Detectorists on DVD

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00 Written by 

Detectorists - out now on DVDMackenzie Crook wrote, directed and co-stars in this BBC comedy series about a pair of metal detectorists. Crook (the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, Almost Human) plays Andy, a wannabe archaeologist who spends his days tending to council lawns and his evenings sweeping fields for buried artefacts. His mate is Lance (Toby Jones - "Captain America: The First Avenger", "The Mist"), a fork-lift driver who dreams of getting back together with his ex-wife.

Together they form two-sevenths of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club (aka the DMDC), a local group who meet up once a week to compare their finds and watch riveting talks about buttons. As the series progresses, the petty rivalry between Danebury and rival group, the Antiqui-searchers, threatens to boil over, all because of rumours of a treasure trove in a loopy farmer's local field.

The supporting cast includes Rachael Stirling (Doctor Who, The Bletchley Circle) as Andy's long-suffering girlfriend, Lucy Benjamin (EastEnders, Jupiter Moon) as Lance's ex-wife Maggie who runs a spiritualist shop, and Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Luther, Skins) as Sophie, a young student who joins up with the Danebury lot and causes a bit of friction.

The series also features sterling work from Gerard Horan (Lark Rise to Candleford, Kingdom) as Terry, the suitably sober president of the Danebury club, and David Sterne (Hunted, "300: Rise of an Empire") as the aforementioned farmer, a man so barking mad he takes imaginary dogs for walks.

If the concept of a comedy about metal detecting leaves you cold, I recommend you are not quite so quick to dismiss it. I admit that I was sceptical initially and it took me a couple of episodes to get into, but now I am seriously hooked. There is wonderful chemistry between the cast members, and a rich seam of humour, especially concerning the perceived lameness of some of their discoveries (rusty Matchbox cars for example), and the detectorists' risibly petty behaviour towards each other.

Some slightly more dramatic plotlines work their way into the latter half of the story, getting under the skin of the characters and proving there is more to the show than initially meets the eye.

The six episodes also look great, taking full advantage of the gorgeous British countryside. Indeed, one starts to see the appeal of wandering across lush pasture, getting away from the world to enjoy nature and explore. The detectorists' interest in history and archaeology is also admirable - after all, there are plenty less constructive hobbies to be engaged in!

I really hope Detectorists gets renewed for a second season. Who knows what as yet undiscovered objects lie buried in the earth, or where Crook will take his characters next?

Bonus features include:

  • 'Discovering Detectorists' - Behind the scenes, including interviews
  • Picture gallery
  • Subtitles

Detectorists (2014) is out now, courtesy of RLJ Entertainment. The single-disc set has a running time of 198 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £17.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Sunday, 09 November 2014 17:09

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