, but the dynamics of the main characters.   What’s also great to watch is the contrast of what these women used to do before the soldiers came home and how much they loved it, compared to the lives the lead now.  The purpose and passion that these women rediscover while tracking the killer down is a great slow and steady burn the climaxes with them fully committing to catch the killer on their own, while struggling with their everyday lives.

The ITV three 45-minute episode series is available now on Netflix streaming, or can be purchased on Amazon.  The series also aired earlier this year on PBS.  All in all, a great watch if you’re looking for a quick suspenseful thriller with a strong all-female cast.  And they just announced the series 2 premiere date for the UK, so you’ll have more to look forward to soon!  

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