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Detectorists opening title.png
Genre Comedy
Written by Mackenzie Crook
Directed by Mackenzie Crook
Starring Mackenzie Crook
Toby Jones
Opening theme "Detectorists" by Johnny Flynn
Composer(s) Johnny Flynn
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 13
Producer(s) Adam Tandy
Cinematography Jamie Cairney
Running time 29 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Original release 2 October 2014 (2014-10-02) – present

Detectorists is a British single-camera television sitcom series which was first broadcast on BBC Four on 2 October 2014. It is written and directed by Mackenzie Crook, who also stars alongside Toby Jones.[1][2]

The series is set in the fictional small town of Danebury in northern Essex and the plot revolves around the lives, loves and detecting ambitions of Andy and Lance, members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club (DMDC).

It won a BAFTA award at the 2015 British Academy Television Awards for Best Situation Comedy.


  • Mackenzie Crook as Andy Stone, an agency worker who qualifies as an archaeologist during the series[3]
  • Toby Jones as Lance Stater, a forklift truck driver and amateur musician
  • Lucy Benjamin as Maggie, Lance's ex-wife who runs a New Age supplies shop (series 1)
  • Rachael Stirling as Becky, Andy's girlfriend, a primary school teacher
  • Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Sophie, an ancient history student at a university
  • Adam Riches as Tony, Maggie's boyfriend, a pizza restaurant manager (series 1)
  • Gerard Horan as Terry, a retired policeman who is the president of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club (DMDC)
  • Sophie Thompson as Sheila, Terry's wife
  • Pearce Quigley as Russell, one of the members of the Metal Detectorists' Club
  • David Sterne as Larry Bishop, an eccentric farmer and landowner
  • Simon Farnaby as Philip "Art" Peters, and Paul Casar as Paul Lee, members of "AntiquiSearchers", later "Dirt Sharks", a rival metal detecting group. Lance and Andy give them their nicknames because of their resemblance to the pop duo Simon & Garfunkel. "Art" calls his partner "Paul" in series 1, episode 3, and both give their full names when questioned by the police in series 2, episode 5 (echoing the rather different vocal pairing of Peters and Lee)
  • Divian Ladwa as Hugh, a shy and awkward DMDC member
  • Laura Checkley as Louise, a somewhat stroppy member of the DMDC, and girlfriend of Varde
  • Orion Ben as Varde, a mostly silent member of the DMDC and girlfriend of Louise. Despite appearing in nearly every episode, her first line of dialogue is in series 2, episode 4
  • Daniel Donskoy as Peter, a German visitor who seeks the DMDC's help in finding the locating where he claims his grandfather's plane crashed during World War II. He becomes a love interest for Sophie (series 2)
  • Jacob and Isabella Hill as Stanley, Becky and Andy's baby (series 2)
  • Diana Rigg as Veronica, Becky's mother and occasional child-minder for Stanley
  • Alexa Davies as Kate, daughter of Lance (series 2)


Series 1[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Episode 1"[4] 2 October 2014 (2014-10-02)
Andy and Lance meet Sophie and become aware that a near-legendary find might be hidden on a local farm. Trouble is, the owner is notorious for discouraging trespassers, and it is rumoured that his wife is buried on the property.
2 "Episode 2"[5] 9 October 2014 (2014-10-09)
Andy and Lance have managed to secure permission to explore the Bishop estate, provided they avoid the lower paddock. It comes as little surprise that Larry Bishop is mad as a bag of ferrets. What they aren't expecting is a rival group of detectorists turning up.
3 "Episode 3"[6] 16 October 2014 (2014-10-16)
Andy and Lance are going to need help, and Terry—who runs the club—is only too keen to muck in if he can prove that Larry Bishop did murder his wife. Meanwhile, Lance has a gig coming up at the local pub and he wants Maggie to come. This looks like a great plan until his nerves kick in. (The episode includes a short performance of the title song, performed by Johnny Flynn as "Johnny Piper".)
4 "Episode 4"[7] 23 October 2014 (2014-10-23)
Terry announces that he is standing down as leader of the DMDC; Andy and Lance have a falling out after Andy shows Lance a recent find. Becky and Sophie are roped into a pub quiz together and Andy finds himself in trouble after a photograph is sent to Becky.
5 "Episode 5"[8] 30 October 2014 (2014-10-30)
Andy, Lance, Becky and Sophie refuse to talk to each other and Bishop's farm suddenly becomes an area of great interest.
6 "Episode 6"[9] 6 November 2014 (2014-11-06)
A huge hole has been excavated and police are looking into it. Furthermore, Larry Bishop's invisible dogs have disappeared without trace, and Andy and Lance now have one last chance to discover their hearts' true desire: the burial place of King Sexred of the East Saxons.

