Summary: In 1952, four women who worked at the wartime code-breaking center, Bletchley Park, reunite to crack crimes instead of codes in an effort to find meaning in their now normal lives.
(Yes, I wrote the summary because I couldn't find one that summed up both existing seasons!)
Thoughts: Okay, first a little history: Bletchley Park did indeed exist. Here it is:
And here's the Wikipedia summary: Bletchley Park, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was the central site of the United Kingdom's Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS), which during the Second World War regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The official historian of World War II British Intelligence has written that the "Ultra" intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and that without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. The site is now an educational and historical attraction memorializing and celebrating those accomplishments."
And there really were several genius woman who cracked codes there and then after the war were forced into secrecy about their heroic works and proceeded to live fairly normal lives without ever telling even their families what they had done. You can learn more Here and/or Here. So, there you go, the few historical facts that the show is based off of, the rest is purely fictional and we will go from there.
In the picture above (it can also be found on our Blog Background) we have (left to right) Jean, Susan, Lucy and Millie, four women who used to work at Bletchley and are now living rather boring normal lives. Susan especially seems to long for the old days when she felt useful and important to more than just her husband and children. So she spends her time trying to crack a murder case.
A little less believable than Sherlock (another suggested BBC, but more on that later) The Bletchley Circle is still a fun, hair-raising ride from a serial killer to murderous gang leaders. If you enjoy mystery in a realistic sense (no haunted houses or mysterious creatures) you ought to find this one quite interesting, especially if you enjoy the backdrop of World War 2 like we did.
Content: Okay, this is definitely not one for the kids! The first mystery is a serial killer who kidnaps women, murders and rapes them. Bodies are shown and details are not skipped. The second one has to do with an illegitimate child and the third with foreign girls who are bought and sold as slaves, and not the 'clean-your-kitchen' type of slave! A woman is beaten by her husband, illegal goods are tossed around (by one of the MC's no less) and there is quite a bit of prejudice against the heroines because their just that, heroines, not heroes (the writers set the scene as such so don't start rambling about sexism in the times until you've studied it, not saying it wasn't really there but don't take it all from the show). There is a bit of language but I don't remember it being very pronounced or overly offensive (women back then just talked cleaner). Despite all this it was a very enjoyable show and I definitely recommend it for a mature audience!