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The Bletchley Circle

Take a look at the three seasons of The Bletchley Circle! Former code crackers from WWII regroup to solve murder mysteries and catch serial killers.

The Bletchley Circle

The Bletchley Circle Season 1 & 2 featuring (left to right) Rachael Stirling (Millie), Anna Maxwell Martin (Susan), Sophie Rundle (Lucy), and Julie Graham (Jean).
The Bletchley Circle Season 1 & 2 featuring (left to right) Rachael Stirling (Millie), Anna Maxwell Martin (Susan), Sophie Rundle (Lucy), and Julie Graham (Jean).

If you entirely missed the television series originally broadcast in the US on PBS called The Bletchley Circle a few years ago, I am not surprised.  Like me, you were likely still consuming and enchanted by Downton Abbey, and had never even heard of The Bletchley Circle.  No worries, you are not alone!  I recently discovered it and am very excited to share it with you!  

Rachael Stirling (Millie) in front of the data board.
Rachael Stirling (Millie) at the data board.

This series that first aired in 2012 was cancelled after its second season broadcast in 2014.  Britbox, a channel available for streaming video (both on Amazon and directly from Britbox.com), decided to bring back the series in 2018, producing the third season it would title The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco.  Although each season does build on the previous one, each season can also stand alone and make sense, so you do not absolutely have to go in order.  The library currently has all 3 seasons in circulation. 

The ladies in season 1 at the data board looking for patterns to predict the next murder.  Will they figure it out in time?
The ladies in season 1 at the data board looking for patterns to predict the next murder. Will they figure it out in time?

This captivating mystery series based on women who worked as code-breakers during WWII, both of UK and US nationalities is unique and powerful.  The Bletchley Circle follows four very smart women after The War as they seek to catch serial killers and solve mysterious deaths of female friends or acquaintances, through code & cipher breaking, pattern identification, and intelligence gathering. They prove they have both the nerves and intelligence to be taken seriously by the police with whom they are dissatisfied.

Season 3 produced in 2018 brings back Julie Graham (Jean) and Rachael Stirling (Millie), and introduces Cristal Balint (Iris) and Chanelle Peloso (Hailey).
Season 3 produced in 2018 brings back Julie Graham (Jean) and Rachael Stirling (Millie), and introduces Crystal Balint (Iris) and Chanelle Peloso (Hailey).

Set in the early to mid 1950s, the women both in the UK and in the US navigate the cultural limitations by pushing back on societal pressures and standing up for themselves until they are heard.   Based on the real women of the Bletchley Park code breakers of WWII, this series brings to light the plight of so many women post-war, who found themselves suddenly out of work, society pressuring them to return to their pre-war roles.  The supporting characters encourage and celebrate the women’s intelligence and need for something more, as they refuse to disengage from “utilizing their mind,” as they seek purpose, while uncovering truth and finding justice. 

Crystal Balint as Iris and Chanelle Peloso as Hailey in Season 3, San Francisco.
Crystal Balint as Iris and Chanelle Peloso as Hailey in Season 3, San Francisco.

This is quite different from other familiar mystery series.  It is worth a look! You just might find yourself hooked!