the Bletchley Circle

Last watched early 2015


Susan Gray, Millie, Lucy, and Jean work together at a secret facility at Bletchley to decipher German military codes for the British military, during World War II. After a brief introduction of the four women at Bletchley during the war, the series begins in 1952, seven years after the war’s end, when Susan, Millie, Lucy, and Jean have returned to their ordinary lives. As the story begins, Susan learns about a series of murders that has occurred in the London area and begins to recognise patterns connecting the killings. This inspires her to return to her codebreaking past, and reaches out to her friends.

As they all signed orders of secrecy about their work during the war, the two married women (Susan and Lucy), disguise their activities from their husbands as a book club. Failing to secure police involvement, they move from codebreaking and investigation into the realm of field work, with dangerous consequences on several occasions.


This combines my two favourite genres: historical fiction and crime drama. It’s an all-woman cast with the completely realistic inclusion of sexism and secrecy hindering the efforts of the women. The plot is compelling, the characters are utterly fantastic and the direction, acting, cinematography and costuming is on point. Highly, highly advise.

Pros: all-woman cast, a woman cited in the direction team
Cons: deeply lacking in people of colour, queer people, disabled people — basically very shallow on the intersectionality scale
Genre: Historical fiction, crime drama

Approach carefully if: you have difficulty with depictions of domestic violence, murder, violence against women, sexism against women, depictions of attempted sexual assault

Can be found: Netflix
Accessibility: subtitles 🙂
If you liked, I recommend: Restless, Call the Midwife, Manhattan, the Fall, the Killing, Bomb Girls, Anzac Girls, Broadchurch


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