One of the best things about Netflix is that you often find forgotten gems to watch. Murder on the Homefront is just such a gem. I stumbled across it last week, and looking at the running time I thought it was a film, but when I googled it I realised it was a two part series from 2013, that had been merged together to make it a feature length episode. As I love anything with a period or retro feel, I settled down for a watch, and I’m glad I did as it was a riveting whodunnit, with two strong female roles, including an early role for woman of the moment Emerald Fennell.
Murder on the Homefront is based on a book of memoirs by Molly Lefebure, secretary to the former Second World War Home Office pathologist Keith Simpson. Loosely autobiographical, Tamzin Merchant plays Molly Cooper, a young crime reporter who becomes the secretary and right hand woman of Dr Lennox Collins (played by Patrick Kennedy) in his quest to help the police solve the case of a possible serial killer targeting young women during the 1940 blitz. Also helping Dr Collins is crime scene photographer Issy Quennell, played by Emerald Fennell, now finding such acclaim as the director of Promising Young Woman, the first British woman to be nominated for the best director Academy Award, and also known for her royal as Camilla in The Crown.
The show is beautifully filmed with muted light and colours that seem to match the wartime setting and the smoke and dust of the Blitz. The stylish costumes and attention to detail are second to none, making this a real treat for the eyes, and the performances are also great, both from the leads, and also from the likes of James Fleet and John Bowe who are in the supporting cast.
Murder on the Homefront is great, and it is a shame there was never a new case and a follow up show, but this one is definitely worth a watch if you have Netflix, and also worth a read of Molly’s book.