The Bletchley Circle Season 1

The Bletchley Circle Season 1 (DVD Cover)

Recurring character(s): Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin), Millie (Rachael Stirling), Lucy (Sophie Rundle), Jean (Julie Graham)

Director: Andy De Emmony

Original air date(s): 04/01/2013
DVD Date: 05/14/2013

Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 135 minutes

Note(s): Original screenplay by Guy Burt.

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The Bletchley Circle Season 1

Review: This three-part series consists of 45 minute-long episodes that are centered on four women, who worked as code-breakers during World War II at a secret facility known as Bletchley Park. Forbidden from speaking of their activities after the war ended, each resumed "normal" lives. But one in particular, Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin), longed for the days when they made a difference in the world. The opportunity arises when she hears a report of young women found dead, one of a series that have occurred in the community. She realizes that a pattern exists, one apparently not seen by the police, and convinces her husband, a low-level government official, to pull strings to get her to see the police commissioner. He immediately recognizes her intellect, and that she probably served in some secret capacity during the war, and agrees to search for another body even though he doesn't believe he will find one. And he doesn't. Undeterred, Susan recruits her former mates to assist her in solving the case of the missing murder victim, and then to take it step further: identify the killer and stop him from killing again.

There is much to like here, seemingly ordinary women with extraordinary skills doing police work, or more generally "men's work", in post-war Britain. The acting is first-rate, and the period details seem true. The direction is brisk, covering a lot of ground in 2 hours and 15 minutes. There are the requisite dead ends and false trails, but Susan in particular believes that they are working towards a solution to the crimes and that they once again can, and will, make a difference. The ending is a bit abrupt and a more than a little contrived, but that is a minor disappointment given how strong what preceded it was.

A second season of four episodes has been ordered by ITV, with two episodes each contributing to two different storylines.


Purchase and/or Rental Options:
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Watch a trailer for the series below:

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