Father Brown

I am enchanted with the BBC mystery series, Father Brown. Seasons 1-5 are available on Netflix.

father-brown

Father Brown is a priest in a charming English village. He is a mild-mannered, but headstrong, with the super power of connecting with bad guys’ need for redemption. Mark Williams, who you will remember as Ron Weasley’s father in Harry Potter, plays the Father.  His memorable eccentricities include riding around the village on a bike and carrying an umbrella everywhere he goes — although it apparently never rains in that part of England (it must be somewhere near Camelot).

Sorcha Cusack plays Mrs. McCarthy, the parish secretary. She may look familiar to you if you watch a lot of British mysteries, as her sisters, Sinead and Niamh, have appeared in Poirot, Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders. They look enough alike that I thought they were one person at different stages of her life until I jumped on Google.

There are various Watson-types besides Mrs. McCarthy that change up during the course of the show. Two of my favorites are Lady Felicia and her chauffer Sid. Lady Felicia is appropriately pictured here in red as she is a married lady who doesn’t act like one. She and Mrs. McCarthy tend to bicker like sisters. The roguish Sid is a former criminal, or maybe not so formal, who has the ability to go where the Father and the ladies cannot go. One of my favorite episodes was when he went undercover in a seminary.

The frustrated cop who tells Father not to do something when he should know that is exactly what Father is going to do changes from season to season. The name of the character is different and the actors are different but the role is defined by the function so, like Inspector Barnaby’s sidekicks, the characterization varies little.

Readers, what British mystery series is your favorite? Is there a character you especially like?

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23 thoughts on “Father Brown”

  1. I always have – and always will – be in love with “Lewis,” in particular the “dishy” Sergeant Hathaway. And man who is as bothered by a misplaced apostrophe as Hathaway is my kind of guy. And the chemistry between those two was superb. I liked it better than Morse and Lewis because Lewis and Hathaway are different, yet both respect the other’s abilities and contributions to the mystery.

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  2. Oh, yeah, absolutely. I love Lewis and Hathaway too. Did you see the season when he had his collar turned up? What was that about. I’m enjoying Endeavor too. The protag usually winces at the beginning of every show.

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    1. I saw all of them. I think it was winter/near winter in most of that season. Or he was just trying to look cool. Either way, worked for me. 🙂

      If I could, I’d get Amazon Prime just to be able to rewatch “Lewis” for the millionth time.

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  3. I just discovered Father Brown! I love British television/movies. Unlike Hollywood, the actors are not all perfect with great hair, teeth etc. They look like regular people. Of course, right this minute I can’t think of a single example 🙂

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    1. Judy, yes! Absolutely. I love how (some) British TV uses regular people. I doubt you’d seen the Mrs. McCarthy character in US TV; she’d be a hot babe. And she has great clothes! I wish I had her suits. Have you noticed she always wears a hat, even when she’s in the kitchen making tea?

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  4. I’m a big fan of the Father Brown stories but haven’t seen the series. Thanks for the recommendation! Our favorites are Inspector Lewis and Endeavour—though never actually got into the Inspector Morse shows themselves, actually. And Sherlock, of course! (….well, until the latest season.)

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    1. Me too, Art. I love Lewis and Endeavor too. Morse if off Amazon now. I had enjoyed that. It took me a while to warm up to Sherlock; the graphics showing him thinking in the first season I found distracting. But it’s a fun take on the stories.

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    2. I should say I like Endeavor, too. The latest season of Sherlock is better the second time around – maybe.

      Oh, Keenan – Sherlock is another who does the upturned collar thing; maybe it’s a British affectation?

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    1. Sue Star, I love Maggie Smith. I want to be the Dowager when I grow up. Remember the very unhappy maid, Sarah O’Brien. Siobhan Finneran, the actress who played her, is a lead in Loch Ness. It took me three episodes to remember where I’d seen her from; she was so different, and more likeable.

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  5. I need something new to watch, so I think I’ll tackle this. Also, I adore Miss Fisher. I wish there was a new season.

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  6. I’m about to restream Endeavor to refresh my memory and catch the new season that’s available. Poldark is A.MAY.ZING. And Sue, when I restream Downton Abby it will be for the third (or maybe fourth) time. Love it!

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    1. Peg: I seemed to have missed an entire season of Endeavor when I disconnected cable. The story line has a long arc, so thinking I need to start over. I didn’t get into Poldark, not my favorite era of costume drama I guess.

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  7. Another new show for me to watch! There’s not enough time! I’m echoing others, but my faves are Sherlock and Miss Fisher 🙂

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  8. First of all, I LOVE Netflix and Amazon Prime. How did I ever live without them?? As for what “British” shows I enjoy, right now I am watching “Murder in Paradise.” I watched a few episodes on my local PBS station and went back to watch the older episodes. Yes, I know there can’t possibly be THAT many murders on that tiny island. but the people are funny, and the scenery makes me want to hop on a plane and visit Guadeloupe where it is filmed right now! I had previously read a couple of books by Timothy Williams (“Another Sun” and “The Honest Folks of Guadeloupe”) that were actually set on Guadeloupe, and found them interesting as well. Here’s to a nice island vacation!!

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    1. 3 no 7: I was wondering about that show! I’ll take a look. And it’s highly unlikely that many murders are occurring in Oxbridge, but there seems to be enough to keep the whole Morse lineage plus Grantchester busy!

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