There’s something about British comedy over the course of time that makes you wonder how two people could ever hook-up much less cross paths. You know, those like Basil and Sybil Fawlty who are constantly at each others throats but you get the sense that neither of them would survive without the other. The same could be said (maybe) for Tim and Gareth (more on this later) in the BBC version of The Office, Hyacinth and Richard in Keeping Up Appearances and, now, in MacKenzie Crook’s brilliant series, Detectorists, Andy and Lance, two ‘detectorists’ (practitioners of the detector) who bicker constantly and re-tell the same jokes over and over.
While Andy and Lance’s friendship could be described as both pathetic and touching, their goal in life as ‘detectorists’ is to find much more than scraps of metal in the ground. They are looking for something to ignite and improve the drudgery of life, believing that any day, ‘this could be their moment’. Their dream is to unearth a Saxon ship burial, their reality is digging up ring pulls from old Fanta cans.
According to the British Comedy Guide, the series will film the final 6 episodes in Suffolk this Summer with a BBC4 broadcast by the end of the year and then a public television premiere not long after. Returning alongside Crook will be Andy’s best friend, Toby Jones’ character Lance. Also returning will be Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Sophie, Pearce Quigley as the lugubrious Russell and Gerald Horan as chairman Terry. You might remember the 2015 Christmas Special in which Andy decided to travel to Africa with his wife Becky (Rachel Stirling) and son Stan, leaving his future with the Danebury Metal Detecting Club [DMC] uncertain. Lance also made a stunning find that ended up in the British Museum.
Detectorists is created by, written by and stars MacKenzie Crook, who knows more than his fair share about pathetic and touching friendships from his days as Gareth Keenan in Ricky Gervais’ The Office. While some groups objected to the airing last Fall, The Detectorists have had their share of protests and Crook feels very strongly otherwise. “It’s a very affectionate look at men and their pastimes,” says Crook. “It’s not a flippant look at metal detecting. And hopefully, the metal detecting community will really embrace it and enjoy it.”
In a statement issued by the BBC, Crook said: “After a year away, I decided I missed my friends in Danebury so much, that I have to go back to the world of Detectorists one more time to see what Andy and Lance can dig up. The prospect of filming another summer in the beautiful English countryside is a good one, and I’m very proud that the third series will premiere on BBC Four where it all started.””
The Detectorists S3 will film this Summer with a targeted end of 2017 broadcast on BBC4