Series 2[edit]

Series 2 commences with a 3-minute sequence showing an Anglo Saxon monk or priest fleeing from a place of worship with a holy book, and an aestel, a pointer stick similar to that associated with the Alfred Jewel, in a sack. He is fleeing mounted spearmen, possibly marauding Vikings. He buries the sack near a standing stone. Time lapse shows all but the decorated gold handle of the stick decaying and the shot pans upwards to reveal Andy and Lance walking across the field in present-day Danebury, detecting as they go. Having had no success they decide to look up the hill. The jewel is shown again, still buried, at the beginning of subsequent episodes.

No. Title Original air date
1 "Episode 1"[10] 29 October 2015 (2015-10-29)
Baby Stan has arrived, Andy has qualified as an archaeologist, but has no work and Becky is off with Gay Martin, talking about VSO. A young German, Peter, is looking for a crashed Junkers World War II bomber, which his grandfather was in - Sophie offers to help research it. Andy and the other members of the DMDC try to convince Lance to try Internet dating. Lance receives a call from a mystery woman called Kate.
2 "Episode 2"[11] 5 November 2015 (2015-11-05)
With Lance meeting the mystery woman, and Sophie helping German visitor Peter with his research, Andy feels left out. Meanwhile Becky's patience with staff meetings is at breaking point. Andy sees Lance with the mystery woman which preoccupies him when Becky phones. Danebury's mayor seeks the DMDC's help finding his chain of office which he has lost at a dogging site. Andy and Lance meet the Dirt Sharks, who hint that there is something other to the crashed plane than a resting place.
3 "Episode 3"[12] 12 November 2015 (2015-11-12)
Russell and Hugh continue the search for the mayor's missing chains of office. Lance again meets with the mystery woman, this time seen by Sophie and Peter. Becky tries to convince Andy to consider volunteering abroad again: she has found an archaeological dig in Botswana and set him up for an interview. Lance reveals Kate's identity to Andy. The chains of office are discovered, but someone needs to fetch a stick.
4 "Episode 4"[13] 19 November 2015 (2015-11-19)
The mayor—unwillingly, but with a nudge from Russell and Hugh—agrees to let the DMDC search his land. Terry receives the MOD clearance to excavate the plane, which reveals that all of the crew survived. Peter, who has asked Sophie to accompany him for the summer, is taken aback. Andy's interview does not go as well as it might, no thanks to Lance's daft pub-quiz trivia, although he does make an interesting find in a flower-bed. Lance attempts to connect with Kate, his long-lost daughter, but she is overwhelmed by 20 years' worth of presents.
5 "Episode 5"[14] 26 November 2015 (2015-11-26)
Andy and Lance call an emergency meeting of the DMDC when they learn that Peter has been secretly meeting with the Dirt Sharks and carries a bad gold coin in his wallet. Though Sophie defends Peter, the DMDC stake out the Junkers crash site and call police who catch the Dirt Sharks on a night dig though Peter himself escapes. Andy fears the uncertainties of providing for his family in Botswana and conceals that he got the job, leading to a fight and an ultimatum from Becky. Also, Lance places several unreturned calls to Kate.
6 "Episode 6"[15] 3 December 2015 (2015-12-03)
The DMDC hold their rally at the Junkers Ju 88 crash site. Peter, whom Sophie learns has been twice convicted of disturbing war graves in Germany, skulks in to search and is caught by Terry who calls the constabulary on him. Kate arrives and is reconciled with Lance. After speaking with Veronica, Andy rushes to Becky at the school's Dickens-themed fete and they agree to have an adventure together. Andy and Lance are returning from their last detecting session before Andy leaves for Botswana, when Lance hears horses near the fallen standing stone. Lance digs and uncovers the aestel, and joyously dances the gold dance with Andy and Sophie.


No. Title Original air date
"Christmas Special"[16][17] 23 December 2015 (2015-12-23)
Lance's lucky strike, a late Saxon gold and jewelled aestel, is on display at a museum but seems to have used up all his luck, as he hasn't had a single find since (not even a pull-tab), and he suffers a series of misfortunes which his club-mates consider to be "the curse of the gold."

Series 3[edit]

In March 2017 the BBC released a statement confirming the filming of a third and final series.[18] The third series was filmed in the summer of 2017 and will be aired on BBC 4 in November 2017. [19]


Detectorists was announced by the BBC on 31 January 2014. The producer was Adam Tandy and the series was a Channel X and Lola Entertainment co-production.[20][21]

The series was mainly filmed in Suffolk, with Framlingham used as a major location.[22][23][24][25] Other locations used in filming include Orford, where Orford Primary School was used as the outside of Becky's school, Great Glemham, where interior pub scenes were filmed, and Ipswich. In series 2 the round tower church at Aldham to the west of Ipswich, was used as a recurring location.[26] Locations were sourced by Creative England.[27]

Diana Rigg who plays Veronica, and Rachel Stirling who plays her daughter Becky, are mother and daughter in real life.[28] Detectorists is the second time they have appeared on screen together, the first occasion being in the 2013 Doctor Who episode entitled "The Crimson Horror".[29]


