DVD Review: Father Brown, Set 2.

The Father Brown mysteries are based on G.K. Chesterton tales of a Catholic priest that is also the scourge of criminals everywhere.

Sir Kenneth More stars as Brown and, quite frankly, makes this show worth watching. I am not a big fan of cozies, but his performances are smart and restrained.

More is aided by some fairly strong scripts as well.

I picked up one of the books prior to writing this review. One thing I did notice was that the books had more religion and even philosophy (The main character is a priest, go figure.), there is little of that here. Oh, Father Brown generally wraps up each episode with some comments about morality but there is not as much as in the books.

These episodes were films, by the BBC, starting in 1974. Anyone that has seen early to mid 70s British television knows that the budgets were limited and, unfortunately, that occasionally shows here. Especially in the later episodes. I am not sure if they suffered a budget cut towards the end, but the general appearance of the shows drop off noticeably.

I also have to mention that the actual video is less than stellar. I am of the impression that the BBC did little to preserve these shows once they stopped airing them. As a result, the source print has rough spots with scratches and loss of sharpness in the colors. But this is hardly a deal breaker, many of us had videotapes we wore into the ground playing and replaying. The quality is not bad, but even Acorn Media makes a comment on the back of the box to this effect.

There is very little in the way of extras, we get written bios of the author as well as the cast, but that is about it.

There are six episodes (each with it’s own story) that run a little over fifty minutes a piece.

Fans of cozies will likely enjoy this; the fine acting and solid writing more than make up for the date look of 1970s BBC production.

Jeremy Lynch

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.