They had found their place in World War II â brilliant women with brilliant minds, breaking codes at Bletchley Park that would help the Allies win the war. But when the war was over... Four graduates of Bletchley Park now at a loose end in a thankless world, have turned their razor-sharp minds to solving crime. When one of their own, Alice Merren, is imprisoned and charged with murder, Jean reunites Lucy, Susan and Millie in an attempt to prove their comradeâs innocence; but there are dark forces at work at the heart of the military establishment out to stop them. With Susan called overseas, a new partner joins the Bletchley Circle. When Millie is kidnapped, brutalised and threatened by a Maltese gang that she has discovered trafficking young girls from Eastern Europe, the ladies must work fast â and undercover â if they are to save lives and not be thwarted by bribery and corruption at the heart of Scotland Yard.
"The Bletchley Circle" returns for it's second year. I really admired this group of women in their first year. Each of them very intelligent, great insight and able to see through any clue in minute detail. They had all worked at a secret installation, Bletchley Park, during World War 2. These mysteries take place in the early '50s after WWII, and this new season gives us some years after the first season ended.
The Bletchley Circle shows us the frustrations and issues women faced in their workplace with the sexism and limits placed on them. Their talent was based on how fast they could type and what they looked like in a tight skirt. They have become mothers, secretaries and librarians. And, in their off time they solve mysteries and often murders.
This is a four-episode season, with two episodes related to each other. Susan, played by Anna Maxwell Martin, remains traumatized after a close encounter in the first season with a murderer. She takes part in the first two episodes, and then leaves with her family for a foreign posting. We follow the women has they try to prove the innocence of a former colleague. Rachel Stirling plays Millie the most adventurous and beautiful of the group. She shines in the third and fourth episodes as the ladies try to solve the puzzle of strange codes and young girls for sale.
I enjoyed this series,but at times it seems as if the writers are stretching. Give them their own detective bureau, and let them really shine.
The first series of Bletchley Circle brought a relaxed yet purposeful dedication and camaraderie within the operatives of the secret code-breakers of World War 2. This second series, set in 1953, picks up naturally from this. The 'one for all, all for one' philosophy is maintained. Two delightful stories are portrayed. When one of their compatriots, Alice,(Hattie Morahan), is convicted of murdering her ex-lover, scientist John Richards (Paul McGann,), she refuses to comment and is obviously being protective. The Bletchley girls re-unite as she is due to be hanged. Years before , Alice had joined the Bletchley team and John had gone to Porton (Down) the government's secret research centre. They had a daughter, Lizzie (Faye Marsan), who, unbeknown to Alice, had been seeing John. The Bletchley girls Susan, (Anna Maxwell Martin), Millie, (Rachel Stirling), Lucy, (Sophia Rundle) and the 'boss', Jean (Julia Graham) begin to delve into the circumstances of the alleged crime. The answer lies within Porton and the Bletchley crew are masterful in their enquiry to achieve truth and justice when Lizzie's identity is uncovered and the unethical scientist's human experiments come to light, with military help, leading to a thrilling finale.
The second story is more aggressive in that Millie becomes involved with selling contraband goods smuggled in by an organisation headed by Marta (Brana Bejic) a Maltese. Millie thinks this is standard provision of black market goods until she is kidnapped on suspicion of being 'not what she seems'. Marta is a clever and ruthless master criminal who imports goods illegally using an intricate encrypted code. This, of course, is just the incentive that leads the Bletchley team to try and decipher the messages. Using their enigma skills,(breaking into the old Bletchley), the extent of Marta's gang activities become apparent. It is not just luxury packages being imported but also something far more sinister. 'Bulldog' Jean puts her life on the line with bluff and money. Will they succeed?
This is an enjoyable series with fabulous and accurate depictions of the time and period that encompasses the series in an engaging atmosphere. The plots may be thin at times but given the characters and production team, who know exactly how to convey the feelings of the times, the delight in their detective work and companionship comes across with warmth and affection. The magnificent Anna Maxwell Martin does not appear in the second story, deciding to travel overseas to accompany her husband and children. Whether the new-comers Alice and Lizzie plus the rest of the cast can keep the viewers' ratings, only time will tell. Personally, Susan (Anna) is the star of Bletchley, and sorely missed, yet the second story was still entertaining and captivating. No doubt there will be more to come. A fabulous and undemanding excursion into realistic post-war female detection and guile.
I have watched my series 2 and enjoyed it as much as the first series. Well acted, good storylines, a series that you can really become involved in when watching. I would recommend The Bletchley Circle 1 and 2 to you if you are thinking of purchasing and even if you are not deciding to purchase you may wish to consider this excellent series. I hope that series 3 is on the books to film.
Excellent series, but it is advisable to watch the previous series first in order to get a better understanding of the context. What a pity that the planned third series was cancelled. It was an original concept and refreshingly different from the usual detective series. The story lines are cleverly constructed and not easy to follow, and I found that a second and a third viewing revealed little details that I missed the first time round.
My wife and I have been downloading The Bletchley Circle season 1 and 2. We download them the day after they are shown in the UK (we live in Florida) and watch them without commercials. They are FANTASTIC! What a clever concept! The writers make the transference from code breaking to crime solving effortlessly. We have seen three of the four episodes in season 2 and looking forward to the fourth one next Monday. In season 2 two episodes make up one story; the first one was every bit as good as season one. We buy these because we enjoy watching them multiple times. My worry is availability of subtitles. Today's performers mumble a lot and subtitles help! The first series advertised English and Norwegian subtitles. We just received it today so we will enjoy Season one all over again! Hooray for ITV!