PC Nicholas Angel, a high-achieving Metropolitan Police officer, is promoted to Sergeant, but his resentful colleagues arrange for him to be reassigned to the small rural town of Sandford, Gloucestershire, a regular "Village of the Year" winner. Angel is soon frustrated by the mundanity of the village and his lazy and incompetent colleagues. His partner, PC Danny Butterman, whom he arrested earlier for drunken behaviour, is a fan of buddy cop films and son of Inspector Frank Butterman, Angel's superior.
Martin Blower and Eve Draper, the two lead actors of an am-dram production of Romeo and Juliet, whom Angel had pulled over earlier for speeding, are murdered by a cloaked axe-wielding figure, who stages it as a car accident. Angel is the only officer who suspects foul play. Sent to resolve a dispute, Angel discovers an illegal weapons stash, including an old naval mine, and locks them in the police station. Angel warms to Danny, and they binge-watch action movies at Danny's home. That night, wealthy land developer George Merchant is attacked in his home by the cloaked figure, and killed in a deliberate gas explosion.
Angel suspects that the killings are connected to a recent property deal. A local journalist, Tim Messenger, approaches Angel at a village fete, claiming to have information, but another cloaked figure dislodges masonry atop the church's steeple, which falls and crushes Messenger's head, killing him. Leslie Tiller, the village florist, tells Angel about her plans to sell her house to Merchant's business partners. While Angel retrieves his notebook, she is stabbed in the neck with her garden shears; Angel gives chase but loses the killer. Angel suspects Simon Skinner, a sinister supermarket manager, as the property deal would have built a rival supermarket, but Skinner has an alibi.
Angel is attacked in his hotel room by one of Skinner's employees, Michael "Lurch" Armstrong. Angel knocks him out and learns of a secret Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (NWA) meeting at Sandford Castle. Angel confronts the NWA, led by Frank, who reveals that they carried out the murders, staged as accidents, for various petty reasons as each victim supposedly threatened Sandford's chances of winning Village of the Year. Frank's motive is his late wife Irene had put everything into helping Sandford win the first "Village of the Year", but travellers ruined their chances the night before the judges arrived, driving her to suicide. Angel flees and falls into the castle's catacombs, where he finds the corpses of the NWA's other victims. Danny appears and fakes killing Angel. Pretending to dispose of the body, Danny drives Angel away and urges him to return to London for his own safety. At a petrol station, Angel sees a rack of the films he and Danny bonded over and decides to return to Sandford.
The next day, Angel arms himself with the confiscated guns. He and Danny engage in a shootout with the NWA. When Frank brings out and orders the other officers to arrest them, Angel and Danny convince them that Frank is the culprit. Frank flees and the officers besiege the supermarket, with Skinner fleeing in a car with Frank. After a car chase, Angel corners Skinner at Sandford's model village, and Skinner is impaled through the jaw by a miniature church steeple. Frank, after briefly holding Danny hostage, attempts to escape in Angel's car but is attacked by a missing swan that Angel and Danny had recaptured earlier.
Angel's former superiors arrive and ask him to return to London, as the crime rate has risen heavily in his absence, but Angel decides to remain in Sandford. While the Sandford Police are going over the paperwork of the arrests, the elderly Tom Weaver, the last NWA member, bursts into the station wielding a blunderbuss. He shoots at Angel, but Danny jumps in front. In the resulting struggle, Weaver accidentally activates the naval mine, killing himself and destroying the station.
One year later, Angel has been promoted to Inspector and head of the Sandford police, and Danny is Sergeant. After visiting Irene's grave, the two drive off to their next crime scene.
Only logged in users may leave a review.