Mackenzie Crook, the writer, director and star behind the brilliant metal-detecting sitcom The Detectorists, is beginning to hint that there may be one last sweep of the English countryside in his mind palace which might warrant getting the band back together in the not-too-distant future. The series, which finished after three series in 2017, was not only a very cerebral comedy on numerous levels but it was also accompanied by a killer soundtrack of music also throughout the series.
According to the British Comedy Guide, talk of a revival broke as Crook was appearing on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 breakfast show to promote the Christmas Eve return of his BBC One Worzel Gummidge adaptation, he confirmed that “it’s true, I am kind of thinking of it but I don’t have any idea at the moment. I’m just starting the process of thinking ‘yeah, we should get the old band back together’. One last time!”
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, when you look back on The Detectorists, you have 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.
Hopefully, a Detectorists band reunion won’t be like most 60s rock band reunion tours where only one remaining original band member has kept the name and then tours with a band made up of people that weren’t born when the original band first came on the scene.
I’m hoping/betting that alongside Andy (Mackenzie Crook), we’ll see Andy’s best friend, Toby Jones’ character Lance returning along with Rachel Stirling as Andy’s wife, Becky, Lance’s ex-wife Maggie, played by Lucy Benjamin and, definitely Simon Farnaby and Paul Casar, the rival metal detecting gang who eerily resemble Simon and Garfunkel. Let’s hope the soundtrack returns also!
Unfortunately, there will be one gaping hole in the returning cast left by there being no Dame Diana Rigg, who played Veronica, Andy’s mother-in-law, as she passed away in September of this year.
The Detectorists have had their share of protests over the years as some groups have objected to the series. 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 continue to embrace it and enjoy it.”
Series 3 ended with Andy (Crook) and Lance (Jones) seemingly finding both their literal and allegorical gold. The thought that Crook can bring this series to a close on his terms is really something to begin clearing off space from the DVR for.