'Grantchester' [Blu ray]
(James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2015 / PBS)
Overview: Adapted from book series by James Runcie; Cambridgeshire clergyman Sidney Chambers finds himself investigating a series of mysterious wrongdoings in his small village of Grantchester.
Blu ray Verdict: What a delightful TV show this truly is! It's 1953 and Sidney Chambers (James Norton, 'Happy Valley') is vicar of Grantchester, a village just outside Cambridge, England. Sidney's is a quiet life. He tends to his flock, listens to his jazz vinyl collection, and does his best to contain his passion for beautiful heiress Amanda Kendall (Morven Christie).
That said, the ongoing conflict of hearts between them over the 6 episodes does drag somewhat. But when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances, Sidney quickly finds that people confide things in a parish priest that they would never tell police.
Pushed into the dangerous world of lies, betrayal, and murder, Sidney joins forces with the overworked and weary Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green, 'Wire in the Blood'). It's the start of a beautiful friendship that will take Sidney and Geordie through a series of challenging cases, revealing the dark side of early 1950s England.
Based on acclaimed mystery novels by James Runcie, and highly reminiscent of 'Father Brown,' 'Grantchester' is a beautiful time piece, peacefully captured with vignettes of rich objects identifying a long gone world of wonderment and scenery serene to dye your soul.
As Sidney works alongside Geordie, a family man who while a reluctant partner at first, warms quickly to the young, handsome minister and accepts him as a partner, he also soon discovers they share a passion - alcohol!
And lots of it, for the Vicar is a complete alcoholic! Women fall at his feet, he suffers from bouts of depression, and forces himself to flashback to incidents from the war.
The episodes run a quick 45 minutes each and are a comfortable fit for an evenings viewing. I admit to enjoying British period pieces, such as 'Foyle's War' and the aforementioned 'Father Brown,' and so this show is a welcome addition to the genre.
The fact that, whether it's true or not, back in the 50's the Vicar's of small Parishes were all a) drunks, b) crime solving addicts, and c) one-liner wiz's, seems to make me smile!
The Making of Grantchester, and More!