Day Six: Favourite Female Driven Show
The Bletchley Circle
There are no male leads in this show. It was one of the few shows, if the only, where not only do the women drive it’s narrative but the men play no part but background noise or guest slots.
Set in Post-War London, this show focuses on four highly intelligent women who used to work as code breakers at Bletchley House during the war. Due to the Official Secrets Act they are forbidden from telling anyone how they contributed to the war and so no one knows how they discovered one of the key things which helped defeat Germany (They broke an impossible code which led to multiple details on a secret attack). They are constantly belittled by the men surrounded them, be it colleagues or husbands or friends,as they are dismissed as ‘just women’ better suited to knitting than crime solving. However, when the police fail to solve the serial murders of young girls, the four team up in secret once more and using their combined skills (each specialises in one particular area of Intelligence) they tackle the murder like breaking a code and end up solving the crime right from under entirely-male police force’s noses.
Alongside this main storyline, we also see their own individual arcs and experience which include but are not limited to spousal abuse, job dismissal based on gender, sexual harassment and rape, and we see each of these characters take these things head on and rally together supportively (When one is abused by her husband repeatedly, knowing she is too frightened to make the move to leave herself, the other three quickly and quietly orchestrate an escape and move her in with one of them, and we are witness to her peacefully sleeping for what is clearly the first time in years) and overcome any and every obstacle.
They are each entirely different, we have the serious librarian, the colourful flirt, the mother-and-wife, the quiet, shy, innocent, but none judges the other for their differences, nor do they try to change one another. They embrace their differing personalities and encourage them, and unlike the many males they come across, they all know they are not limited to this ‘type-casting’.. The serious librarian can drink the others under the table, the innocent has a brilliant mind for calculation and event manipulation, the responsible mother-and-wife is an inspiring leader and battle planner, the flirt is incredibly insightful and considerate.
This is a show which truly has women celebrating women and there is not a part of it which isn’t fantastic.