"The Bletchley Circle" from 2012 is about women who worked on cracking German military codes during the World War II. They are described as "Alan's girls," meaning Alan Turing, whose tragic life will be the subject of a film starring Benedict Cumberbatch later this year. After the war, though they were all very smart, they settled in everyday life that sometimes was less than satisfying.
When young women start disappearing and wind up dead in 1952, one of the code-breakers, Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) becomes interested in the case, sees a pattern emerging, and asks her husband to use a connection to get her in to see the Deputy Commissioner. Unfortunately, her idea -- the location of the currently missing girl's body -- is incorrect.
Discouraged, Susan is sure that she and her old code-breaker friends can find the killer using their code-breaking skills. She gets the old group together: Jean (Julie Graham), Millie (Rachel Stirling), and Lucy (Sophie Rundle) who are resistant at first, then agree. It means using information supplied by other code-breakers. It also means putting themselves in danger.
I thought this was a suspenseful, intriguing, and interesting story, with the '50s atmosphere, clothing, and hairstyles intact, with strong acting from the actresses. Because it's a feminist story, meant to show that post-World War II, England didn't need its women any longer, the men in it are annoyed, angry, suspicious, and in one case, violent. I would say the Deputy Commissioner, despite finding Susan a bit of a nuisance, does follow up on what she says, knowing the job she had during the war and her intelligence; and Susan's husband, though not particularly happy, knows she's a good woman and in the end, has patience with her long hours away from the house.
My only question is, where is season 2? Can't wait.
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