Internationally, the series premiered in Australia on 9 November 2015 on BBC First.[30] In the United States, the series premiered on streaming subscription service Acorn TV in August 2015.[31]


Critical response[edit]

Series one of Detectorists was met with positive reviews from a number of UK and US media outlets. David Renshaw, writing for The Guardian, had particular praise for the "delightful double-act" Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones. Renshaw points to the "biggest ratings BBC4 has ever had for a comedy" as evidence that "Detectorists has clearly struck the sort of gold that Lance and Andy spend hours sweeping the fields for".[32] Rupert Hawksley, writing for The Daily Telegraph, was particularly impressed with Crook's "first-rate writing" and remarked in his review that series one "has all the markings of a classic sitcom".[33]

Ellen E. Jones of The Independent said that while the show "requires some patience ... it has turned out to be one of the best new sitcoms of the year".[34]

In the US media, The New York Times writer Mike Hale describes Detectorists as a "distinctive creation - not for everyone, but bound to be fiercely loved by those who fall into its rhythms".[35] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times "can't recommend it enough", saying: "Like the ordinary lives it magnifies, Detectorists has the air of seeming to be small and immense at once, to be about hardly anything and almost everything. It is full of space and packed with life."[31]

When the programme returned for a second series, the response was also positive.[28][36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2015 BAFTA Situation Comedy Detectorists Won [37]
2016 BAFTA Best Male Comedy Performance Toby Jones Nominated [38]


  1. ^ Dowell, Ben (31 January 2014). "Mackenzie Crook to play metal detector enthusiast in one of four new BBC4 comedies". Radio Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Considine, Pippa (31 January 2014). "BBC4 orders four comedies". Televisual. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Andy gives his name as "Andrew Stone" when arriving for his job interview in S02E04.
  4. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 1" at BBC Programmes
  5. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 2" at BBC Programmes
  6. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 3" at BBC Programmes
  7. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 4" at BBC Programmes
  8. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 5" at BBC Programmes
  9. ^ "Detectorists, Episode 6" at BBC Programmes
  10. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 1" at BBC Programmes
  11. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 2" at BBC Programmes
  12. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 3" at BBC Programmes
  13. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 4" at BBC Programmes
  14. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 5" at BBC Programmes
  15. ^ "Detectorists, Series 2, Episode 6" at BBC Programmes
  16. ^ Dowell, Ben (3 December 2015). "BBC want a third series of Detectorists…but Mackenzie Crook is not so sure". Radio Times. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Detectorists, Christmas Special" at BBC Programmes
  18. ^ Dowell, Ben (31 March 2017). "Mackenzie Crook comedy Detectorists is returning for third and final series". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "BBC Four announces new comedies for 2014". BBC. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Munn, Patrick (31 January 2014). "BBC Four Picks Up Quartet Of Comedy Series". TV Wise. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Everitt, Lauren (10 May 2015). "BBC4 sitcom Detectorists which was filmed in Framlingham picks up Bafta prize". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  23. ^ Clarke, Andrew (12 May 2015). "Is Framlingham the New Hollywood? Comedy filmed in town wins BAFTA while homegrown stars continue to soar". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  24. ^ Barker, Ellis (25 June 2015). "Mackenzie Crook sitcom Detectorists to return to Suffolk". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  25. ^ Lewis, Tim (25 October 2015). "Mackenzie Crook: 'We aspire to be the sitcom Thomas Hardy would have written'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  26. ^ Webb, Claire (29 October 2015). "Where to find Mackenzie Crook's Detectorists in Suffolk". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  27. ^ "What Locations Were Used In BBC Four Sitcom Detectorists?". Creative England. 1 October 2014. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  28. ^ a b Dowell, Ben (29 October 2015). "Detectorists series 2 episode 1 review: Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones return in style". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  29. ^ "Doctor Who: Dame Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling to Star in New Series!". BBC. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  30. ^ Purcell, Charles (6 November 2015). "New This Week (Nov 9): Mr. Robot, Nashville, Legends, Rousey v Holm and live sport". The Green Room. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  31. ^ a b Lloyd, Robert (25 August 2015). "British 'Detectorists' on Acorn TV uncovers a comedy treasure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  32. ^ Renshaw, David. "Detectorists – box set review: this gentle tale of treasure-hunting folk struck TV gold". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  33. ^ Hawksley, Rupert (2 October 2014). "Detectorists, BBC Four, review: 'first-rate writing'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  34. ^ Jones, Ellen E. (30 October 2014). "Detectorists, TV review: Mackenzie Crook's sitcom has saved its sparkliest treasures for those who stick around to earn them". The Independent. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  35. ^ Hale, Mike (16 August 2015). "Review: ‘Detectorists’ on BBC and Acorntv Hope to Unearth a Fortune". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  36. ^ Rees, Jasper (30 October 2015). "Detectorists, Series 2 Episode 1, BBC Four, review: 'truthful'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  37. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2015: Winners". BBC News. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  38. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards 2016 – winners". Radio Times. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 

External links[edit]