Detectorists (2014-2015) is a TV show directed by, written by, and starring Mackenzie Crook, who you’ll recognize from The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean. It has so far run two seasons, totaling 13 episodes. Season 1 is currently on Hulu and Netflix. Both seasons are on DVD (region 1 and region 2), Acorn.TV, and Amazon Instant.
Andy and Lance (Crook and Toby Jones) are serious metal detectorists. They have heavy duty metal detectors. They are members of their local detecting club. They spend all their time together out in the fields collecting soda ring tabs and matchbox cars, just waiting for the day they strike gold. When a cute, young girl (played by Aimee-Ffion Edwards) joins the detecting club, Andy’s girlfriend’s attitude toward his hobby goes from apathy to sour. But there’s no time to patch things up with his girlfriend (played by Rachael Stirling) now. Andy and Lance have just been given permission to detect on Bishop’s farm, and they can smell gold.
Detectorists has above average directing quality for a low concept TV show. The shots are absolutely gorgeous, aided by the breathtaking landscape. Crook does not skimp on the cinematography. Also threaded through the show is the folk music of Johnny Flynn, who sings the opening theme (he even makes an appearance in an open mic night scene!). The writing is pretty good. As I said, it’s low concept. The stories balance personal issues of Andy and Lance, who are struggling to keep their relationship afloat and move on from the last one, respectively, and the more superficial hunt for gold.
In addition to Crook and Jones, the cast is spotted with strong talent, especially David Sterne, who plays Bishop, the crazy yet amiable old man who owns the valuable land. Most of the time he swans in, saves the day, and makes some agitated remark about his invisible dogs. Gerard Horan is also good as the over-the-top leader of the detecting club. Oh, and there’s a Simon & Garfunkel duo of villains. Not even kidding.
Surprisingly good. A definite recommend.