Thursday, March 17, 2016

TV Review: The Bletchley Circle (2012)

The Bletchley Circle (2012) written by Guy Burt

Bletchley Park was a top-secret code-break office in World War II London. The office had a group of four women who worked well together--Susan could detect patterns, Lucy had a photographic memory, etc. After the war, they signed a secrecy act and went back to normal lives, which meant marriage and two children for Susan. She's not entirely satisfied as a housewife and begins to analyze the news reports about a killer who's abducted his fifth victim. All the victims were women abducted while traveling and found strangled to death in dark cellars. Susan has worked out a pattern to the crimes and has her husband pull a favor with the London police. She gives her deduction of where the latest victim's body has been left but is wrong. The police thank her and bemusedly send her on her way. Rather than let it go, she calls on her three friends from the Bletchley and they get to work. They treat the murders like a code that needs cracking. They gather data on the murders and the victims to find more patterns. They make a lot of headway but the police are interested in evidence, not theory. The police politely ignore their conclusions. The women take the investigation into their own hands. The closer they get to the killer, the more dangerous it becomes.

The plot is engaging and has enough credible twists to ratchet up the tension and accelerate the story. The frustration of the post-war women being moved back into "women's positions" and not being taken seriously in "man's positions" is obvious but not heavy-handed. The situation creates natural set-backs for the women, forcing them to risk their own safety. Believable tension is also found in the lives of the two women who are married. They can't tell their husbands what they are doing which naturally arouses suspicion and creates other problems. The story is engaging from every angle and well worth watching.

I'm sure to watch season two soon!

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