Father Brown S5 (BBC One) [2017]

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fatherbrownFrom humble beginnings tucked away in the daytime schedules back in 2013, it seems that Father Brown has slowly become a genuine break out hit for the BBC, boosted by digital channel reruns in prime time on UKTV and healthy overseas sales to the United States and South Africa. It’s now returned for its fifth season, with 15 episodes including a prestigious Christmas special that was screened on the day before Christmas Eve and the rest following on a week later beginning on the public holiday after New Year.

Things are much the same in Kembleford where Father Brown (Mark Williams) serves as the local Roman Catholic priest aided by parish secretary and busybody Bridgette McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack). The curate is still getting caught up in various local crimes that bring him into contact (and conflict) with the insufferable local senior police Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam). This time, Mallory’s longtime sidekick Sergeant Goodfellow (John Burton) gets promoted to the regular cast, but missing from action is loveable black market ‘spiv’ Sid Carter – we don’t find out the fictional reason for his absence until well into the new series (see “The Sins of Others”), but actor Alex Price has been cast as Draco Malfoy in the West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Sid was chauffeur to local socialite Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) and she too only appears in the first two episodes of this latest run before departing to join her husband who has been newly promoted to a top colonial government post in Rhodesia. Fortunately her wayward niece Bunty (Emer Kenny) arrives just in time to effectively take over both Lady Felicia’s and Sid’s plot functions in their respective absences.

Just as the January return of Father Brown has become a welcome annual tradition on the small screen, so has Taking The Short View’s mini-episode guide and reviews. With the 2017 run now concluded, let’s take a look at all of Father Brown’s latest investigations.

“The Star of Jacob” by Jude Tindall (23 December 2016)
The series is bestowed the distinct honour of a specially extended slot for its Christmas special, and you can tell the difference because there’s a slightly under-running main plot (about a Duke’s son and heir who is kidnapped from his crib during a party) which is then augmented with all the traditional TV festive trappings which include a seasonal miracle that saves Father Brown’s ramshackle nativity preparations. While the episode cheerfully throws in many of the Christmas clichés including snowfall just in time for the Nativity, the core story itself actually had a rather sharper bitter-sweet taste to it – although fortunately the missing baby is restored unharmed and no one dies, because that simply wouldn’t be seemly for the holidays. As a result, this makes it perhaps the most perfectly pitched combination of Christmas with a regular Father Brown.

“The Labyrinth of the Minotaur” by Jude Tindall (2 January 2017)
Lady Felicia’s niece Bunty arrives in Kembleford and within 24 hours is arrested for murder after the maid at a local stately home is found dead, having fallen – or was it pushed? – from a high balcony. Father Brown investigates and soon finds a classic Gothic tale hidden away deep in the house, accessible only through a dark underground labyrinth which has already claimed one life in the past. It’s an old-fashioned mystery that’s neatly resolved, and if the episode under-runs slightly then it’s all to the good because it allows for a classic car chase, and for a proper exit for Lady Felicia that includes a rather touching farewell with her long-running sparring partner Mrs McCarthy,

“The Eve of St John” by Jude Tindall (3 January 2017)
Every season, Father Brown has one episode designed to show how anachronistically liberal and open-minded the priest is for someone of his faith in the 1950s, and this is 2017’s instalment. Kembleford responds to a group of pagan worshippers living among them in its usual fashion, which is to say by ‘welcoming’ them with a mob wielding flaming torches and pitchforks. Some of the characters and performances are a little on the ripe side which contrasts awkwardly with the tragic tale at the heart of the case of a woman found dead in the woods. John Sessions turns in a chilling performance as a fire and brimstone minister of the old school, but it’s Mark Williams who delivers the stand-out moment of the show when he confronts the lynch mob and defuses the situation with truly effective yet quietly spoken words of wisdom and compassion.

“The Chedworth Cyclone” by Paul Matthew Thompson (4 January 2017)
Father Brown steps into the world of pugilism when a championship fighter is accused of the murder of a fellow boxer who has been training at the same gym. It’s an unusually serious story for the series with Williams playing almost completely straight – only the sight of a disapproving Mrs McCarthy throwing herself into shouting ringside support for the local hero raises a smile. With a somewhat familiar story of corrupt promoters and bout fixing, there’s little to surprise here but it’s nonetheless done earnestly and convincingly. In fact the business of the murder is almost sidelined and young contender Jeb (Chris Gordon) is the main focus of the story, while the show is rather stolen by the star casting of Martin Kemp who brings genuine glamour and swaggering presence to the role of Dennis Nelson. On a production note, it’s interesting to see Inspector Mallory back on crutches just as he had been for the Christmas special, explained away by ‘recurring gout’ but presumably due to a real life behind-the-scenes injury for the actor and the episodes being broadcast out of order.

