The Sister Boniface Mysteries: A Father Brown Spinoff

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The Sister Boniface Mysteries: A Father Brown Spinoff 1
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Sister Boniface in her lab (in Father Brown)

Father Brown has been home to loads of fun and memorable characters, but few managed to make an impression as quickly as Sister Boniface. The bright and quirky nun appeared in just one episode, but BritBox recently announced she'd be getting her own spinoff series, The Sister Boniface Mysteries.

What's The Sister Boniface Mysteries About?

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Sister Boniface with her nose in an Agatha Christie novel (from Father Brown)

While plot details and a release timeline haven't yet been revealed, we know Sister Boniface will be using advanced techniques to help police track down criminals. Those who saw her in Father Brown may remember her as being quite clever, and it doesn't seem she's dulled with time.

Rather than the early 1950s timeline of Father Brown, this one will be set in the 1960s in rural Warwickshire. It's a time when police forensics are still quite rough, and even simple blood tests can take days. “DNA” is a term that doesn't exist yet, and there's only very minimal awareness of trace evidence. 

And then there's Sister Boniface. Hidden away in St. Vincent's Convent with a bunch of winemaking nuns, the sister has an IQ of 156 and a PhD in forensic science. Rather than meddling, she has an actual role as the official Police Scientific Advisor, working with DI Sam Gillespie and DS Felix Livingstone – and advise she does, finding mud, blood, hairs, stains, and fibres amongst the crime scenes. Her laboratory is better than anything the police have.

We don't know who will be playing Gillespie and Livingstone, but Gillespie has been described as “dashing”, and Livingstone is said to be a “high-flying Bermudian Detective Sergeant”. Livingstone has been placed in Great Slaughter through a clerical error.

 

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Lorna Watson returns to play Sister Boniface

The series will star Lorna Watson, reprising her role as Sister Boniface. Of her role, she said:

She is such a fun character to play. Quirky, funny, endearing and a total brain when it comes to forensics. In many ways she’s ahead of her time and I love her for that. It’s not every day you get to play a crime-solving, Vespa driving nun.

 

When Does The Sister Boniface Mysteries Air?

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A frightened Sister Boniface in Father Brown

While we don't have the “when” just yet, we do have the “where”. The Sister Boniface Mysteries has been commissioned by BritBox North America, so that's where it's expected to premiere. BritBox UK operates independently of BritBox North America, so while it seems likely they'd have it over there, too, there's certainly no guarantee because they've yet to announce a UK broadcaster. 

Sadly, the filming for the series was delayed due to the pandemic. Father Brown writer Tahsin Guner recently confirmed the delay in a Twitter thread:

Recently (late August 2021), we've seen reports of Sister Boniface filming in the Old Town area of Stratford-upon-Avon. The production was initially mistaken for the upcoming Series 4 of Shakespeare & Hathaway, but observant onlookers noticed the 60s attire and nun and realised it was Sister Boniface.

The Sister Boniface Mysteries will be a 10-part drama.

The Sister Boniface Mysteries was commissioned by BritBox North America president Soumya Sriraman, with Will Trotter executive producing. The series was created by Jude Tindall for BBC One.

 

Who Else Appears in The Sister Boniface Mysteries?

Though details remain somewhat sparse on this one, we recently saw that Niamh McGrady (The Fall, Holby City) is listed as “currently filming for her featured role of Nurse Libby in the new Father Brown spin-off series ‘The Sister Boniface Mysteries' starring Lorna Watson.”

 

Watch Sister Boniface in Father Brown

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Sister Boniface alongside Father Brown

If you haven't already, I recommend checking out Sister Boniface's original appearance in Father Brown. She shows up in Season 1, Episode 6: The Bride of Christ. That's also the source for the screenshots throughout this page.

Even if you're not normally a Father Brown fan, you might like The Bride of Christ. Sister Boniface really brightens up the story, and I was always a bit surprised she didn't become a recurring character.

 

Will You Be Watching The Sister Boniface Mysteries When it Premieres?

Everything about this series sounds like fun to us, so we'll definitely be tuning in. Mysteries, British scenery, a quirky nun – what more could you ask for? Will you be watching? Let us know your thoughts!

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11 Comments

  1. Well, now that we know that they have an international star of Ivan Kaye’s calibre in a supporting role, I’ll certainly watch it ASAP as that sounds like quality work! Also love watching him in about anything as he can do it all convincingly.

  2. Without a doubt, I shall be watching Sister Boniface! Due to Covid, I’d shelved my anticipation- but I just re-watched the Good Sister’s initial appearance on Father Brown, Season 1 – and she was absolutely brilliant! Now, I shall be counting the weeks until Sister Boniface premiers!

  3. Absolutely loved Sister Boniface and so happy she will be getting her own show.. I adore watching Father Brown and have seen all his episodes at least twice! If I have a bad day he’s my go-to show! Maybe they will team up again??

  4. Very excited with the coming of a crime series involving Sr. Boniface. Sounds like great fun as well as interesting.

  5. I have been impatiently waiting to watch Sister Boniface since I learned of the option. I have watched all the Father Brown shows, some twice, and anxiously await Sister Boniface. 😁 SJJD

  6. I will be watching out for Sister Boniface! If the series produces the same level of enjoyment as Father Brown it is destined to become a favorite of mine too!

  7. Anxiously waiting for this cool new adventure in binge watching – as I do for all my brit faves! Sister Boniface is perceptive, clever, genuine and unyielding in her gravitational draw towards all that is just – and so darn like-able during the process 🙂

  8. I’m eagerly awaiting for the Sister Boniface series to premiere here in the states. Also hoping there will be an occasional visit from one of my favorite crime solvers, Father Brown on the series.

  9. I did like Sister Boniface & I’m thinking this will be good. Good on Britbox for thinking outside the box for a new show & taking a chance.

  10. I’m so happy Sister Boniface is returning to Britbox. I’d love to see another episode where she & Father Brown team up again.

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