The Bletchley Circle is a brilliant period mystery drama series airing on PBS starting Sunday April 21 at 10 o'clock and continuing each of the following 2 Sunday nights.
It follows four highly intelligent women who were code breakers working at Bletchley Park decrypting codes and ciphers (most importantly those generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines). These women were recruited either through networks at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Aberdeen or through newspaper contests asking to hear from people good at puzzles and crosswords. Little did they know they would be changing the course of the war.
Already awesome, right?
But just as we are finding out how supremely talented these women were, we jump ahead 8 years to 1952 and we find out that not only are they all leading boring pedestrian lives, but because of the National Secrets Act none of their friends and family are aware that they did anything more than clerical work during the war.
Anna Maxwell Martin (I love her!) plays the main character Susan, married to a nice steady bloke with a government job and is raising two lovely little children. She is happy but...so incredibly bored!
Susan has been tracking the trail left by a serial killer, trying to find the pattern of his killings and thereby help the police with their investigation using only information from the radio and newspaper.
She soon finds out that she is over her head and decides to enlist her friends from Bletchley who each have a particular gift so they can put their heads together. Lucy (Sophie Rundle) has a photographic memory and can recall things like she has a computer in her head.
Mousy Jean (Julie Graham) is working in a library but has access to people who can get her the information they need. They don't publish everything in the newspapers you know!
Rachel Stirling plays Millie the tarty waitress who traveled the world before she ran out of money and has an affinity for maps. I love this story, I love these women and I can't wait to find out how it ends. If you missed this episode you will be able to catch up on PBS Masterpiece.