We are used to seeing our superheroes in masks and capes.
Perhaps with a pair of oversized red pants or knee-high black boots and access to a flashy gadget.
It certainly seems unlikely that four women in cardigans, drinking tea from china cups, armed only with a typewriter would become unstoppable crusaders.
But in the unlikeliest of places, the code breakers of ITV’s The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco morphed into the Fantastic Four on Wednesday.
My God, do those women know how to crack a riddle. They could probably decipher Trump’s tweets, untangle a British Rail timetable or even solve Brexit.
Theresa May should assemble a team right now. Bring on the linguists, the mathematicians, the crossword experts. Your country needs you.
During the Second World War, thousands of women worked at British code breaking headquarters Bletchley Park. No surprises that most were given clerical work because, you know, they were JUST WOMEN. But eventually the military had to acknowledge that some might have a few brain cells.
It’s a brilliant premise for a drama, although the original Bletchley Circle was axed four years ago after two series.
Fans practically revolted on Twitter, but a mere four years later and… slight delayed reaction, it’s back with this spin-off.
Only two original cast members returned, which was a shame, but Rachael Stirling and Julie Graham as Millie and Jean were compelling. The friends are first seen working at Bletchley in 1942.
But in a gruesome scene, a colleague is strangled after badmouthing Americans at a party. She was found positioned as an angel with a weird code drawn on her palm.
Fast forward 14 years and Millie and Jean hear of a similar murder in San Francisco. Sounds like a case for the Bletchley Justice League. Yes, it was a bit of a ludicrous Scooby Doo-style plot leap that two women in 1956 would jump on a plane to do some amateur sleuthing.
With just a scrap of code they tracked down musician and maths whizz Iris, played by Crystal Balint, and engineering prodigy Hailey, actress Chanelle Peloso.
Once I’d abandoned any need for realism I enjoyed watching them pace the room and make their deductions while politely sipping tea.
“Pardon the mismatched set, my cousin seems to have furnished the place with street debris,” Millie chirped.
There were some obligatory culture clash jokes. Hailey misunderstood the word “loo” then glugged tea as if it were a pint of lager. Oh how we laughed.
In times of debate on gender equality, I enjoyed this smart, classy drama with a strong female cast that champions women without any need for all those superhero bells and whistles.
We’ll leave that to Batman.
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