It was on British ITV last autumn and now, on January 18th 2015, it will premiere in the US, thanks to PBS Masterpiece. A real feast for all our American period-drama-loving friends who will enjoy this new 6-part drama series , Grantchester, on the same night as Downton Abbey 5. Each Sunday night they will move from Yorkshire to Cambridgeshire and will follow the adventures of their old and new English heroes and heroines comfortably sitting in their armchairs. Two hours of pure Englishness!
James Norton, we saw in Belle and Death Comes to Pemberley, plays an atypical young vicar, Sidney Chambers, whose main hobby is crime solving. Robson Green plays his partner and friend, Police Inspector Geordie Keating.
Set in 1953 in the surroundings of Cambridg, Sidney’s unlikely partnership with gruff, down to earth Geordie is central to the story. Geordie’s methodical approach to policing complements Sidney’s more intuitive techniques of coaxing information from witnesses and suspects. They are partners in crime and forge a true friendship as each offers a different insight into the crimes they begin to unravel.
Sidney Chambers, the protagonist, is a tormented character and a handsome young man. A vicar who is really like any other young man: he deals with jealousy, career, ambition, drinking too much, loving a woman he can't have, he likes jazz music and meeting his friends at the pub.
As a WWII veteran, Sidney has to cope with what we now call PTSD symptoms and with a baggage and a sense of guilt which are increased by the fact that he judges himself in the eyes of God. He fought and did things he is not proud of, but now he face his fears thanks to his faith though often finds solace in alcohol.
The 50s are an interesting setting. That was a time of great social and political change and Sidney is open to change and ready to help and understand.
I've seen it and love it. I can just suggest: don't miss it!
“As a priest, isn’t everything our business? There’s no part of the human heart which is not our responsibility” – Sidney Chambers