“The Hand of Lucia” by Lol Fletcher (5 January 2017)
The author of a scandalous erotic bestseller arrives in Kembleford to tell local philanthropist Lady Ursula of Uxbridge that she will reveal her as the inspiration for the book’s lesbian protagonist. Hours later the writer is dead, sparking a sequence of revelations concerning the diverse group of people who live at Lady Ursula’s house. Unfortunately the plot fragments into a sequence of individual small stories that the murder isn’t able to make cohere into a single narrative, and it’s not entirely satisfying as a result. That said, Bunty’s bout with food poisoning provides some running comedy together with a handy clue, but it’s the sequence in which she, Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy form a book club to scour the bestseller for clues that is the highlight of the episode as they imagine themselves in the various erotic situations depicted. Mrs C gets hot under the collar, while Mark Williams must surely have been practising that mad Cardinal’s cackle for the better part of five years!

“The Eagle and the Daw” by Kit Lambert (6 January 2017)
A surprisingly dramatic and intriguing mystery faces Father Brown after he visits a convicted murderess about to be hanged in prison. He learns that she is planning another murder from behind bars but when he tries to intervene, the priest finds himself the prime suspect in the new killing. With his hands tied by the seal of the confessional, he has to solve a locked room mystery from behind bars, relying on Mrs McCarthy and Bunty to do his leg work for him. It doesn’t help that he’s soon running out of viable suspects for the crime… The ingenious solution might have been borrowed straight from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but it still makes for a compelling and satisfying mystery. There’s not much comedy here save for Inspector Mallory having a ball thinking he’s finally got the better of the meddlesome priest – although in a rare moment of humanity for the insufferable character, even he realises something is not right here. And Sergeant Goodfellow comes into his own as a newly-minted regular cast member by going above and beyond the call of duty for Father Brown.

“The Smallest of Things” by Tahshin Guner (9 January 2017)
All the series regulars are guests at an exhibition of dioramas, precise miniature recreations of crime scenes used by the police for training new detectives (based on a real-life project undertaken in the 1940s by Chicago heiress Frances Glessner Lee.) But in this case, the maker of these macabre dolls houses has a hidden reason for including Father Brown among those present as she reveals a brand new creation depicting her own mother’s death ten years previously. Then a new full-sized and very real death leads to one of the regulars being arrested for murder… This is a mainly serious story with a vague supernatural tinge and a sad outcome. Flashes of humour such as Mrs McCarthy nearly getting caught snooping for clues are few and far between. It’s an engrossing plot and the guest characters well drawn so that it’s hard not to get pulled in and gripped by the events, but it’s slightly unfortunate that the end solution ends up unwittingly confirming a few stereotypes of the period.

“The Crimson Feather” by Kit Lambert (10 January 2017)
Gosh, who would have thought that sleepy Kembleford could boast such a risqué burlesque? This is quite racy stuff for BBC Daytime! Mrs McCarthy is predictably scandalised to discover that her god-daughter Jocelyn has been secretly performing at the private gentlemen’s club, but even worse is to come when one of the dancers is found stabbed to death and moreover she was wearing Jocelyn’s costume at the time. Mrs C and Bunty go undercover at the club to try and find the culprit – and the sight of Mrs C on stage will live long in the memory – while Father Brown has to avert his eyes to avoid temptation as he tries to untangle the truth behind blackmail, corruption, obsession and illicit love affairs in an enjoyable if not particularly ambitious episode.

“The Lepidopterist’s Companion” by Kit Lambert (11 January 2017)
A local photographer surprises an intruder in his home and kills him with a blow to the head with a cricket bat. Even when it transpires that the seeming burglar was in fact the photographer’s own young apprentice, Inspector Mallory is happy to write it off as justifiable act of homicide in self-defence. Naturally that’s not good enough for Father Brown, and his investigation uncovers a nasty seam of vice running through the sleepy village. It’s an interesting story that is more successful at disguising its direction of travel than most. It smartly plays its red herrings to ensure that the viewer can’t be entirely sure quite where the story is heading until well into the running time, and while the reveal of the guilty party isn’t exactly a surprise by the end – it’s too small a cast to successfully hide that sort of thing completely – it’s still rather satisfying nonetheless. In other news, Mrs McCarthy has a busy time with a close look at some very racy photographs, taking over the running of the local mobile library, and acquiring a most unwelcome suitor.

