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


  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Four / BBC Two
  • 2014 - 2022
  • 20 episodes (3 series)

Sitcom about metal detecting enthusiasts. Stars Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones. Also features Rachael Stirling, Gerard Horan, Pearce Quigley, Divian Ladwa, Laura Checkley and more.

  • JustWatch Streaming rank this week: 335

Episode menu

Series 2 - Christmas Special

Detectorists. Image shows from L to R: Sheila (Sophie Thompson), Terry (Gerard Horan), Varde (Orion Ben), Louise (Laura Checkley), Lance Stater (Toby Jones), Andy Stone (Mackenzie Crook), Hugh (Divian Ladwa)
Lance seems to have lost his metal detecting mojo, and Russell's talk of a curse isn't helping.

Preview clips

Further details

In this stand-alone episode, Lance seems to have lost his metal detecting mojo. He hasn't found anything for months, not even the usual buttons and ring pulls, and Russell's talk of a curse isn't helping.

With the help of his friends at the DMDC Lance sets out to reconnect with the wintry landscape in a heart-warming story for Christmas.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 23rd December 2015
BBC Four
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 24th December 2015 2:30am BBC4
Saturday 26th December 2015 12:00am BBC4
Sunday 17th December 2017 10:00pm BBC2
Wednesday 26th December 2018 10:00pm BBC4
Wednesday 25th December 2019 9:40pm BBC4
Friday 28th October 2022 9:00pm Drama
Tuesday 4th April 2023 10:00pm BBC2
Thursday 31st August 2023 2:00am Drama
Wednesday 18th October 2023 9:00pm Gold
Thursday 19th October 2023 1:20am Gold
Tuesday 26th December 2023 10:00pm Gold
Wednesday 27th December 2023 2:00am Gold
Thursday 25th January 2024 10:35pm Gold
Friday 26th January 2024 2:35am Gold
Saturday 23rd March 2024 9:10pm Gold
Sunday 24th March 2024 12:10am Gold

Cast & crew

Mackenzie Crook Andy Stone
Toby Jones Lance Stater
Gerard Horan Terry
Pearce Quigley Russell
Divian Ladwa Hugh
Laura Checkley Louise
Orion Ben Varde
Sophie Thompson Sheila
Rebecca Callard Toni
Guest cast
Alexander Kirk (as Alex Kirk) Local Journalist
Peter Slater Wayne
Colin Michael Carmichael Alan Chub
Writing team
Mackenzie Crook Writer
Production team
Mackenzie Crook Director
Adam Tandy Producer
Kristian Smith 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


Curse of the gold

Lance hasn't found as much as a ring pull in months. Russell thinks he knows why...

Featuring: Mackenzie Crook (Andy Stone), Toby Jones (Lance Stater), Gerard Horan (Terry), Pearce Quigley (Russell), Divian Ladwa (Hugh) & Sophie Thompson (Sheila).


This week we had the Christmas special of Detectorists. Not that there was anything particularly festive about the so-called Christmas Special and it could well have been set during any part of the year. Toby Jones' Lance was front and centre throughout the entire episode which followed on from his discovery of an ancient medieval artefact at the end of the last series. The rather charming opening sequence saw Lance visit his find in a London museum and attempt to get his photo taken by the display. This to me was the highlight of a rather average episode of Detectorists which saw Lance try to dispel the supposed 'Curse of the Gold' that had befallen him since his recent discovery. Lance believes he has been cursed due to the fact that he hasn't been able to find anything since the end of the last series while he's also experienced a string of bad luck. The one primary reason I found this episode of Detectorists fairly mediocre was due to the fact that Mackenzie Crook barely made an impression throughout. Crook's Andy just happened to pop back from Africa in time to see Lance's disastrous display at the DMDC however their scenes together were limited. Part of the joy of Detectorists are the scenes in which Lance and Andy talk rubbish to each other whilst out metal detecting. Additionally there was very little continuity between this special and the series with no mention of Lance's daughter or explanation given as to why Sophie was nowhere to be seen throughout. On the plus side I did like the fact that Jones had almost thirty minutes to take centre stage and deliver what I thought was a masterclass is in awkwardness. The scene in which he completely ruins things with a potential new love is squirm-inducing however their later moment together was rather sweetly realised. This led me to ponder whether there will be a third series of Detectorists or if Andy will stay in Africa while Lance will finally find happiness with a lady mechanic. I'm hoping it's the former as Detectorists has become one of my favourite sitcoms of the last couple of years and I've got my fingers crossed that it doesn't end with what I found to be a rather underwhelming offering.

Matt, The Custard TV, 24th December 2015

Mackenzie Crook's sitcom is something of an outlier in the current TV climate - a perfectly understated show which, in keeping with its subject matter, ever so gently reveals its treasures (from script to performances to photography) to those patient enough to wait. And patience is a rare commodity these days. In this seasonal special, Lance (Toby Jones) has lost his detecting mojo, prompting Russell to believe he is cursed: can he find it again in time for Christmas?

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 23rd December 2015

Detectorists Christmas Special preview

The delightful BBC Four comedy remains on good form, but prepare yourself for a different feel tonight as the metal detectorists tread barren, bare and cold fields.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 23rd December 2015

Preview: Detectorists Christmas special, BBC4

As you would expect from this gentle series there are no earth-shaking moments.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 22nd December 2015

Radio Times review

After the note-perfect ending to series two, it came as a surprise - but a lovely one - to discover that a standalone episode would light up the festive schedules. Lance, you'll remember, unearthed a major find, while Andy and Becky were all set for something similarly life-changing.

As we rejoin the lovable eccentrics of Danebury Metal Detecting Club, the wintry fields and furrows are proving barren indeed for Lance (Toby Jones), who's not even turning up the usual ring-pulls or "canslaw". Is there any more gold to be found in them thar hillocks?

Detectorists is so adept at cockle-warming that a winter episode is in many ways the ideal framework. Tantalisingly, Mackenzie Crook says, "We got to bring the story to London for some extra-special scenes." The show's ardent metalheads can't wait...

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 16th December 2015

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