The Church of England - - ENGLAND ON SUNDAY -

Rev is be­ing adapted for the States and has al­ready been given the green light for a third se­ries, but such are the ca­reer tra­jec­to­ries of its lead­ing play­ers (Olivia Col­man seems ev­ery­where at the moment) that it will have to wait un­til 2014 to reach the screen. Mean­while, the Se­ries 2 DVD should keep view­ers happy.

Rev Adam Small­bone (Tom Hol­lan­der) may now be used to life in in­ner city Lon­don, but it has done noth­ing for his in­se­cu­ri­ties. He sees the prom­ise of a new cu­rate as wel­come cover for his Sun­days off, but when she proves to be bril­liant and pop­u­lar, he grows jeal­ous and changes his mind.

Typ­i­cally, this is only one strand of the episode, which also in­cludes an at­tempted trip to Green­belt and ge­nial down-and-out Colin giv­ing Adam some Ec­stasy.

In a sim­i­lar line, Matthew, the new sci­ence teacher at the church school is good news, ex­cept that he is an athe­ist - and it doesn’t help Adam that Matthew is dat­ing the head­teacher, whom Adam is se­cretly in love with.

It is the turn of Adam’s wife to be jeal­ous when she goes away for the week­end and re­turns to find Adoha cook­ing for him. This is the episode when the archdea­con, played with de­li­cious en­ergy by Simon McBur­ney, comes out as gay.

Rev’s gravitas comes from be­ing based on the ex­pe­ri­ences of real vic­ars, so the wealth of con­tent is no sur­prise. We have a haunted room, a fake ex­or­cism, a school trip to let the in­ner-city kids see cows, and a visit by the god­daugh­ter from hell.

For me, the se­ries is more drama than laugh-out-loud com­edy, but that is what gives power to its cred­i­bil­ity and poignant mo­ments. The Christ­mas episode builds bril­liantly and its emo­tional clout is a fit­ting cli­max to this run.

It is not flaw­less. The first episode lacks oomph and the ex­tras are again very ba­sic, but this wel­come se­ries is rich with characters and the hu­mour of real life. Derek Walker

Rev, Se­ries 2

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