“The Alchemist’s Secret” by Rob Kinsman (12 January 2017)
My, how our little Kembleford is growing by leaps and bounds: just the other day it opened its first burlesque, and now it turns out that the sleepy village is just a stone’s throw away from the prestigious University of Gloucester – at least, it’s close enough for it to fall under Inspector Mallory’s jurisdiction when a student is found dead from a head injury. Father Brown is already there visiting his old friend Professor Ambrose (James Laurenson), who it turns out is growing increasingly absent-minded and obsessed with the story of a 17th century alchemist’s treasure supposedly hidden somewhere on the grounds for 350 years. In fact the actual murder is oddly something of an irrelevance here, notable only for the way that Father Brown uses the killer’s guilty conscience to get them to do the right thing – a very GK Chesterton touch. Instead it’s the Da Vinci Code-esque treasure hunt that is by far the more interesting part of this story: while one clue involving a sundial is invalidated by any sense of basic astronomy, it’s still all very entertaining and comes with a genuinely unexpected twist at the end when it transpires someone’s beaten Father Brown to the punch.

“The Sins of Others” by Tahsin Guner (13 January 2017)
After the oblique toast to ‘absent friends’ in the Christmas special, it’s finally time to find out what happened to Sid Carter. It turns out that he’s been in prison for the past year after being convicted of assaulting a local prostitute. He maintains his innocence, but this time not even Father Brown could clear his name. Now Sid has returned a changed man, bitter and bearded, determined to confront his defence lawyer whom he believes withheld a crucial eyewitness statement that might have exonerated him. But then the lawyer is found dead, and worse still there’s a witness to the latest crime who says Sid did it, meaning Father Brown has to go to extraordinary lengths not only to save Sid from the gallows but also to save his soul from the very dark road it’s on if the old Sid is to be recovered. It’s a great story with real impact, although it does get uncharacteristically melodramatic when Father Brown is targeted by a professional assassin and bullets start flying. It’s another tearjerker ending to proceedings when Sid decides to leave Kembleford to travel abroad to recover – although at least the door is left open for his return.

“The Theatre of the Invisible” by David Semple (16 January 2017)
After an unusually serious run of episodes, it’s time for Father Brown to let its hair down and have a ball poking some satirical fun at show business, specifically BBC radio light entertainment of the 1950s. A popular quiz show is set to be recorded in Kembleford, and  Mrs McCarthy, Bunty and Sergeant Goodfellow are all keen to be contestants. The stars of the show take lodgings at a guest house run by the waspish Mrs Rudge (a great cameo from Lynda Baron) until a fire leaves someone dead, so Bunty invites the party to stay at Lady Felicia’s estate – where soon there’s another death. Overall it’s a delightful period piece on how radio shows of the era worked and the cast is all in on the joke, with Allo, Allo’s Arthur Bostrom particularly enjoying going well over the top before taking an early bath. Fortunately it’s also rather neat and satisfying in the mystery department, making this a cheerful return to ‘old school’ Father Brown.

“The Tanganyika Green” by Catherine Skinner (17 January 2017)
After the previous episode’s look at 1950s wireless shows, this story takes a forebear of Antiques Roadshow as its inspiration. The locals in Kembleford are searching for cash in their attics in order to have their heirlooms valued by pompous expert Wynford Collins (a delightfully smarmy cameo from Miles Jupp) at the local county fair. But overnight, a colonial postal worker staying at the local inn turns up dead – and the only clue Father Brown has to work with is a sidearm found discarded in a herbaceous border. Regular mystery addicts won’t take long to spot what this is all about, and there’s only ever really one viable suspect in the whole affair, but the whole concoction is so charmingly delightful that it’s nonetheless impossible not to watch with a smile on the face.

“The Fire in the Sky” by Kit Lambert (18 January 2017)
An absent parishioner at Sunday service leads Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy to make a house call where they uncover a case of apparent alien abduction and a subsequent murder. Zoinks! It is indeed a serious case of the Scooby-Doos in Kembleford, with the outbreaks of UFO sightings and close encounters realised on a what is clearly an absurdly low budget. Naturally there turns out to be a more earthly reason behind the events, but not before the wave of panic results in a truly astounding spectacle: Inspector Mallory actually turning to Father Brown for help, next to which the possibility of an invasion of flying saucers appears positively run-of-the-mill. While the episode is having too much fun with its alien guests to make for an especially deep mystery, the writing is strong enough to successfully conceal the culprit in plain sight despite the small line-up of available suspects. There’s also a very effective conclusion in which Father Brown’s specialist subjects of guilt and conscience are very much to the fore.

