The Sister Boniface Mysteries: A Father Brown Spinoff

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Last Updated on August 31, 2021 by Stefanie Hutson

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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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