Advanced Television

BritBox commissions new detective series for N. America

January 15, 2020

BBC Studios has announced that Lorna Watson (Watson & Oliver) is set to star in a new detective series for BritBox North America, The Sister Boniface Mysteries. Set in 1960s rural England, this series of light-hearted murder mysteries follows the investigations of Sister Boniface, Bride of Christ, vintner, and Crime Scene Investigator.

The ten-part drama created by Jude Tindall (Father Brown, Shakespeare & Hathaway), a BritBox commission, produced by BBC Studios Productions, will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios. Lorna Watson will reprise her role as sleuthing Sister Boniface, following her appearance in the first series of Father Brown.

In rural Warwickshire in the 1960’s, police forensics is rudimentary by today’s standards.  DNA is yet to be discovered. Blood testing can take days. The notion of trace evidence is in its infancy and the preservation of crime scenes is shockingly hit and miss.

Fortunately the Great Slaughter Constabulary has a secret weapon in its fight against crime. Hidden deep in the countryside is St Vincent’s Convent, a small community of wine making nuns where ensconced in a laboratory is Sister Boniface. An IQ of 156 and a PHD in forensic science, plus an addiction to popular detective fiction and a fully equipped crime laboratory make Boniface an invaluable aid to Police investigations.  Mud, blood, stains, hairs and fibres. If there is evidence to be found Boniface will find it.  Poisons, trace evidence, blood stains, etymology. She’s more up to speed on the latest forensic techniques than the Police.

In her role as official Police Scientific Advisor, Boniface works alongside the dashing Detective Inspector Sam Gillespie and Felix Livingstone, a high-flying Bermudian Detective Sergeant. Felix was supposed to be on secondment to the Metropolitan Police but an administrative error lands him in Great Slaughter.  A cast of eccentric local characters combined with his boss’s reliance on a nun leave him reeling. Although as Sam points out, that “Nun” ensures they have the highest clean-up rate in the county.

Lorna Watson says: “I can’t wait to get back in the habit and fight crime in The Sister Boniface Mysteries! She is such a fun character to play. Quirky, funny, endearing and a total brain when it comes to forensics. In many ways she’s ahead of her time and I love her for that.  It’s not every day you get to play a crime solving, Vespa driving nun.”

Will Trotter, BBC Studios Executive Producer says: “Jude is an expert in creating cosy crime mysteries, and has brilliantly done so in The Sister Boniface Mysteries! Sister Boniface is a fascinating and warm character, that we feel audiences around the world will come to love.”

Soumya Sriraman, President and Founder, BritBox says: “Lorna caught my attention when her character was first introduced in Father Brown – this is exactly the type of show we wanted to commission for our growing audience.”

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