Mackenzie Crook, the writer, director and star behind the brilliant metal-detecting sitcom The Detectorists, confirmed there will be one last sweep of the English countryside coming from his mind palace which will 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 back in December 2020 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.
Fast forward almost 18 months and you have the most brilliant news that a feature length one-off has been commissioned by the BBC which will bring viewers up to date with the lives of Andy, Lance, Becky and the Danebury Metal Detecting Club.
Crook says: “It was 2017 when we were last in Danebury and I miss my old friends in the DMDC [Danebury Metal Detecting Club]. I’ve had a story percolating for a while and I thought it was worth getting Lance, Andy and the rest of the band back together for. The affection expressed for Detectorists over the years has been incredible and I hope fans of the show will enjoy this new, extended episode.”
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.
The Detectorists premiered in 2014 and it’s been 5 long years since we last heard from Andy, Lance and their friends in the DMDC. The last episode concluded with Andy and Lance stumbling across a stash of gold coins, having very narrowly missed the hidden trove of ancient treasure for the previous two series.
I’m hoping/betting that alongside Andy (Mackenzie Crook) and Andy’s best friend Lance (Toby Jones), we’ll see 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 2020.
Series 3 ended with Andy (Crook) and Lance (Jones) seemingly finding both their literal and allegorical gold with the last episode concluding with Andy and Lance stumbling across a stash of gold coins, having very narrowly missed the hidden trove of ancient treasure for the previous two series. The thought that Crook will be bringing this series to a close on his terms is really something to begin clearing off space from the DVR for.