British Comedy Guide

Detectorists. Image shows from L to R: Lance Stater (Toby Jones), Andy Stone (Mackenzie Crook). Copyright: BBC.


BBC Four sitcom about treasure hunters. 19 episodes (3 series), 2014 - 2017. Stars Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, Rachael Stirling, Gerard Horan and others.

Detectorists. Image shows from L to R: Andy Stone (Mackenzie Crook), Lance Stater (Toby Jones), Terry (Gerard Horan), Sheila (Sophie Thompson).

Series 2, Episode 6

Finally, it is the day of the DMDC's annual rally and Terry is expecting a really big turn-out. But for Andy and Lance, will the day bring heartbreak or triumph?

Broadcast details

Thursday 3rd December 2015
BBC Four
30 minutes


  1. Friday 4th December 2015 at 12:55am on BBC4
  2. Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 10:00pm on BBC2

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Mackenzie Crook Andy Stone
Toby Jones Lance Stater
Rachael Stirling Becky
Gerard Horan Terry
Pearce Quigley Russell
Divian Ladwa Hugh
Laura Checkley Louise
Orion Ben Varde
Sophie Thompson Sheila
Aimee-Ffion Edwards Sophie
Diana Rigg Veronica
Alexa Davies Kate
Daniel Donskoy Peter
Writing team
Mackenzie Crook Writer
Production team
Mackenzie Crook Director
Adam Tandy Producer
Kristian Smith Executive Producer
Jono Richards (as Jonno Richards) Executive Producer
Lisa Thomas Executive Producer
Alan Marke Executive Producer
Jim Reid Executive Producer
Colin Fair Editor
Sam Harley (as Samantha Harley) Production Designer
Johnny Flynn Composer
Dan Michaelson Composer


What a great show this has been; its late summer vibes, subtle wisdom and inklings of melancholy making it a Nick Drake among sitcoms. As the series closes, Lance, Andy et al have reason to be optimistic. Lance has confined himself to leaving a mere eight messages for his daughter Kate, and Peter the "nighthawk" looks to have been vanquished. All comes to a head at the club rally, but quietly spectacular ensemble performances (especially from Sophie Thompson as Sheila) create a perfectly pitched tone throughout.

John Robinson, The Guardian, 3rd December 2015

When I heard the premise of Detectorists (BBC Four, Thursday) -- middle-aged blokes potter about the countryside obsessively looking for buried treasure -- I presumed we were in for a spot of easy satire where the author's message would be something like 'Get a life, you losers.' In the event, this tender, kindly show has portrayed its characters as almost heroically indifferent to modern social fashions and demands. (And I bet there are far more of such people about than we generally see on television -- except of course on Only Connect.)

This perspective was duly reflected in the real author's message that came on Thursday when Andy (Mackenzie Crook) worried aloud that he wasn't ambitious enough. 'No shame in that,' his friend Lance (Toby Jones) reassured him. 'Ambition's overrated. All these people reaching for the stars and striving to be the best. It looks exhausting.' Not coincidentally, Crook, who wrote and directed Detectorists, turned down the chance to be in Pirates of the Caribbean 5 so that he could make the show.

James Walton, The Spectator, 3rd December 2015

Detectorists, BBC Four's fine comedy, came to the conclusion of its second series in the only way possible, with Lance (Toby Jones) finally doing a "gold jig" after the discovery of the medieval trinket that has tantalised in the title sequence. After weeks of wandering field and hillside with their "coils to the soil", this was no more than he and his metal-detecting confidant Andy (Mackenzie Crook) deserved. Jones gives his grins away so sparingly it is well worth the half-hour wait to see his doleful features transformed. Detectorists remains the most likely winner of any "sitcom on an unlikely theme" award, but it works because of the unfailing Don Quixote meets Countryfile tone of Crook's script and direction. "Ambition's overrated," suggests Lance as he clambers over a stile - leaving Andy, with baby Stan papoosed, to struggle with yet another fatherly obstacle - but nevertheless keeps on digging up 1980s Fanta-can ring pulls in the hope of finding the Staffordshire hoard.

Appropriately enough, the long-awaited detectorists' rally - bringing together the Uxbridge Unearthers, the Letchworth Locaters and the Romford Recoverers - passed mostly without incident, except for the troubling appearance of a rogue detector, a "nighthawk - scum of the earth" at the dig site. Still, in among the sedimentary strata of English despond there are always nuggets of hope: Lance found common ground with his newly discovered daughter; Andy the reed-thin resolve to try a new life for size. "We are all looking for gold," is one of Lance's certainties. Another, eminently employable is "when in doubt dig it out".

Tim Adams, The Observer, 6th December 2015

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