“The Penitent Man” by Tahsin Guner (19 January 2017)
The final episode of the season brings with it the always highly anticipated annual return of Father Brown’s wily nemesis Hercule Flambeau, played once again by John Light. However this time it appears that justice has caught up with the master thief, as he’s been jailed and is awaiting the gallows for the cold-blooded murder of one of his associates. But in that case why is Flambeau so calm and acquiescent, and can his sudden new-found conversion to Catholicism possibly be genuine? Father Brown is forced into committing a highly illegal act in order to save not just Flambeau, but also Mrs McCarthy and Bunty who are being held at gunpoint in a dramatic season finale. As is often the case with Flambeau episodes, this story breaks the show’s normal format and there is little in the way of mystery to unravel; but instead we get an effective thriller shot largely on location inside a renovated prison of the period and which contains more than a few echoes of The Shawshank Redemption, all of which means that the 2017 run ends very much on a high.

The DVD and Blu-ray of Father Brown Series 5 will be released on February 6, 2016. The previous series are already available.

89 thoughts on “Father Brown S5 (BBC One) [2017]

    melva phillips said:
    March 27, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Sorry to disagree with most people as a Brit living in Canada l think the new series is like a breath of fresh air. Bunty is fun and has livened things up. Miss Sid but enjoy the new inspector Mrs McArthy is priceless and love Father Brown. Keep up the good work!

      Paul Hunter said:
      May 21, 2017 at 2:24 am

      I agree. Love the show and miss Sid and Lady Felicia but feel the Bunty is doing a great job and getting to be a better fit with every episode. Great series and hope that it continues into 2018 and beyond.

      Maria said:
      August 31, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      I also am getting bored with Father Brown now. Without Sid who was his partner in crime the show has lost it’s flavor. I loved Lady Felicia too, she was classy but not uppity or arrogant. I will not be watching the show any longer it’s gotten boring for me. Bunty isn’t doing it for me. Bye Father Brown, it’s been real.

        Sohaila samimi loftus said:
        September 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

        I absolutely agree with you and refuse to watch the series without Sid and lady Felicia. They’ve ruined the series, and it’s goodbye from me and my family.

      Barbara Davis said:
      January 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Love Father Brown

    Irene said:
    April 9, 2017 at 2:29 am

    I am devastated that Lady Felicia is off the show! This character was so delightful!
    Do not like Bunty – no class

      Frances Marple said:
      April 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      I totally agree with you. This series has lost it “Loving Feeling” for us.

      Iris said:
      May 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Why did she leave. I loved her role??

      Debra said:
      May 23, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Totally agree…bring back Lady Felicia

    Gillian said:
    April 10, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I absolutely loved this show, I fell in love with the characters and the story lines. I am going to miss this show as it became a part of my routine I have watched every episode from seson 1-5, I was hoping that it would have continued, it and it’s cast will be missed as I feel it became a part of me.

      Andrew Lewin responded:
      April 10, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      To the best of my knowledge, there’s no reason to believe that Father Brown won’t be back for a sixth season in 2018. Have you heard anything to the contrary?

    Linda said:
    April 10, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Sid and lady Felicia will be missed. They helped make this lovely show the hit that it is today. They were two of the main reasons my family loved this show. It is a mistake to not have them on Father Brown. It will not be the same.

      Andrew Lewin responded:
      April 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      I don’t think it was a decision on the part of the production team, who would doubtless have wanted them to stay. The actors (Nancy Carroll and Alex Price) were simply offered other roles and decided to move on after five years. The door is still open to them to return if they want, in future series.

      Susan Carabin said:
      April 25, 2017 at 11:41 am

      I very much agree! There was a great charisma between the 4 of them. Season 5 is simply not as good. Bunty doesn’t fit.

        Barbara Wand James said:
        June 28, 2017 at 6:32 am

        I do hope that Sid and Lady Felicia are worked back into the show. I enjoy Bunty’s character and feel there’s room for all three of them. I LOVE this show and have been watching it practically nonstop on Netflix since I first found it. I find British TV much better than most of what we have here in the US.

        Lois. Cox said:
        August 4, 2017 at 4:30 am

        I absolutely love this show! It seems that most of the shows we watch are from British tv. The characters are real. Not Hollywood dolled up. The towns people, the history that is represented is amazing and lovely. I sincerely hope that it is coming back . I do miss Sid and Lady Felicia however mixing things up a bit helps to keep things surprising. For continuity of the story line I do hope they show up on occasion .

      Renee said:
      April 3, 2018 at 12:09 am

      I agree. Sid gave the show fun and mischief, while Lady F gave it some more soul. And why would Lady Felicia go to Rhodesia with her husband? They’ve led separate lives for the entire series.

