"Detectorists" is a triumph of beautiful writing and characters with
real depth and humanity to them. - Rotten Tomatoes
I was aware of the first series of "Detectorists" when the show was first screened by the BBC in 2014 but I never watched it. The same was true for the second series (2015) and the third series (2017) as well as the Christmas special (2022). For whatever reason I did not run with it. Television does not rule my life and nobody had nudged me by saying, "You must watch it!"
However, in the last month I have managed to watch every episode of "Detectorists" and I must say that it has been a thoroughly enjoyable marathon. The show is brilliantly innocent and gentle, focusing mainly on two middle-aged men who enjoy nothing better than surveying the local countryside with their metal detectors. They are Lance played by Toby Jones and Andy played by Mackenzie Crook - who rather incredibly wrote the entire show and directed it too.
Everything is intricately woven together. There is a real sense of community and not a gun, a murder or a detective in sight. The sun always seems to shine in the fictional village of Danebury. The humour is delivered like wafer biscuits at a garden party - not slapped in your face.
As detectorists, Andy and Lance are always hopeful of striking gold but they are also very aware of local history and the business of archaeology. To a large extent, they are social misfits so their absorbing hobby suits them well.
There is a strong supporting cast too including Lucy Benjamin as Lance's ex-wife and Rachael Stirling as Andy's girlfriend Becky. The members of the DMDC (Danebury Metal Detecting Club) feature importantly in every episode - more social misfits.
When it comes to comedy and TV drama, we all have different tastes but for me "Detectorists" was magnificent. To see every episode in a relatively short period of time was a real joy. It contains wise and well-observed understanding of how ordinary humans get along, noting their idiosyncrasies and their weakspots without mocking them. TV drama at its best in my opinion and so very English too.
Lance What you got?
Andy Matchbox car...Chevrolet Corvette. How in God's name does that get into the middle of a field in Essex?
Andy I mean, who's been playing with cars up here?
Andy You know a Roman coin I can understand but a Chevvy Corvette? It doesn't make sense.
I've never heard of it but it sounds watchable......if I ever get around to watching TV again. That's when I get around to reading a book again or writing a blog post or....ReplyDelete
You could perhaps watch it on BBC i-player Graham.Delete
Totally agree - it was well worthy of the awards it has picked up. One of those classics that took time to gain public consciousness - gently and genteelly observant, warm not mocking, safe and yet satisfying ... fabulous writing on so many levels. I love the credit music too.ReplyDelete
We should form a "Detectorists" fan club Mark... or even become detectorists! I will be Andy, you can be Lance!Delete
I will look it up and see if we can get it. Of course, I probably will watch it by myself as the Bear seems to need violence or sex or both to stay awake during TV time. This would be my cuppa tea!ReplyDelete
We are quite like-minded as past communications often revealed so I suspect you would also love "Detectorists".Delete
A favourite here. As you say, a gentle programme but funny and insightful nonetheless.ReplyDelete
In the teabag front, I sacrificed a Twinings Lady Grey by setting it alight. I figured if it was plastic it would melt. It burnt. I hope this means they are made of paper.
Are Twinings tea bags paper or plastic?Delete
Twinings use a plastic based material (acrylic polymer binder) to bind the materials together to create the paper for their teabags.
