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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Grantchester (2014)

The subtitle on the poster is what I love about this new PBS series--it interweaves murder with faith and love. I am an inveterate reader of murder mysteries, but the series that I like best are not the thriller sort, but rather the ones that weave life into the story, and that is what this BBC crime drama does.

Sidney Chambers (James Norton) is a vicar in the small town of Grantchester in 1953.  He is a WWII veteran who has PTSD and he regularly experiences flashbacks and nightmares.  He uses the same sorts of therapy that many veterans of the most recent wars do, which is smoking, drinking, and avoiding talking about what's bothering him.  He is different in that instead of turning away from faith he has instead embraced it.  He has all of the requisite talents that make him good in that role.  He is eloquent and inspirational in the pulpit.  He has a generous spirit, forgiving of all behaviors he encounters (including suicide and homosexuality, both of which are dimly viewed in the era that the series is set in).  He is also quite insightful, which brings him into the sphere of police work.  His path crossed with Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green), and together they solve a crime, and then form a friendship.  The episodes are about an hour in length, which is a bit on the short side for my taste, but that is the only downside of this very enjoyable new series.

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