    Rosalie Tutino said:
    April 15, 2017 at 6:03 am

    No way to make up for the loss of Sid and Lady Felicia. They played off of each other and the rest of the cast so well that the whole flavor of the show and dynamic interactions will be lost forever. The unique relationship between Lady Felicia and Mrs. McCarthy and their often not too subtle rivalries were the most enjoyable aspects of the show. Father Brown will never be the same. Producers, find a way to bring the whole cast together again.

      Alberta Guffey said:
      May 7, 2017 at 12:13 am

      I agree offer more money. I don’t care how they get Nancy Carroll back I just get her and Sid baci

        Sky Heatherton said:
        July 8, 2017 at 6:25 am

        I am so disappointed that Lady Felicia and Sid are gone. Not a good move. The ensemble worked!
        Now it is just mediocre… Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy have a lot on their shoulders to keep it going.
        She was delightful and classy
        Sid was a rascal, counterbalance to the rest of cast.
        Is pretty but missing depth.
        I have loved this series from the beginning.

      mitzy said:
      May 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      agreed!!!! please bring lady felicia & sid back!!!

    Carole said:
    April 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Thank you for all this wonderful information and summation of the shows. I will sorely miss Sid and lady Felicia, but know they go on to other things..

    Was a fan said:
    April 19, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I am so unhappy that Lady Felicia and Sid are no longer a part of Fr Brown. Excellent chemistry between those two and Mrs M and the Padre. The show no longer has the same spark. Though I’m totally warming up to the inspector. Bunty so sorry dear but I’m no feeling it.

    Donald White said:
    April 23, 2017 at 5:55 am

    I also miss lady Felicia and Sid. However, the show remains a favorite. Let’s hope that Nancy Carroll and Alex Price can re-emerge in A few episodes in the future.

    Laguna Beach Fogey said:
    April 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

    There’s something “off” about the filming of this series.

      C Jones said:
      May 22, 2017 at 4:26 am

      Yes I think they have changed the filming and sound technology, I don’t like it. Maybe I could get used to it but it feels like I am sitting in the front row of a play or watching one of those tela novelas. I don’t like soap operas and this feels a bit like a soap opera, yuck.

        John Beland said:
        June 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Yes the new format is terrible and makes the program look like a cheap daily soap opera. Go back to film !

        Andrew Lewin responded:
        June 24, 2017 at 4:39 pm

        The programme has always been shot in high definition digital technology, it’s never been film. They may be processing it differently, but in the UK it looks and sounds the same as it always does so it might be something to do with how it’s processed for international distribution?

        Vicki said:
        July 3, 2017 at 7:01 pm

        So glad to see that others are turned off by the poor production values that are glaringly evident Midway into this series!. It seems clear to me that they’ve slashed the budget for this show: it’s obvious that they are using fewer cameras, fewer takes, lots of tight shots etc–as one would expect from silly soap operas + poor editing–and talk about silly. The scripts have been dumbed down so much it’s like goofy slapstick half the time. Especially with that ridiculous inspector.
        The casting changes + switching to cheap production values + silly storylines = our family is mourning the loss of a once delightful program.

        hankgirl said:
        September 23, 2017 at 5:06 am

        Couldn’t agree more!!! All the background noise is distracting and it most the feeling of being in the 1950’s. Now it just looks like a 1950’s stage. I’ve lived the series and own all of them… until now. Father Brown and Miss M remain great, but the warmth is missing.

      Penny Armstrong said:
      June 28, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Yes. There is something ‘off’…is there a different director , or screen writer ? Sometimes things don’t make sense.

    Iris Caballero (@QuieroUSA) said:
    April 24, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) and Sid (Alex Price) were pertinent characters in the show. To have them gone is not the same. Hope they come back.

    Joyce Mitchell said:
    April 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I love the show, please return Father Brown with more Seasons!!!

    VirginiaB said:
    April 28, 2017 at 1:35 am

    What a disappointment Season 5 is without some of the major characters and the village focus. The whole tone of the show has changed. Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy are excellent as always but seem pushed to the background to appeal to a different audience. Lady Felicia and Sid are much missed. I have stopped watching episodes in full. Why mess with a successful formula?

      pat bennett said:
      January 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      cannot stand the idiot Mallory why did they write him in totally spoilt Father Brown.Bunty dosent make up for the loss of Sid & Felicia should have kept the characters in.Ruined my favourite programme with Mallory and poor script.

    Kr said:
    April 30, 2017 at 2:23 am

    Sid and Lady Felicia made the show. Just not that good without them.

    A. Auer said:
    May 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Will lady Felicia be returning to father Brown?

      Andrew Lewin responded:
      May 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      The way has been left open for the character to return, but Nancy Carroll is a very successful stage actress so it’s up to her and down to her availability. I’ve not seen any details announced about a sixth season so far.

