Friday, July 13, 2012

A new Father Brown

It is announced that there will be a new television series based on G.K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" stories:
The BBC’s recently announced crime drama, Father Brown, will feature Harry Potter actor Mark Williams.

52 year-old Mark, who starred as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter series of films, will feature in the television adaptation of the short stor[ies] by GK Chesterton.

The 10-part series is set to air next year on the BBC....
Alec Guinness starred as the priestly detective in a 1954 film which I have and enjoy. There was an earlier, 1970s, British series starring Kenneth More that I watched on Netfix streaming and that I thought was rather good, preserving the plots and sensibility of Chesterton's stories. Since BBC dramas of television series eventually become available here, I look forward to the new version with, I presume, much better production values.

The source materials, of course, are the short stories [available free or for very little for Kindle], and today Suzannah shares her enjoyment of one of the Father Brown collections, The Secret of Father Brown:
.... As the book begins, Father Brown—quiet, apparently idiotic, yet somehow so keenly in tune with human nature that he is able to solve dozens of baffling crimes when he's not carrying out his duties as a Roman priest—attempts to explain the secret of his success to an acquaintance. As he does so, his mind roams back to eight of the cases that he's solved. A revolutionary poet prosecuted by a respectable barrister for the murder of a well-known judge. The uncanny disappearance of a priceless curio, apparently through Eastern magic. A blackmail attempt quite unlike any other, and an attempted revenge with deadly consequences...

The story I found most interesting, however, was The Actor and the Alibi. A beautiful intellectual actress married to a director of pantomimes and vaudeville bears her trials uncomplainingly. The conclusion isn't too difficult to see coming (I'm trying not to give it away), but things aren't what they seem in this miniature study of the politics of the sexes.

This was an excellent read—like all of Chesterton's works—built around the truth that all men are evil, and that there is redemption.
Harry Potter Star Mark Williams To Star In BBC Drama ‘Father Brown’ - Celebrity Gossip, News & Photos, Movie Reviews, Competitions - Entertainmentwise, In Which I Read Vintage Novels: The Secret of Father Brown by GK Chesterton