Grantchester DVD Review

Grantchester02GRANTCHESTER Season 1
PBS

Masterpiece Theater’s MYSTERY! Has over the years turned out an awful lot of wonderful programming. Grantchester is one of the latest and the first season is now out on DVD. Based on a series of books by James Runcie (which are great reading) this is a traditional mystery in the British tradition which means little or no violence shown and emphasis on characters.

It’s 1953 and Sidney Chambers (James Norton) is a WWII vet who is now a vicar in a small town near Cambridge. He likes jazz and enjoys his work but when a parishioner comes to him with secrets about a death he can’t help but get involved. He ends up working with a Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Played perfectly by Robson Green of Wire In The Blood), reluctantly at first but soon the two discover a report and a rhythm that works quite nicely for solving crimes. The first episode involves a suicide which turns out to be murder. Sidney and Geordie get to the real truth and the road to it is a wonderful journey. The remaining 5 episodes are similar.
Grantchester01Like most good mysteries, whether on screen or in a book it’s the characters that make it work. Sidney has nightmares from his actions in the war and struggles with them which sometimes causes a crisis of faith. He also has a knack for attracting women which comes with some interesting problems. Keating at the opening is a cranky tired cop who is set in his ways and seen it all. His partnership with Sidney gets him to relax a bit and the two end up being good company for each other. I also adore the housekeeper, Mrs. Maguire. She’s opinionated and blunt and a delight to watch.  The time period lends an almost innocence to the stories told and because of the lack of technology the detective work feels more pure.
This was extremely enjoyable and I really hope to see a great deal more of it.

Jon Jordan

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