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Score: 85%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 180 Mins.
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Mini-series
Audio: Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH


  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Detectorists is a lighthearted comedy/drama about a pair of friends who spend all of their free time scouring the English countryside with their metal detectors in the hopes of finding the burial place of a Saxon king. Lance (Toby Jones, The Girl) is a middle-aged divorced man who is still quite hung up on his hippie ex, Maggie (Lucy Benjamin), who left him for a selfish and skeezy Pizza Hut manager named Tony (Adam Riches). Mags runs an unsuccessful new age shop and manages to find ways to use Lance constantly, which suits him just fine because he gets to see her often, although Tony takes every opportunity to make jabs at him. Andy (Mackenzie Crook, Pirates of the Caribbean series; also the writer and director of Detectorists) works temp doing various cleanup jobs like lawn work on the highways, and he lives with long-term girlfriend Becky (Rachael Stirling), an elementary school teacher who puts up with his hobby, for the most part. Despite their squabbling banter, the pair have a strong relationship.

Lance and Andy think they may have figured out where this Saxon king lay buried, but its on a piece of land owned by Farmer Bishop (David Sterne), an insane old man who refuses to let anyone on his property, presumably because his wife went missing some 10 years before and legend has it he killed her and buried her on the property. Oddly enough, Bishop takes a liking to the pair and allows them free reign to detect, although he is clearly as nutty as a fruitcake (and is hilarious to watch). An ancient history student named Sophie (Aimee Ffion-Edwards) happens upon the pair and befriends them, expressing an interest in detecting and they welcome the cute girl with open arms, inviting her to the next meeting of their club, the Danebury Metal Detecting Club. Funnily enough, the president, a colorful man named Terry (Gerard Horan) has declared they will accept no new members, since another club called the Antiquisearchers is trying to steal their detecting locations and permissions. Since Lance and Andy vouch for Sophie, she is allowed in.

As the pair work the land, something Bishop says leads them to think they are on the right track, but it's not too long before a pair of Antiquisearchers who look alarmingly like Simon and Garfunkel try to muscle in on the property. As Lance and Andy are trying desperately to hold onto what they think is "the big one" on Bishop's property, they start to have personal problems. Lance is devastated to hear that Mags may be moving away and closing up shop, while Becky gets the wrong idea about Andy and Sophie and she leaves him. To make matters worse, Andy goes out to Bishop's without Lance to teach Sophie how to detect and has an incredible find - without Lance. The pair begin fighting and with everything else going on, they realize they need to get their priorities straight. Fortunately for everyone, friendship and love win out in the end.

Detectorists is an amusing mini-series, but it is not a laugh-a-minute. There are helpings of drama interspersed, but I did find myself grinning a good bit because it is a dry comedy and the characters are endearing and interesting. Mackenzie Crook stars in, as well as wrote and directed Detectorists and its a fun little romp into a sector of hobby society that I was fairly unfamiliar with. The only special feature is a featurette interviewing cast and crew on the behind the scenes antics of filming Detectorists and it's interesting to see how Crook's idea formed into the television show.

Crook and Jones have great chemistry together and almost have an Odd Couple feel to them, and the rest of the cast is lots of fun as well. If you like British comedy, you'll probably enjoy Detectorists.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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