Refreshing and Sentimental: BBC Four’s Detectorists

The cast of Detectorists /


Now that 2017 has finally come around you might be looking for something new to watch. Maybe Game of Thrones is getting old, and Sherlock and Black Mirror too stressful. Maybe you are ready to snap at the next person who so much as mentions The Walking Dead; if that’s the case, I have the perfect show for you.

Detectorists is a BBC Four production written and directed by Mackenzie Crook, a name which might not sound immediately familiar, but you do know his work. At the very least you know him as the pirate with the wooden eye from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The show started in 2014 and has recently been added to Canadian Netflix. It consists of two seasons, the second of which came out in 2015.

The plot follows Andy Stone (played by Crook) and Lance Slater (played by Toby Jones), two ‘Detectorists’, metal detecting hobbyists, as they live their lives in the fictional, rural town of Danbury, Essex. They live lives full of monotony and seem unfulfilled as the show explores their relationships, working life and their time with the Danebury Metal Detecting Club, the ‘DMDC.’

The real mastery of the show lies in its writing and single camera work. The show is full of clever one-liners and some beautiful, real, heart-string pulling dialogue between lovable characters. While the traumas of this small community may seem trivial, they carry with them the power to move audiences who can relate.

The camera work moves about showing the audience exactly what they want to see and letting dramatic ironies sink in. Every episode the folky theme by Johnny Flynn opens and closes to beautiful clips of nature as it exists in the fields they detect on and every episode shows the audience the quaint yet, sentimental conversations between Stone and Slater.

While it might be best described as a dry comedy, Detectorists has real heart and will make watchers misty-eyed as often as it will have them laughing. The show is relaxing and steadily paced standing alone among the fast-paced, dark, and dreary heart-stopping works of television which have become most popular in the past couple of years.

Detectorists is cute, refreshing and utterly brilliant.

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