The Bletchley Circle

I don’t normally watch dramas on ITV, especially not crime dramas, but Anna Maxwell Martin was slumming it, so I thought I might as well too.

The Bletchley Circle is set in 1951 and is about four women who used to work in the 1940s for the Foreign Office as code-breakers (The Bletchley Circle). There’s the Scottish-matron type leader, the young one with a photographic memory, the clever sensible one (Anna Maxwell Martin) and the fun feisty one (Rachel Stirling). Nine years after 1943 when they had intercepted a German message about an attack, Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) is a bored housewife with two children whose husband doesn’t know about her former war career. The Scottish one (sorry – I can’t remember the character’s name nor the actor’s name though she is very familiar) works in a library. Rachael Stirling works in a tea shop but had travelled around a bit, and the young one (I think she’s called and let’s just call her Lucy) is a working-class wife whose husband also has no idea how clever she is. In fact the men are all useless, particularly Anna Maxwell Martin’s.

So there’s a serial killer on the loose. Killing young girls, raping them afterwards and leaving them underground below bomb shelters and the like. Anna Maxwell Martin thinks there’s a pattern and asks her husband if he can introduce her to the police at Scotland Yard. He and they indulge her but her idea of the pattern isn’t correct. She gets the old gang together and they soon see that the pattern is related to rail timetables (it’s set in London). That the murderer picks up these women on trains and they must trust him – he’s a ticket collector, or train official or something. 4 girls already found, and one missing (and AMM thinks there’s another one). With their code-breaking skills they find one of the missing girls – but she’s already dead. It’s a series, but I thought they would solve the murder within the hour, so was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is an ongoing murder investigation through the series (a three-parter I’m guessing). Without AMM it wouldn’t be that interesting, but she’s great – Rachael Stirling’s good too and are the other two women. So yeah, sometimes ITV can do interesting drama. Hope to catch up on the Daphne de Maurier adaptation of ‘Scapegoat’ in the next couple of days, and may blog about it if it’s interesting!

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One Response to The Bletchley Circle

  1. Harriet says:

    Jean (the Scottish one) was played by Julie Graham.

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