    Janell Martin said:
    May 4, 2017 at 1:10 am

    The new inspector ruins the show completely for me. He is mean spirited and just plain awful. Another reason I’m not liking the new episodes is that they are more sordid and trashy.

      Vick said:
      May 21, 2017 at 2:53 am

      Agree that the show is trashy now. Definitely not family friendly.
      How disappointing the old-fashioned charm is gone.

      ethelgrimes said:
      June 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I hear ya. I love the show, but wish it had been a little more faithful to G.K. Chesterton’s stories (his version was certainly more family-friendly). I miss Sid and Lady Felicia as well. And Inspector Malloy is one of the biggest jerks on the planet!

    KM said:
    May 4, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) was an absolute delight. This show is not the same without her. She is so very talented at humor. Likewise, I miss Sid (Alex Price) for the humor that he brought to the show. Losing Nancy Carroll is the biggest hit of all, though. All these characters were so fun to watch together. I am afraid the show will do a slow death now without these fun people. It was a perfect formula for a show.

    Toni Katz said:
    May 6, 2017 at 9:27 am

    the show is not the same. Please bring back the Lady and Sid. Pay them more money the 2 of them make the show work well for Father Brown

    Katie said:
    May 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    From the comments, I’m wondering; Did anyone read the article? Nancy Carroll is off to another country with her husband. I say kudos for putting her marriage first. Alex Price got a role in a West End production and I say kudos and good luck to him, too!
    Yes I miss them both-the show definitely isn’t the same-my husband won’t watch it with me anymore because of Bunty!
    But I still love seeing the way Father Brown picks apart each shows’ mystery. I’ll stay with ’em as long as they make ’em!

      Marianne Tolken said:
      May 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      “Lady Felicia” is off to another country with her husband, not Nancy Carroll.

    Linda said:
    May 10, 2017 at 2:18 am

    I also miss The Lady and Sidney. And the show sometimes tackles issues I’m not crazy about but overall I enjoy the mystery assigned to each episode. Penelope’s character needs more action and less cleavage showing. An American Fan.

    Bobbie Beard said:
    May 14, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Definitely miss Lady Felicia and Sid. Don’t care for the Bunty character (nothing against the actress who plays her). Perhaps another character with another actress. A shame Nancy Carroll and Alex Price can’t pop in occasionally.

    Michael Sewell said:
    May 16, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Although the show is still enjoyable. It’s not the same without Sid and Lady Felicia. I can only hope that they will return

    Ingrid Parker said:
    May 20, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I know the producers want a younger audience, but what they don’t know is – those who watched were/are the Perfect age! Keep it simple, sure and mysterious. We don’t need someone flighty. Get someone with style that can bounce off the conversation with Ms. M, the inspector and everyone else! Bunty should be more mature and a little more refined. Chatter-out ( * _ * ) 💛

      Susan said:
      August 29, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Good points!

    Vick said:
    May 21, 2017 at 2:57 am

    The Crimson Feather was real crap.
    I miss the old seasons. I think they changed writers as well as actors.

      Lisa said:
      August 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more. The loss of Sid and Lady Felicia is enormous, and to be replaced by a twit (Bunty) is beyond disappointing. The Crimson Feather is the type of storyline I watch Father Brown to avoid!

    KAY KING said:
    May 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    It’s taken me awhile to adjust to the absence of Lady Felicia and Sid, but I’ve come around and was so disappointed to finish Season 5 this morning on Netflix. Anxiously awaiting the next season. Love Mark Williams–brings a bit of quirky humor to a good story line.

    corinne peretin said:
    May 22, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Do not enjoy the show as much this season. Bunty is awful, does not fit the bill.
    Must bring back the Lady Felicia and Sid.

    C Jones said:
    May 22, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Has the filming style changed? In the episode I am watching now Hand of Lucia, the filming seems like it is in the style of a bad soap opera. I don’t really like the new ‘clarity’ of the images I feel like I can see the cameras, lights and crews just beyond the actors as though I am standing next to them as the are filming.

      hankgirl said:
      September 23, 2017 at 5:09 am


    Linda Eminson said:
    May 23, 2017 at 3:18 am

    My husband and I love this show..miss Sid and Lady Felicia. And of course Ms. Brigitte and FB are just great. Keep up this wholesome show.

    Margaret said:
    May 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I have to add my 2 cents….so miss Lady Felicia and her fantastic scream and of course Sid…the character of Bunty just doesn’t cut it….she can move on…

    VirginiaB said:
    May 26, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Sad to say I think I have watched my last episode of Father Brown. The Crimson Feather was dismal in every possible way–plot, acting, gratuitous burlesque scenes, far-fetched ending. I’m surprised Mark Williams and Sorcha Cusack–Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy– are willing to associate themselves with anything this bad. Didn’t Mark Williams make enough money from his Harry Potter movies? The producers are losing their core audience and definitely not attracting the viewers they seem to be pandering to.

