Father Brown is getting a spin-off. Britbox has ordered The Sister Boniface Mysteries, a ten episode drama revolving around the character of Sister Boniface who originally appeared in the first season of Father Brown. Lorna Watson is on-board to reprise her role as the sleuthing nun. It’s worth noting that this has only been commissioned for the U.S. arm of BritBox and at present there is no UK broadcaster attached to the project.
The Sister Boniface Mysteries is set in 1960s rural Warwickshire and follows the investigations of Sister Boniface, Bride of Christ, vintner, and Crime Scene Investigator. 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.
At present Lorna Watson is the only confirmed cast member. “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”, she said in a statement. “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.”
Father Brown and Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators scribe Jude Tindall created the series, which is being produced by BBC Studios. It was commissioned by Soumya Sriraman, President and Founder of BritBox North America. BBC Studios’ Will Trotter is the executive producer. BBC Studios Distribution is handling global sales. It is not immediately clear if BBC One, who commission and air parent series Father Brown, will look to acquire the spin-off.