With Halloween right around the corner, now is the perfect time to get into the spooky spirit. Based on the book, “The Burning Girls,” by C.J. Tudor, Paramount+ and the Roku Channel released a six-episode series on Thursday, Oct. 19. This series follows mother Jack Brooks (Samantha Morton) and daughter Flo (Ruby Stokes), as they move into what appears to be a small quiet town.
Immediately, the show gains the viewers’ interest with faint screams and a caption stating the year and location: 1556 in Chapel Croft Village, Sussex, England. Men are seen searching for two young girls as they enter a church. Once they find them, the girls are dragged outside, tied to a stake with the crowd chanting “Burn them!” While it was a short-lived scene, it poses the question, why were these young girls burned at the stake?
Fast forward to three months from the present day, the people of Chapel Croft Village joyously celebrate around what seems to be the same place the girls were burned. As they celebrate, woven dolls are either scattered around or with children holding them. The priest then gathers everyone around the flames and explains how the day is to remember the sacrifice their people made three hundred years ago. He concludes his speech with, “Cast your burning girls to the flame.” While doing so, it foreshadows bits of the rest of the episode.
Jack and Flo end up moving into the home that is on the same plot of land as the church and cemetery. Quickly, it is confirmed that Jack took a position with the town as the new reverend because the previous one had died, but Jack is unaware as to how. Not too soon after this, both Jack and Flo begin to realize how strange the town is. Flo is more apprehensive about this while Jack seems to be in denial.
One of the eerie revelations that contribute to their feelings about the town is a strange package they receive on their doorstep. As they open the box, Flo finds a card with a proverb that insinuates all will be found out in due time. Inside is a strange box containing various items, one being a knife covered with blood. While they do not know who the sender is, Jack reveals it is an exorcism kit to which Flo begins to panic and say, “not again.” Perhaps, this is why they moved from Nottingham to the village.
If the first episode of “The Burning Girls” does not catch your attention, the second episode most likely will. The episodes increase your curiosity regarding what happened in the town and what is continuing to happen. Viewers should pay attention to the small details and interactions among the characters as they provide context for the rest of the series. With beautiful visuals, perfectly placed sound effects and audio, “The Burning Girls” is a must-see for the month of October.