"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.