Friday, January 21, 2022

SISTER BONIFACE debuts on BritBox

At last. The Sister Boniface Mysteries will debut on BritBox February 8 with 10 episodes. The series follows the adventures of Sister Boniface, Bride of Christ, vintner, and part-time Crime Scene Investigator. The character appeared in the very first season of Father Brown, and original actress Lorna Watson will reprise her role as the sleuthing nun. 

Set in rural Warwickshire during the 1960s, this is a time period in which the entire concept of police forensics is...rudimentary at best. DNA testing doesn't exist yet. Blood testing can take days. Trace evidence is in its infancy and the chain of custody - even the simple preservation - of crime scene evidence is hit or miss (as you probably recognize from the Father Brown episodes). But, the Great Slaughter Constabulary has a secret weapon in its fight against crime. 

Hidden deep in the countryside is St Vincent’s Convent, a small community of wine-making nuns is Sister Boniface. An IQ of 156 and a Ph.D. in forensic science, plus an addiction to popular detective fiction and a fully equipped crime laboratory make Boniface an invaluable aid to any police investigation. Poisons, trace evidence, bloodstains, and etymology. She’s often more up to speed on the latest forensic techniques than the Police. 

If there’s evidence to be found, Boniface will find it, with a little help from dashing maverick DI Sam Gillespie (Downton Abbey's Max Brown) and buttoned-up Bermudan DS Felix Livingstone (Sex Education's Jerry Iwu), who’s horrified to be stuck working in this eccentric town. Felix was supposed to be on secondment to the Metropolitan Police but an administrative error lands him in Great Slaughter. 

A cast of eccentric local characters combined with his boss’s reliance on a nun leaves him reeling. Although as Sam points out, that nun ensures they have the highest clean-up rate in the county. The character of Ruth Penny, a hard-nosed investigative journalist and the editor of the Albion Bugle, is played by Miranda Raison (Warrior), and Ami Metcalf (Allied) plays the role of Peggy Button, the young, unshakeable police constable. 

Additional cast members include Belinda Lang (Inspector Alleyn Mysteries), Sarah Crowden (Grantchester), David Sterne (Detectorists), Virginia Fiol (EastEnders), and Ivan Kaye (The Coroner). And, though it is obviously not confirmed in any way, it seems highly likely that Father Brown himself, Mark Walliams, will at least make some sort of cameo appearance in Sister Boniface's first season. The ten-part series will arrive on Britbox beginning Tuesday, February 8.

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