Friday 8 August 2014

If TV Detectives were Ministers of Religion

You know the sorts of vicars you're gonna get in crime series. They're nearly always creepy, or victims. Or, in Midsomer, both.

But what if it hadn't been murder that captured everybody's imagination the last hundred years? What if it had been pastoral matters? What if, instead of solving tricky crimes, the thing everybody wanted to know was how the curate dealt with a tricky question at confirmation class? What would that be like?

Reverend Morse

Hard-drinking Fr Endeavour sends his willing curate Fr Robbie out to do all the day-to-day ministry. A succession of attractive middle-aged women join the church, but Reverend Morse, an allegedly confirmed bachelor but not like the people at St Gabriel's down the road, always ends up burying them.

The Right Reverend Strange, Fr Endeavour's bishop, constantly criticises his unconventional liturgies, but Morse doesn't care. He's normally drunk or listening to Requiems late at night.

Fr Lewis

After Morse's death, Fr Robert has his own parish. An old-school liberal himself, he gets confused when his new curate turns out to believe in God.

Reverend Cagney and the Venerable Lacey

When Christine "comes out", she realises she'll have to join the Episcopalians. Still, it means she can get ordained.

Midsomer Vicars

Due to some seriously nepotistic patronage, there's always been a Reverend Barnaby at Midsomer St Mary. The current one has to compete for parishioners with nine New Age cults, wife-swapping and the Pony Club. But why are all the police officers either creepy or dying?

Saint Sweeney's

Fr Regan and his Parish Evangelist, George, have a rough and ready way with the local sinners. They bash them against walls until they promise to come to church on Sunday.

The Deacons of Hazard

Two good ol' boy Texan priests are into guns, cars, girls and the suppression of anything that looks a bit gay. Daisy's short cotter is always guaranteed to raise Church Warden Hogg's liturgical temperature.

Rev Brenda

A motherly Self-supporting Minister gets everyone to confess in the end.

Sherlock's Chapel

As the series opens, Sherlock is deducing, from the rope fibres on her blouse, the smell of specialist oil and the grass stains on her skirt, that the organist is having an affair with the bell-tower captain.

Revd Homes is a brilliant Bible preacher, but lives in constant awe of his clever brother, Moltmann. After an argument over who has the better reredos, both Sherlock and Fr Moriarty fall off the church roof. Miraculously, Sherlock's back to lead the following Sunday's service.

The Professional Priests

Bishop Hudson wonders whether he should remove the licences of Fr Bodie and Fr Doyle.

Preach to Me

Fr Cal Lightman's uncanny knowledge of psychology makes him a brilliant preacher.

But the suspicion that he'll go to any lengths to get a conversion means nobody ever quite trusts him.

Endeavour the Ordinand

The young Morse doesn't get thrown out of Oxford after all, but develops a deep love for the High-Church tradition of Beaufort College Chapel.

Sister Starsky and Mother Superior Hutch

The hip nuns with the speedy car race around town saving souls, serving the poor and telling Huggy Bear he's going to Hell.

The Police Officer of Dibley

PC Geraldine is the first female constable in the village. The Police Complaints Commission is full of amusing and lovable idiots.


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl