Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Grantchester is a new period detective drama which started on ITV yesterday. It is adapted by writer Daisy Coulam (Death in Paradise, EastEnders) from Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, a novel by James Runcie

The 6-part series is set in 1953, in the real-life Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester. A funeral brings vicar Sidney Chambers on his first case as an amateur sleuth. Grantchester stars James Norton (Happy Valley) as Sidney and Robson Green (Strike Back, Wire in the Blood) as gruff copper DI Geordie Keating.

He's troubled like Dr Lucien Blake (The Doctor Blake Mysteries). He's good-looking and enjoys jazz like the Honourable Phryne Fisher (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries). And most of all, he's a clergyman like Father Brown - an adaptation of G.K. Chesterton's novels with Mark Williams delights BBC One viewers since 2013. Sidney Chambers is the newbie in the overcrowded playground of period amateur TV detectives and his vicar costume looks almost tailor-made for global sales.

Grantchester would be perfect for French pubcaster France 3's "Sunday Sleuth Slot", home of Les enquêtes de Morse (Endeavour), Enquêtes codées (The Bletchley Circle), Les enquêtes de Murdoch (Murdoch Mysteries) or... Miss Fisher enquête (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries of course). Regrettably, Grantchester is not a patch on Father Brown, a gem still ignored by French television. Despite magnificent locations and first-class production values, the premiere is slow-paced (even for the genre) and clichéd. Its only suspense is how France 3 could call the series: Les enquêtes de Sidney Chambers? Enquêtes à Grantchester?

Grantchester is co-produced by Lovely Day, a sister company of Kudos (Shine Group) and Masterpiece. The music is by John Lunn (Downton Abbey).


No comments: