Rev. Season 2 DVD cover. The UK's favourite vicar grows into his job, but still has issues...

Studio: 2entertain
Time: 202 minutes over 2 discs + bonus material

The BAFTA Award-winning Rev is being adapted for the States and has already been given the green light for a third series in the UK, but such are the career trajectories of its leading players (Olivia Colman seems everywhere at the moment and Tom Hollander has been there for some while) that it will have to wait until 2014 to reach our screens.

Meanwhile, the Series 2 DVD should keep viewers happy. Revd. Adam Smallbone (Hollander) may now be used to working (and being ignored) in inner city London, but it has done nothing for his insecurities. He sees the promise of a new curate as welcome cover for his Sundays off, but when she proves to be brilliant at her job and popular with everyone, he grows jealous and changes his mind.

Typically, this is only one strand of the episode, which also includes an attempted trip to Greenbelt (that ends up taking place in a tent on the lounge floor) and genial down-and-out Colin spiking Adam’s drink with Ecstasy.

In a similar line, Matthew, the new science teacher at the church school is good news, except that he is an atheist - and it doesn’t help that Matthew is dating the headteacher, whom Adam is secretly in love with.

It is the turn of Adam’s wife (Colman) to be jealous when she goes away for the weekend and returns to find cassock-chasing parishioner Adoha cooking for Adam. This is the episode when the archdeacon, played with delicious energy by Simon McBurney, comes out as gay.

Rev’s gravitas comes from being based on the experiences of real vicars, so the wealth of content is no surprise. We have a haunted room, a fake exorcism, a school trip to let the inner-city kids see cows, an inter-faith football match and a visit by the god-daughter from hell.

There are some strong performances from bit-part players.  Geoffrey Palmer excels as the grumpy father-in-law (a part he has specialised in for years) and Amanda Hale has such chemistry as the curate, I hoped that she would continue in more than just one episode. Richard E. Grant also has a part.

For me, the series is more drama than laugh-out-loud comedy, but that is what gives power to its credibility and poignant moments. Christmas episodes tend to be let-downs, but this one builds brilliantly and the emotional clout of Adam’s mini-breakdown is a fitting climax to this run.

It is not flawless. The first episode lacks oomph and the extras are again very basic (and the pointless film of the actors at Greenbelt is a wasted oportunity), but this welcome series is rich with characters and the humour of real life.


Derek Walker

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}