Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Detectorists, written by, starring and directed by Mackenzie Crook is rapidly turning out to be my favourite thing that's been on television this year. If you haven't seen it, it's a sitcom about a metal detecting club's two most enthusiastic members played by Crook and a truly excellent Toby Jones.
I've read so many times that it's a 'gentle comedy'. To me a gentle comedy conjours up OAPs rolling down hillsides in tin baths. This isn't that kind of gentle comedy. It isn't a Not Going Out gagfest either, what it is is a beautifully-crafted comedy. The script has gorgeous lightness of touch, the characters speak how real people speak, from a discussion about what was on television the night before ("Fifteen to One's not the same without William G Stewart. I like Toksvig but she's always joking") to minor misunderstandings (a phone conversation we only see one side of "Do you like swedes?....No, the vegetable").
It also doesn't venture into the cliche that anyone who is an enthusiast of anything is a bit of a nerd. I always find that sort of thing kind of insulting. As though you can't be interested in any subject that doesn't involve sport or beer without being seen as some kind of social inadequate. Oh, and the original music's lovely too. All this and it shows off the English countryside at its best.
The series comes to an end on Thursday, this is giving me the same sort of feeling I get when I'm nearing the end of a book I've really enjoyed; you know it's going to end so you try and prolong it for as long as possible. It's a mark of the programme that I could quite happily sit and watch them all over again right now.

Detectorists: BBC4 Thursday night 10pm. Most episodes are still available on the BBC iPlayer. If you haven't seen it, try and catch up, it really is lovely.