When ITV finally aired season one of The Bletchley Circle, there’s finally news about a second season. Fortunately, for fans, that day arrives and a second season is here for British aficionados to enjoy.
During the war, top-secret government tasks need to be completed but with men away, fighting to protect the home front, it was left to the women to be sure the jobs were filled. Code breaking part of this, and Jean (Julie Graham) is one of the women who did the job at Bletchley Park. When she sees newspaper reports accusing Alice Merren (Hattie Morahan) of murdering a former colleague, Jean remembers having met both of them during her Bletchley days and is suspicious of the accusations. After speaking with Alice, Jean believes she’s innocent which sends her to recruit her former Bletchley friends including Millie (Rachel Stirling) who now works in a translation position and Lucy (Sophie Rundle), a Scotland Yard secretary who has to be careful to conceal her ability to commit to memory anything she reads. Then there is Susan.
Still suffering from being kidnapped by a serial killer, Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) is in no hurry to sleuth. Were it not for a little nudging from her friends, she’d be still trying to busily fill her days. Instead she reluctantly sets about helping to string together the clues that will prove Alice’s innocence – or guilt.
This four-part series is different than the first. Not only its format but its sentiments are different also. Primarily this is true of a different mindset for its top-billed character, Susan, who is altogether a “changed” persona. She’s one of my favorites so watching her timidity is heartbreaking while at the same time I understand her reservations. Sad as it is, I respect the importance of her decision in the end. Beyond that, there are two two-part stories comprised of series two which I suspect was the best format to better suit the goodbye to one character.
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So many wartime dramas teach us either about the emotional aftermath of the war or what happens on the battlefield. Like fellow BBC soap opera, Land Girls, it’s nice to see a series that takes a fresh approach by sharing these stories. These five women are pivotal minds during the war and for some of them, life after saving lives and using their minds extensively becomes dull. I love how these stories set up and are eventually solved. The women use their minds to piece together clues, which indicates that this series is virtually romance-free. Fans who saw the first series will smile over the sweet friendship between Lucy and her boss. (Plus it was nice to finally see Sense and Sensibility‘s Hattie Morahan in something again.)
Beyond the characters (who are all unique and compelling respectively), I love the setting, costumes and mysteries. This season seemed a little “easier” than its debut though nonetheless is still immensely entertaining. From red lipstick to old automobiles, everything about this series is perfection when it comes to transporting the viewers to the past. The scripts aren’t quite as mysterious this go-round though the first two-parter does take some interesting turns. Fans who don’t mind “grittier” drama should look into The Bletchley Circle. It has a sensational cast (I’m not at all surprised) and decent scripting that leaves any viewer anxious for more. By the end, there is “enough” resolution though lingering questions go unanswered which is likely an enticer for future series. Or that’s what this girl hopes.
Content; there are implications that a woman is selling young immigrants into the sex trade [we see girls coming out of rooms buttoning their blouses and watch a sell in which a young girl is clothed in nothing but a slip while the men “inspect” her]; A man traps Millie against a van as his hands roam over her body and up her leg. Another woman has a child out of wedlock. There is some “tense” scenes and one woman catches a bullet; we see men with chemical burns in a hospital. The show is TV-14.