    Brenda westcott said:
    May 28, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Is Lady Felicia ever coming back? I miss her.

    Brenda westcott said:
    May 28, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Please bring Lady Felicia back.

    Judy Manning said:
    June 4, 2017 at 3:34 am

    I don’t like the show nearly as much without Felicia & Sid. They were so great! I don’t care for Bunty at all!!!!!

    Chyarise haymon said:
    June 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I LOVE this show……..do miss Lady F ans Sid though. They need to stop putting Bunty in those pants she has a strange physique!!!hahah But The show is still watch worthy…….but does need to get back to being more warm and humorous!

    Julie Blake said:
    June 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I understand that lady Felicia is a lady of her time and that Bunty is a lady of hers, but there could have been a little more, lets say, mixing of the two characters. We do get used to the same actors and actresses playing parts over several seasons and its always difficult to see them move on. I like how they said goodbye to Lady Felicia – it seemed to fit her character very well. But I do not like that Sid has just disappeared without word. He was, after all, much more than just the Lady’s driver, and Father Brown’s character wouldn’t just not say another word about him, and neither would Mrs. McCarthy. Back to the Bunty issue. – I understand we need a Father Brown side kick, but Mrs McCarthy has filled that role successfully several times. I feel that she has been pushed into a lessor role, and, I for one, miss her involvement and protection of Father Brown. I don’t mind Bunty as either a character or the actress playing her, but a little less of her would be fine, too!
    Thank you. Julie

    Evelyn said:
    June 10, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Very disappointed that Nancy Carroll will no longer be on Father Brown. Congrats to Alex Price on his new role, but Nancy Carroll is the mainstay of this show. Instead of being a “can’t miss it” show for me, now it’s “maybe I’ll watch if I have nothing better to do”. Ms. Carroll did excellent work and the interaction with the other performers was superb. Sure hope it wasn’t a demographics decision as that would be a huge mistake for this show.

    Catherine said:
    June 12, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Lady Felicia and Sid added so much humor and interest to Father Brown. Bunty is not fun. Why would they take these characters off the show?

    Kathy said:
    June 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    From the first glimpse of Father Brown, to the last frame of the last episode, I have loved this series so. But like life, people come and people go, but then I remember, it is called “Father Brown” for a reason. And to me that reason is that Father Brown does something rarely seen, if ever, and that is a genuine concern for the human soul. At every death scene, he is down on his knees, kissing his scapula, giving the last Rights. As you can see, I am not a critic, I just love this series, come what may. I wish there could be five more Series. Now to go lol up the G. K. Chesterton’s books!

    Andrew Lewin responded:
    June 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    For anyone interested, actor John Burton (who plays Sergeant Goodfellow) has confirmed that he’s been shooting season 6 of “Father Brown”, so the show will definitely return early in 2018.

    I have seen nothing further about cast members and who else will be back.

    Diane said:
    June 26, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I don’t care for the character Bunty. I feel lady Felicia and Sid are sadly missed. The exchanges between Bunty and Mrs. M are very cold and unfeeling. The relationship with Felicia and Sid and Mrs. McCarthy enhance the show.

    Kathleen Hamilton said:
    July 1, 2017 at 4:36 am

    My daughter and I were so enjoying the series and then, POW, so much changed. Sid and Lady Felicia were suddenly gone from the plots (they both made the stories such fun), and at the same time the writing deteriorated. Seems so stilted now, and as someone observed, the directing is all off kilter. The actors seem to be standing around, then they walk off in all directions. So sad. What happened????

    Chris said:
    July 1, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am very disappointed with new series.
    A priest in a burlesque house. Open sexual relationships. Do not need this in show. No imagination or creativity. Come on writing and direction is awful.

    debbie golden said:
    July 5, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    I think you should kept it where it is for all ages..1950’s was a wholesome era..not like these series today… I liked 1-4 and its a great show..

    Helen said:
    July 11, 2017 at 1:23 am

    We have been big fans of Father Brown for so long. Father Brown, Mrs. McCarthy, Lady Felicia and Sid, all made the show.
    Now with the departure of Lady Felicia and Sid the show just isn’t the same, very disappointing. Along with the arrival of Bunty, the surprise change of detective has not helped the show at all. It is very obvious the story line and writing have changed.
    Father Brown has been one great show we looked forward to watching. Now we don’t look forward to the show and are considering not watching the show anymore.
    Please bring back the original, great cast members, and improve the writing and story lines. Father Brown was one enjoyable show.
    Thank you for this opportunity to express my feelings.

