Father Brown series 2

Mark Williams as Father BrownAnother classic detective series is returning this month. The BBC’s Father Brown will be back for ten episodes in mid-January, with a further 15 already commissioned for next year.

Judging by the comments on Past Offences, the series disappointed fans of Chesterton and the properly-clued mystery, but more to the point outraged people with an eye for theological detail and period consistency. And yet it is undeniably popular, attracting 2.5 million viewers in the UK and selling into Australia, the US and Japan.

Personally I thought it was pretty good for a daytime drama, but not in the league of the best prime-time crime dramas. Although New Tricks

In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, the star Mark Williams called for the show to move to an evening slot with better budgets (apparently each episode costs £250,000, as opposed to the £1 million for most prime-time period dramas).

‘I think Father Brown is extraordinarily good, and not because I am in it. Especially considering the pace we do them, because we don’t get properly funded, due to the BBC’s idea of how things should be done.’

Tom Chambers as Detective Inspector

Tom Chambers as Detective Inspector Sullivan

There are some cast changes for series 2. The Polish refugee Susie Jasinski seems to have left the show. Hugo Speer’s Inspector Valentine is going to be replaced by Tom Chambers as Inspector Sullivan at the end of the first episode. Chambers says:

‘To Sullivan, Father Brown is like an itch that won’t go away. He finds him annoying, especially as he frequently outwits him. Sullivan bases his investigation on science and reason. He’s very into the forensics of his day. But he’s too busy looking at that to notice the human behaviour that Father Brown picks up on.’

We can also expect some stunts:

‘We’ve been developing bicycle action shots! We have a tracking vehicle, a rickshaw driven by cameraman Richard Hines, who cycles alongside me to get the shot. It’s very exciting doing stunts and crashes.’

Episode one is called The Ghost in the Machine and airs in the UK next Monday at 2.15. Here’s a rundown of the first five episodes:

1. The Ghost in the Machine
Father Brown is sceptical when a parishioner believes she’s being haunted by her sister who went missing years ago. However when she herself vanishes, he must investigate both disappearances.

2. Maddest of All
When an ex-serviceman drops dead in the street, Father Brown investigates the facility where he was a patient. Could something sinister lie beneath the surface at Danvers Retreat?

3. The Pride of the Prydes
The grand opening of Pryde Castle ends in disaster when a guide is struck by an arrow. Contrary to Inspector Sullivan, Father Brown becomes convinced that the motive lies buried in the family’s past.

4. The Shadow of the Scaffold
When convicted killer Violet is given a temporary reprieve from the gallows, she begs Father Brown to prove her innocence. With only three days in hand, can he find the real culprit before it’s too late?

5. The Mysteries of the Rosary
The mysterious disappearance of an old friend sends Father Brown and Sid on a quest to find the mythical Lannington Rosary. However can an old adversary, back from the dead, be trusted to help?

Guest stars for this series include Nick Moran, Annette Badland, Adrian Rawlins, James Fleet and Doctor Who‘s Tracey-Ann Oberman.

See also:

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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12 Responses to Father Brown series 2

  1. Well, not being a massive fan of the originals, I rather enjoyed the first series but the quality was highly variable. Fingers crossed for this series.


  2. I love the Chesterton stories but wasn’t crazy bout the series – but I would want to see it thrive in the hope that more lower budget dramas like it can be made. I certainly don’t think they should spend a penny more and hope it’s success leads to more adventurous work


  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Thanks, Rich. It really will be interesting to see how this series gets on….


  4. I simultaneously enjoyed the series, while clocking theological errors and deploring the differences from the books. So obviously I’ll be setting the box to record every magic moment of the new series!


  5. mike foy says:

    Forget this series, the acting is poor, the story predictable and bland, the dialog inane and nothing like the Father Brown Canon. watch Sherlock instead, I know it’s modern day, but the nods to the original stories are nice to ferret out.


    • Laura says:

      Esta série não existe para nos fazer viver num mundo atual onde não existe respeito, onde só vemos sangue e horrores. Foi feita para quem gosta de um outro tempo onde havia sangue mas não era mostrado claramente e a violência ficava subentendida. Eu não gosto de Sherlock. Esta série transformou este personagem num cara louco, misógino, egoísta. O verdadeiro era isto tudo, mas diferente ao mesmo tempo. Prefiro Elementar.


  6. Mrs Offences says:

    I think New Tricks is good.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Love it!


  8. Tracymockler says:

    Father brown should be evening viewing although I would not miss it day or night mark Williams is perfect for the part the story lines are good but I’m such a fan I’d like to see the episodes made longer.


  9. Amanda Belarmino says:

    I love G.K. Chesterton and the stories but the series is not the last bit like it. I enjoy the series but I wish they would stick to the stories and use Flambeau rather than a rehashing of the 1980’s Father Dowling Mysteries or Murder she Wrote.


  10. julie gaviria says:

    I love this series, so much so that I am considering the purchase of the books for my professional law office.


  11. Ellen J. Bassett USA says:

    I love this show! I watch it over and over. But wondering why the inspectors, with the exception of Valentine, have to be so utterly rude to a “man of the cloth”. Also there are other characters in the show who have no respect for a priest. Father Brown is such a kind, forgiving, non-judgemental and cool-headed guy. Every time Sid (Alex Price) leaves I’m sad but happy again when he returns 🙂 He’s my second favorite character after Mark William’s ‘Father Brown’. More episodes please. All the main characters do such an awesome job. Thank you all. God bless!


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