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, 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.
Created by, written by and starring 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. The Detectorists also stars Toby Jones who, prior to the BBC 4 comedy series, starred in the Truman Capote biopic Infamous, then as the voice, and movements, of Dobby the House Elf in Harry Potter franchise. 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.” Look for the series to head to public television stations in the not-to0-distant future.