    Lin said:
    July 12, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Miss Alex Price as Sid…Bunty is fun…a good added character….
    She is not Sid…She would be a good cohort
    with Sid…Fun…
    Missing Sid….Alex Price

    Sharyn said:
    July 19, 2017 at 1:54 am

    We miss Lady Felicia and Sid too. Bring them back. PLEASE!

    Joe said:
    August 10, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Bunty doesn’t do it for me. Lady Felicia and Sid were super. Hope they return.

    Lorraine Grochowski Kiefer said:
    August 15, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Have watched all that are on netflix. is there more? are theystill doing the series.

    J.D. Lees said:
    August 26, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Very disappointed that both Sid and Lady Felicia have left. Hate the new inspector. Here in Canada (my area, anyway) we are only three shows into the current season, but I can say that I don’t enjoy Bunty at all. I had already noticed a decline in production style that made me wonder what was going on, the same with the introduction of some “unsavory” elements. I am comfortable with all kinds of shows, but the clean, fun, 1950’s atmosphere was a big attraction of Father Brown for me and my wife. Comments from those who’ve seem more of this season’s shows are not encouraging. I hope the producers are listening.

    Sonya Rae Alseike said:
    September 16, 2017 at 4:30 am

    i do not like the changes in the visual appearance in the episodes being broadcast in the USA in 2017, nor the absence of actress Nancy Carroll. Seeing her everywhere else lately, so she must be too busy to continue in this show. Sad. She was an asset.

    nope said:
    October 4, 2017 at 2:53 am

    So much haters on here over a character. Bunty is fun and refreshing and Mallory is funny to counter Ms. Macarthy who one would think over time in the show that she stop being ignorant of people and accuses everyone is a murder. I mean after how many cases she been working on with Father Brown you would think she knows to stop judging people.

    JOAN C. CORRELL said:
    November 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I am saddened by the departures of Lady Felicia and Sid and finding it difficult to watch the series. Bunty is a lovely young lady and belongs in a show suited for her age group, she brings nothing to the table. Lady Felicia with her rich voice and Sid were part of the ensemble that made the show such a success.

    Sandra said:
    March 2, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Father Brown is a favorite of mine. I miss the old characters but I’m keeping an open mind. The march of time and Father is put in more vice-related situations, like stripping and gambling on boxing, which is totally appropriate. I like that they included many more people of color into the show. I applaud these finer points of diversity. I will continue to follow Father Brown and company on his adventures while he tries to solve mysteries and save souls.

    Marie de La Torre said:
    April 16, 2018 at 4:40 am

    I absolutely HATE Inspector Mallory. I watch the show because I really enjoy it but can’t stand when Mallory is on. He is the most annoying character ever…always angry and just plain stupid. If he’s supposed to be the comic relief, they failed miserably.

      Pamela said:
      July 11, 2020 at 3:59 am

      So true!An imbecile like his character is would never hack it as even an entry level beat policeman. Why is his character such an idiot & so disagreeable? A man with a wife & children surely would have more patience & tolerance with people, yet he always seems to be in such a rush to close the case & so intolerant (& his character is intolerable to me!). Even Sgt. Goodfellow is smarter than he is. Why didn’t they just promote the Sgt. & if they needed comic relief, they could have brought in an idiot, clutzy newbe trainee policeman (sort of like Andy Griffith’s Barney Fife). Would have made the show at least more understood.

    Valge said:
    May 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    well…I absolutely like inspector Mallory…far more interesting character

    Valge said:
    May 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    …than previous inspectors

    Kazooie4k said:
    May 16, 2018 at 2:15 am

    I agree with most of the writers on here. I miss Lady Felicia and Sid….it’s just not the same. Also Mrs. McCarthy isn’t right by Father Browns side. It almost seems as if there are new writers. I’m not crazy about Bunty but maybe I will get used to her. The one person who needed replaced is Dective Mallory.

    Pamela said:
    July 11, 2020 at 3:37 am

    What I’ve noticed & don’t like about this show (although I love Everything Else about this show) is that Inspector Mallory always goes to accusing the latest character of color on the show – ALWAYS, without fail! I don’t know if this is just a reflection of the time, although I thought the English were more tolerant of people of color there than in the U.S. in this era – maybe I’m mistaken. I do know that the Director on Midsomer Murders was finally fired for refusing to employ cast members of various ethnicities & wonder if this happens to be another problem caused by the Director or the writers of the series. Could y’all give me your thoughts on the matter?

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