Friday, July 03, 2020

Honourable mention: Father Brown: The Mask of the Demon

Father Brown is a detective TV series set in 1950s Britain, where the amateur sleuth is a Roman Catholic Priest, the eponymous Father Brown (Mark Williams, Being Human (UK)) and, to be honest, I’ve never watched it. But a friend, Ian, messaged me to say that season 4 was being shown on the BBC and I took to iPlayer as he suggested the episode showing, dated from 2016, had a vampire connection.

Indeed, it did, though not a case of vampires getting everywhere – like some detective shows. In this case it is the filming of a vampire movie – hence the honourable mention.

A film production company is encamped nearby and filming a horror film. Local busybody Mrs McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack) is less than impressed until Father Brown and Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) arrange for star Rex Bishop (Jonathan Firth) to visit – Mrs McCarthy is a big fan. When they go to visit the location shoot they find a production company not in great shape. Rex being on the film is a mystery – he is a Hollywood star, leading lady Bebe Fontaine (Deirdre Mullins) clearly is not getting on with husband and director Vivian Wolsey (David Schofield, Da Vinci’s Demons), who is a terror and a womaniser.

film within the episode
The film they are working on is the Virgin Vampires and we get a few black and white scenes as it is being filmed. So we get people acting as vampires. Beyond this, Vivian is murdered and it is up to Father Brown to work out whodunnit before the bungling Police Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam) arrests the wrong person or releases information into the public domain that should remain hidden. Watched for the vampire fleeting visitations, I wasn't overly struck by this – the pace too genteel and the Inspector too inept (without requisite comedy chops) for my tastes, I’m afraid. Not that there was anything wrong with the show if you like that sort of thing.

The episode's imdb page is here.

On DVD @ Amazon US

On DVD @ Amazon UK

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