Sounds like a good series with out all the whiz bang. I would enjoy this one.ReplyDelete
I think you would Red. It is lovely and endearingly funny.Delete
Unless it makes it to Australian television I'll probably never see it. I don't think it would hold my attention for long, but I've been wrong about shows before so who knows?ReplyDelete
There are no sex or shoot-em-up scenes so it might not suit you River.Delete
Oh I can live without the sex scenes!Delete
I watched it a long time ago and remember liking it a lot but I don't retain details.ReplyDelete
Since you seem to like a nudge toward a show, "Shtisel" is good if you can get it
I will search for it Kylie. Thanks.Delete
This sounds very much like something I would enjoy. Thank you for the review! I have seen Toby Jones in other films and on TV (for a few episode, he was the pathologist in Midsumer Murders) and think he's great. If the series is on Netflix, I will watch it.ReplyDelete
As you are a bit on Anglophile with discerning tastes, I think you would also love "Detectorists",Delete
Me too. Watched every episode retrospectively and loved it. Have also loved Maternal, astonishingly on ITV!!! Again brilliant script and acting albeit grittier than Detectorists. Having worked in the NHS for twenty years it really resonated with me. Jan BxReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads up Jan. My wife was an NHS nurse for 42 years.Delete
It sounds like a good programme - did you watch on BBC i player or Netflix? Checking my TV listings it doesn't seem to be available here. I'm sure it will turn up sometime - a welcome change from endless repeats of old programmes I watched years ago.ReplyDelete
I watched it on BBC i-player Carol.Delete
Tv Heaven or a breath of fresh air. I must get around to watching them all.ReplyDelete
I suspect you would also love it Dave.Delete
I watched the first series, maybe the second as well, then I got rid of the tele. Now I see there are some behind the scenes videos on youtube. Very well written and the actors are perfect for their roles.ReplyDelete
Can you access BBC i-player on your computer? You could watch it there.Delete
I could, and I used to, before they changed the rules about needing a licence to watch it. From the moment that happened I stuck to the rules and stopped watching anything BBC related, unless it was recorded and on youtube.Delete
Good luck finding it on YouTube.Delete
It sounds like a programme I would watch. Is the detectorists a new word for people who are detectors? Another case of a longer word being used when a shorter one would do.ReplyDelete
Maybe an American soldier dropped the Matchbox car?
You are the last person I would imagine 'binge watching' a tv series.
I never imagined I would binge-watch anything. A "detector" is the instrument that "detectorists" use. If you drive a car you are not called a car, you are called a car driver.Delete
One of my favourite tv series. It is classic British television, gently humorous, Mackenzie Crooke is a genius. The Magpie music is excellent, and when as the two tired detectorists leave one of those beautiful fields, the gold coins tip out of the magpie's nest is brilliant. But then again, I had a friend (once) who was so anti-detectorists his ire was something to behold.ReplyDelete
Well I don't know much about these things but I find it hard to imagine why anyone's hackles would rise about detectorists. It seems such an innocent hobby.Delete
Well it is also treasure seeking of course. Lots of aggro about archaeological stuff being sold off for profit and no record of provenance. But I am sure most detecting is fairly innocent.ReplyDelete
I can see that treasure hunters might take away ancient metal items - stealing a bit of our history.Delete
We also loved this show. It's been a while since I've seen it. Maybe we should watch it again! (I don't think I ever saw the Christmas special.)ReplyDelete
The 2022 Christmas special is like the icing on the cake.Delete
I'll look out for that. Clearly, we both like comedies about people like us.ReplyDelete
I guess that's true Lance.Delete
We saw 2017 and have never realized there were earlier incarnations - thanks for the heads up and will go seek them out. We love this drama.ReplyDelete
I am a little sad that I have now seen every episode. I wanted it to carry on.Delete
I have seen a few of the shows. The humor is distinctly British. And I can't define what that is.ReplyDelete
Nor can I Travel but it is so very English - I wouldn't say British though.Delete
We watched it and loved it. I still think about it and miss that little world that was so beautifully portrayed.ReplyDelete
You are right. The team who made it did create a "little world". I don't think that that is an easy thing to do.Delete
I have watched all the series as they were broadcast and loved every one, but I didn't manage to get through the last episode that was screened recently. It was all going well until Lance decided to rebury the gold and I thought that I could predict some horrible ending involving Simon and Garfunkel so switched it off. I never did find out how it ended.ReplyDelete
I assure you that the ending was not at all horrible JayCee.Delete
I had never heard the term detectorists until you mentioned it recently in a previous post. But thinking upon it, I have never really needed to refer to people with metal detectors in the plural form!ReplyDelete
One person who uses a metal detector is a detectorist.Delete
I will have to check it out as I think it might be available on my Roku. Sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation, Neil.ReplyDelete
Well I don't know what a "Roku" is. Is it a crystal ball?Delete
I enjoyed this series very much. (and learned a lot!)ReplyDelete
I am glad you could find it over there in Washington State.Delete
I'll have to take a look for it. Thanks for the recommendation.ReplyDelete
"Detectorists" is so absorbing that you can lose yourself in it for a while.Delete
I loved Toby Jones as the gun toting supermarket manager in The MistReplyDelete
From your description of the programme I think you would also like Mortimer and Whitehouse. Gone Fishing. Have you seen that?ReplyDelete