Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Father Brown

Chesterton's Father Brown stories are bizarre, bejewelled and Borgesian (actually it's the other way round; Borges is Chestertonian) and though they've been filmed a few times now they've yet to fall into the hands of the kind of bad-boy visual stylist who would do them proud. This latest BBC series is going out in a slot between the lunchtime soaps and the tea-time quiz shows and- surprise, surprise- Ken Russell it ain't.  Chesterton's original Hammer of God features the tallest most vertiginous church tower in literature but- never mind- this boxy little item will do. His boudoir-crawling victim wears an enamelled Japanese helmet that makes him look- from above- like a squashable bug; well, sorry, but that's just mad. people don't behave like that (Only they do! They do!)   Father Brown has been Marpleized- transported to the 50s (apparently- according to an interview with the producer- because people prefer their costume dramas set within living memory), bedded down in a pretty Cotswold village and equipped with a couple of non-canonical female side-kicks- one for comedy, one for glamour- and a slow-on-the-uptake Chief inspector to bedevil and annoy. The result is perfectly watchable focus group TV- with an endearing central performance from Mark Williams- but it's not particularly interesting.

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