‘Father Brown’ Season 10: Mark Williams Talks Cast Changes, Bike Mishap and More

‘Father Brown’ Season 10: Mark Williams Talks Cast Changes, Bike Mishap and More June 20, 2023

Mark Williams of 'Father Brown'
Actor Mark Williams of ‘Father Brown’

Murder has returned to the quaint British village of Kembleford, and Father Brown is on the case.

On June 13, Season 10 of Father Brown landed on streamer BritBox in the U.S. Inspired by the crimesolving Catholic-priest character created by British Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton, the BBC series airs daytimes in the U.K., and has proven one of its more enduring hits.

The Faith of Father Brown

In an age where religion is often feared and avoided in TV, Father Brown continues to be as concerned for the souls in his investigations as the clues. Along with solving murders, he also hears confessions and counsels many to seek the light of truth and faith in God.

And, shockingly (shocking for sophisticated media watchers, at least), TV audiences, Catholic or not, continue to lap it up, on both sides of the pond.

Where to See Father Brown

Earlier seasons of the show are available for digital purchase/rental on AppleTV, Vudu, Google Play and Amazon. It also airs in syndication on PBS stations (check local listings).

Oh, and an 11th season is already in production, in the show’s regular location in the bucolic Cotswolds area of England, about 100 miles from London.

(BTW, it’s the same area where Jeremy Clarkson has his acreage, as seen in the hit docuseries Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon).

A New Season Brings New Faces (and the Loss of Some Familiar Ones)

Things will look a bit different around St. Mary’s Catholic Church this season.

Irish actress Sorcha Cusack, who played parish secretary Mrs. Bridgette McCarthy, has moved on, as have Emer Kenney, who played rowdy rich girl Bunty Windermere, and Jack Deam, who played Father Brown’s police frenemy, Inspector Mallory.

But, it’s not all goodbyes, there are some hellos as well.

Claudie Blakley comes in as Mrs. Devine, a recently widowed amateur actress who applies to be the new parish secretary. Also, Tom Sullivan, who played the unimaginatively named Inspector Sullivan in early seasons, shows up again.

And, Ruby-May Martinwood, who appeared in season nine as troubled borstal girl Brenda, returns — but I’ll let you see the episode to explain how all that happens.

It’s a New Year for Father Brown

As Season 10 opens, it’s 1954 … at last. It’s taken nine seasons of the show — and a lot of dead bodies — to get this far in the 1950s. At this pace, 63-year-old Williams will be able to play this part for most of the rest of his life, if he wants.

And if he does, he may want to avoid falling off his bike again, but I’ll let him tell you all about that (he’s fine; details here).

Father Brown Speaks

To mark the occasion of the 10th season — on the very day of the premiere, in fact — I caught up with star Mark Williams via Zoom from the U.K.

The full interview is embedded below, but here are a couple of highlights.

On the idea that there isn’t much Catholic priests haven’t heard in confessions:

I don’t think so. I think it’s also what you would really know is how duplicitous people can be. And what you know is what people say and what people do are two entirely different things. But you got to be nosy. You got to look into the dumpster of people’s minds. You know what I mean? You got to turn over the rubbish to find a thing you’ve lost.

Somebody said that novelists can teach you more about psychology than most psychologists. And I reckon Catholic priests will give you a run for their money via the confession. Think it’s very important. I think there’s a need for confession, which social media isn’t fulfilling.

On what keeps Father Brown from becoming a cynic:

Hope. It’s all about hope. It’s not necessarily that things are going to get better or it’s going to be great one day. It’s just about the fact that hope is fuel. Hope is daily fuel, and you can’t be happy without hope. It’s a kind of feeling really, isn’t it? It’s not a … What do they say about happiness? It’s not a destination. Hope is not a destination either. As Thomas Browne said, I’ve got to get this right, “We live life with an invisible sun within us.”

And now, the whole thing: (apologies in advance for hearing the publicist breaking in — my video-editing skills are embryonic at best):

Image: Britbox/YouTube screenshot

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About Kate O'Hare
Based in Los Angeles, Kate O'Hare is a veteran entertainment journalist, Social Media Content Manager for Family Theater Productions and a rookie screenwriter. You can read more about the author here.
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