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First-rate adaptations in their time of G. K. Chesterton's clerical detective Father Brown. The series which aired in 1974 unfortunately has only 13 episodes in it. Having re-watched them all again(having seen them probably in the late 70s on Mystery I think), the stories, the detective, and the productions all hold up today with rather small problems. Yes, these episodes are somewhat stagy and plodding at times
much like the stories can be. Father Brown is no Sherlock Holmes when
it comes to action nor does he have the hubris one associates with Hercule Poirot or a Lord Peter Whimsey. He is more like an accelerated Miss Marple in both action and demeanor. Kenneth More plays the priest to perfection I think. Father Brown was a very inconspicuous character in the stories, but that just won't do for television if you want any viewers. More gives Brown some warmth, charisma(as earlier stated by another reviewer), and roundness as a priest and as a human being. He makes this series work and is incredibly fun to watch. The episodes are very faithful in most cases to the source material with some changes, but each episode has solid direction, good character acting, a puzzle albeit at sometimes a complicatedly-woven one, and More at its center. Some of the stellar episodes are: The Eye of Apollo in which Father Brown matches wits with a religious huckster, The Three Tools of Death which is about death from a very intriguing manner, and The Arrow of Heaven - again a rather neat little mystery. Throughout the episodes you will see the likes of actors such as: Ferdy Mayne(The Fearless Vampire Killers - vampire), Benard Lee(M in James Bond films), Shelia Keith(Pete Walker films like House of Whipcord and Frightmare and one scary actress just in general), and Dennis Burgess plays Hercule Flambeau in several episodes. If you are the mood for a thought-provoking mystery, try a little priest.
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