Television Review: Father Brown (2013 -)

Title: Father Brown
Production Year(s): 2013 – 2017 (ongoing).
Episodes: 45 (so far)
Categories / Themes: It’s primarily a crime and mystery series, but it also has notations of religion (obviously, being about a catholic priest).
Cast: Mark Williams as Father Brown, Sorcha Cusack as Mrs Bridgette McCarthy, Nancy Carroll as Lady Felicia Montague, Alex Price as Sid Carter…

 photo Father Brown Screen Capture 2.png

Father Brown is a Catholic priest, working in the small, English village of Kembleford. It’s set in the 1950s and the show takes on some interesting, important issues for that period in time; such as the recent war, homosexuality, the death penalty, divorce and radiation. In the village and its surroundings are various crimes occurring. Sometimes it is theft, murder, disappearing people or even mysterious illnesses. With the information he finds, Father Brown does his best to help people by solving cases.

In many cases, the villagers are somewhat close minded. It’s understandable, I guess, because a lot of people (even these days) are somewhat ignorant to other peoples’ problems. However, it just feels kind of awkward watching characters such as Mrs McCarthy act like a jerk to other people because they don’t understand the situation. On the other hand, Father Brown is wonderfully accepting of others. He does genuinely try to understand peoples’ problems and interact with people, even if they might not necessarily be decent people. Even with murderers and thieves, he does take a look at other peoples’ sides of the story. I think that my least favourite character is Lady Felicia; sometimes she can be quite selfish and I don’t really appreciate many of her actions, nor her general behaviour. Mrs McCarthy is my favourite character. She, too, can be somewhat pompous. However, I think I would like her in person; she does her best to aid others. In many episodes, we can see her going to great lengths to help others with their problems. She seems very sweet, despite being a gossip. Father Brown himself is an interesting character. He’s interested in mystery novels and is generally quite clever, which is why he’s a good option to solve these crimes. However, he’s a catholic priest and not a detective, so he often rubs the police the wrong way. Regardless, he often comes to the right conclusions about the crimes and the perpetrators are usually brought to justice thanks to his inclusion in the case.

 photo Father Brown Screen Capture 1.png

My personal opinion about his inclusion in the cases is that I wish he would share his information with the police a little bit more. A lot of the time, the police and their own conclusions are wrong because they don’t have the same information as Father Brown ends up with. In common television stereotype, the police are made to look a bit stupid because they don’t come up with the right answer. However, realistically, it’s because they just don’t get the full information from the people they speak to. Yet, they’ll then offer it to Father Brown who will then solve the case. I think another con of the show is that some of the plot relies on convenience. An example I’ll use is vague, but might be considered a spoiler for some; on occasion, Father Brown will go somewhere and conveniently find a dead body or a crime having been committed. I could understand it happening the once, but he and his cohorts (Mrs McCarthy, Lady Felicia and Sid Carter) come across these problems a little bit too often. Also, the series kind of sways a bit far from the church. I wouldn’t be fascinated with seeing the congregation, but it just seems to me that he doesn’t do much of the duties a priest would usually take on. It reminds me of those types of series where it’s based in a school, but the students never seem to spend much time in class (or the classes will only be a few minutes long).

The series is based on a series of stories by G. K. Chesterton ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton )(29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936). It is still quite understandable if you haven’t; I haven’t read any of the written versions of Father Brown. It is my intention, though; I do own it in eBook format.

I obtained it free from Amazon.com.au & Google Play;

 photo -mTvDAAAQBAJ.jpg Father Brown Mysteries Collection (53 Father Brown Mysteries in One Volume)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Father-Brown-Mysteries-Collection-One-ebook/dp/B01L0X1RNE/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01L0X1RNE
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/G_K_Chesterton_Father_Brown_Mysteries_Collection_5?id=-mTvDAAAQBAJ
 photo KXsPDAAAQBAJ.jpg The Complete Father Brown Stories (Centaur Classics)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Father-Stories-Centaur-Classics-ebook/dp/B01ETZN9RC
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Complete-Father-Stories-Centaur-Classics-ebook/dp/B01ETZN9RC
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/G_K_Chesterton_The_Complete_Father_Brown_Stories_C?id=KXsPDAAAQBAJ

 photo Father Brown Screen Capture 3.png

Overall, I like the show very much. I quite like the mysteries that the show offers; they deal with issues of that period in time and they present an interesting range of characters, each with something new to show. Not every case has the most original plot, but each episode has some really unique insight to the village and its people.

I am not being paid, nor do I receive and funds, for this post. It’s just an honest review of a show I like. The two links I’ve posted for purchase are currently free at the time of posting this article, but please do double check any prices before purchase.

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