The Bletchley Circle: Cracking a Killer's Code, Part 1
February 23, 2015 9:20 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

It is now seven years after the end of the World War 2 and four women, all ex-codebreakers from Bletchley Park, have got used to their mundane civilian lives. Following a spate of local murders, Susan starts collating information about them to see whether she can use her analysis skills to spot a pattern. Unable to convince the police to take her seriously, she turns to her former colleagues for help.
posted by isthmus (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really loved the premise and the four main characters, especially Anna Maxwell Martin and Julie Graham (Susan and Jean).

I am a bit weary of plots that revolve around serial killers. Fortunately, in many ways this show offers a new take on the tired old 'hunt for a serial killer' plot.
posted by isthmus at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed this. And, yeah, I find serial killers plots in general to be a bit tedious but this doesn't fall into most of the villain tropes I find particularly annoying.

Also, you really have to be careful of U-Boats under the desk.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2015

I really, really liked the idea of making a show about former code-breaking "computers" and how they adjusted to post war life. The acting was good. The sets and costumes were good. The serial killer plot line was not up my ally and the way the killings were shot felt highly problematic in that it, in my view, gazed at the victims in a sexualized and fetishistic manor. I also found the premise pretty impossible to swallow. I wanted to love this...
posted by latkes at 7:30 PM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed in spite of the 'serial killer' angle, which I hadn't realized until reading these comments probably contributed to me feeling like the show somehow just missed the mark somehow. Perhaps it's why I enjoyed season 2 more.

(Also, there is a nagging part of my brain that keeps telling me "This just is not Foyle's War.")
posted by MoonOrb at 7:54 PM on February 23, 2015

I had many of the same concerns, but will hang on for a bit to see how things develop. I hope the whole season doesn't focus on this one murderer.

I really liked the settings and costumes and... I guess I'd call it the hue of the the whole thing. Susan looks a lot like my grandmother, and they would have been just about the same age, so I find that particularly compelling because it's so easy to picture her. I like Anna Maxwell Martin a lot -- she seems so unrushed in her delivery. All the male characters seemed flat in this first episode, so I hope the series gives us some balance there.
posted by mochapickle at 5:48 PM on February 24, 2015

mochapickle: I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Season 1 is one story in 3 parts. Season 2 consists of two 2-part stories, with no serial killers at all.
posted by isthmus at 7:56 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really loved the premise as well, the characters were well-drawn and wonderfully acted, the sets, the costumes, everything was well done. In a way, too realistic because the "war's over-work's finished-now go home" attitude was infuriating and so depressing. I liked their idea of getting the gang back together more than I was interested in the mystery plots (esp for season 2). How easily this setup could have segued into a Ladies Police Helper Squad fantasy show but nope, they stuck with grim reality.

Love that "Millie" is Diana Rigg's daughter. I don't remember seeing her before this.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:33 PM on February 24, 2015

Yeah, in a lot of ways this is better than the premise suggests (and the title perhaps reaches too far), although it also has its limitations. I felt the production was quite up to depicting the era realistically, although the dialog and character notes at times feel an inch too modern. It was really nice to see a show that meets the Bechdel criteria (mostly, assuming you don't count the killer as making their conversation 'about a man'), and critically, did not feel the need to cast a man as a hero/ally.
posted by dhartung at 2:43 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Episode 2 has been posted.
posted by isthmus at 9:54 AM on February 26, 2015

Love that "Millie" is Diana Rigg's daughter. I don't remember seeing her before this.

She plays Becky in Detectorists.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 4:24 AM on August 1, 2017

I loved this show -- it gave me brain envy! I would love to be as intelligent as these women! -- but the premise has a fatal flaw in that these four women are analysts and don't have the skills for field work. I found it just horrifying to watch them try to do it anyway, because they were in over their heads and it put them in so much danger.
posted by orange swan at 7:56 PM on August 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

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