Each week Times TV Critic Mary McNamara offers her viewing picks for the coming week:
"Bletchley Circle": Socially provocative and gorgeously acted, this three-part British miniseries, which ends this week, rather astonishingly manages to leverage the current enthrallment with period dramas (it's set in 1952), the eternal fascination with suspense procedurals involving serial killers and the roots of modern feminism.
A group of four women become friends while working in a top-secret department of British intelligence known as Bletchley Park, in which they used pattern analysis and general brilliance to break German codes. After the war, however, they scatter, forced, like so many women, to return to the confines of "normal life." When a series of gruesome murders occur, Susan (the always wonderful
Apart from being a fine and tricky murder-mystery, "Bletchley Circle" explores the psychological minefield of the post-war experience from a variety of angles, including and especially the women who, for a unique and limited time, were valued for their intellectual talents, only to be given a permanent pink slip after the war's end.