Based on the stories by GK Chesterton, Father Brown launched as a BBC daytime crime series back in 2013. With 9 series and 100 (yes, 100!) episodes in the books, not even a worldwide pandemic could stop the bicycle-riding priest and his mystery-solving ways. While production of series 9 was all-but scrapped in 2020-21 due to COVID, the series was able to resume production this past Summer and has targeted an early 2022 transmission on BBC One (public television stations in the U.S. will follow with an early-Spring 2022 broadcast).
For series 9, Mark Williams returns in the title role of the mild-mannered, crime-solving Roman Catholic priest alongside returning cast members Sorcha Cusack (Mrs McCarthy), Jack Deam (Inspector Mallory), John Burton (Sergeant Goodfellow), Alex Price (Sid Carter), Nancy Carroll (Lady Felicia), Emer Kenny (Bunty Windermere), and John Light (Hercule Flambeau). I don’t know about you but I CANNOT WAIT for the return of Lady Felicia Montague and Sid Carter!
In an age of one-and-done British drama series, reaching the century mark when it comes to number of episodes, Father Brown now finds itself in the company of some pretty amazing British dramas such as Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Doc Martin, Spooks, New Tricks, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Call the Midwife and Death in Paradise who have all achieved 9+ series over the years.
According to an early synopsis from producers, the 100th episode, titled “The Red Death”, will see Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) and her husband Monty hosting a lavish masked ball counting down to 1954, only for their plans to be undone when the Minster of Defense is murdered by a masked figure. With the estate locked down and a killer in the midst, Father Brown and the gang must find the real perpetrator.
In what now seems like a lifetime ago, several of us had the great good fortune to visit the Cotswolds and the set of Father Brown back in 2015 during filming of series 3 to produce a behind the scenes program, Father Brown: Saving Souls, Solving Crimes for broadcast on American public television stations.
Even back in 2015 with only 20+ episodes under their collective belt, you could sense something special on both sides of the camera as they brought Kembleford to life. Even though the series was commissioned by the BBC Daytime Drama Unit and traditionally transmits during the midday hours in January of each year, the overarching care and level of professionalism on both sides of the camera is one of the main reasons the series will see its’ 100th episode in early 2022.
Huge congratulations to Will Trotter, Ceri Meyrick, Rachel Flowerday, Tahsin Guner, Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, Nancy Carroll, Alex Price, Hugo Speer, Tom Chambers, Jack Deam and everyone that has crossed Father Brown’s path over the last 99 episodes! Just think, only 112 more episodes and you’ll catch Silent Witness!