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Detectorists series two is the same but different... and that's just fine

"Some things should stay the same. In the same way that what lies in Bishop’s Field should stay in Bishop’s Field…" logo
Published: Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 9:30 pm

What happened to Detectorists?


The startling opening to series 2 involved some kind of stormy scene of sword-wielding invaders, lightning and a monk secreting buried treasure. It made me think I had tuned into the wrong show…

Oh hang on. That’s Bishop’s Field. That was a flashback to Medieval times and the monk was burying the treasure we saw at the end of series one (resting tantalisingly close to Lance and Andy, but undetected by them).

And then it was back to the present day and the deliciously familiar mundanity of this cracking comedy written by Mackenzie Crook and starring him and Toby Jones.

We have moved on a bit since series one. Andy (Crook) and Becky (Rachael Stirling) have now had a baby. Andy, who appears to be out of work, is a stay-at-home Dad.

Meanwhile Lance (Jones) has shaken off the ghost of his awful ex-wife Maggie and is looking for love. Why not, suggests Andy, try internet dating. Could you imagine?

And we are introduced to Becky’s Mum, here played by Stirling’s real life Mama, Dianna Rigg. She’s clearly got it in for Andy who, surprise, surprise, is a very paranoid father. His mother-in-law troubles will, I feel, be the grit in the oyster of this series, the ripples that disturb the tranquil pond that is this show.

Elsewhere, everything else is comfortingly familiar and bucolic. Events at the Danebury Metal Detecting Society are as uneventful as ever and Lance and Andy are still watching University Challenge on a pretty regular basis.

I am glad to report that the fantastically funny Simon and and Garfunkel are back and that Lance and Andy's finds are as silly as ever. Tonight they turn up a Blankety Blank Chequebook and Pen.

Clearly writer and director Crook, who won a Bafta for this show, was too canny to change much. It is a show which thrives on nostalgia and has an army of devoted fans. So whatever Crook has achieved he has successfully avoided some kind of rebellion from the Millets-clad masses brandishing their Thermos flasks as weapons. Or something like that.

Some things should stay the same. In the same way that what lies in Bishop’s Field should stay in Bishop’s Field…


Detectorists continues on BBC4 on Thursdays at 10pm


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