Wed­nes­day De­tec­torists 10pm, BBC Four

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - TELEVISION & RADIO -

IT’S cold out­side but it’s end­less sum­mer in here as Macken­zie Crook’s golden mas­ter­piece qui­etly re­turns for a third and prob­a­bly (def­i­nitely, he says) fi­nal se­ries. It hides its great­ness away, but the scenes that book­end this open­ing episode say much about the sub­tle scope and am­bi­tion of De­tec­torists, which is not only the best new sit­com of the past decade, but a strange, bur­row­ing, haunto­log­i­cal med­i­ta­tion on the Bri­tish land­scape and the flow of time. We be­gin in a land­scape very far from the fields our he­roes usu­ally pa­trol: in the glassy heart of London’s fi­nan­cial dis­trict, where, in a high of­fice, chilly busi­ness peo­ple meet to dis­cuss their plan to build a vast new so­lar farm in Daneb­ury, right where Lance (Toby Jones) and Andy (Crook) have been search­ing for trea­sure. Later comes a witchy, gen­uinely spine-tin­gling se­quence, as mag­pies stir, and the old phan­toms of the mead­ows’ past walk again, cen­turies ris­ing and fall­ing around them – you might just catch a hint of MR James. All this, plus crude dou­ble en­ten­dres.

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