THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE: Four Tough Women, One Gruesome Murder Case [Review]

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The Bletchley Circle is a new PBS mini-series set to premiere April 21st. This is a 3-part series set in the early 1950’s England, and centers around a group of four women who worked together in the war offices at Bletchley Park during WWII. Nine years later the women are living their own UN-extraordinary lives but Susan is simply not content to sit in her living room, knitting, while her husband moves up the ranks at the Department of Transportation.

The Bletchley Circle introduces us to the four extraordinary women, Susan, Millie, Lucy and Jean, as they decode the exact location of the German army. Their discovery was key in saving many lives.  However, since the women were working under cover, there were no medals of honor or public displays of gratitude. Only knowing that they made a difference that day was enough for them.

Susan is the puzzle solver of the group. She sees patterns. Susan’s been following a series of murders targeting women. The police haven’t caught the man and are frankly, stuck. When Susan sees a pattern this man is creating she takes her ideas to Scotland Yard, accompanied by her husband. Susan’s husband is a condescending jerk, but I have to keep in mind that this is still the 50’s and women were not supposed to have brains. He’s plainly very embarrassed by her.

Credit: Courtesy of ©Laurence Cendrowicz/World Productions

Shown from L-R: Julie Graham as Jean, Anna Maxwell Martin as Susan, Sophie Rundle as Lucy, Rachael Stirling as Millie,

When Susan’s idea is laughed at by police, and her husband chastises her and basically tells her to stay home and be a good, quiet little wife, and not embarrass him any further, Susan calls on her old friends from Bletchley Park. As the first episode unfolds, the women are on the trail of the murderer’s next victim. Just when you think they would rather just go back to their lives, an incident occurs, igniting a resolve in all four women, they make the decision then and there to find the murderer themselves.

Millie works for a complete pig in a coffee shop, barely making a living. But her skills as a multilingual expert (nothing less than 14 languages to her credit), made her a key member in the Circle. Millie is the most outspoken and colorful character among the four. I liked her spiciness!

Lucy has a photographic memory and her skills are very important when the women come together to solve a murder. She lives with her abusive husband and there are many aspects of the murder case which she takes quite personal. When the other girls begin to doubt their involvement in the case, it is Lucy who draws commitments from them.

Jean was the former head of the Bletchley unit and she has access to upper level security information that the other girls don’t have. She’s working as a librarian at the moment but her former connections help the girls gain access to vital information which brings them ever closer to solving the murder.

For the mystery lovers out there, The Bletchley Circle is just what you’ve been itching for. While this is only a three part mini-series, I couldn’t help wishing and hoping that they’ll make a few more.

Episode one of The Bletchley Circle airs on Sunday, April 21, at 10/9c, on PBS.

Photo credits: Courtesy of ©Laurence Cendrowicz/World Productions.

Liz is a wife and mother of three from the Nashville area who likes being able to discuss her favorite TV shows with adults sometimes. She is addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse novels and was a huge fan of the HBO series based on the books, True Blood. Her other favorite shows include Chuck, Grimm, Pretty Little Liars, Blindspot, Heroes Reborn, The Goldbergs, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, just to name a few. Contact her at