The Big Bonanza neatly picks up the momentum of the excellent pilot episode and runs with it. The cast remain excellent despite the almost year long gap between filming this episode and filming the pilot. Likewise the majority of the crew return. Executive producer Anthony Minghella (who passed away after completing the pilot episode) will be sorely missed but his crew are highly motivated to do his legacy justice and it shows in their work. The visuals remain spectacular and absorbing making the show fantastic escapism and maintaining a real sense of place. Filming on location in Botswana remains one of this series assets. Minghella's colleague Charles Sturridge takes over directing duties and does a fine job of maintaining the established tone of the pilot.
Jill Scott's terrific central performance as the titular detective continues to the anchor the show. Anika Noni Rose's character Grace Makutsi is given her first "outside of work" subplot here with the introduction of her ailing brother and their financial problems. She ably shoulders the burden of providing pathos alongside her established comedic role from the pilot. Mr. Matekoni and BK remain in the background for now but I look forward to exploring their back story in later episodes. I'm particularly interested to see how BK is developed as he does not feature in the book series.
The starring cast are joined by several interesting guest stars. Mosako Mogara is introduced as Wellington, the industrious neighborhood boy who insists on helping the agency. I cannot recall his character from the books but he seems to have the potential to become a recurring character - perhaps they could connect him to the orphanage which is a prominent part of Mma Ramotswe's life in the books. Maggie Benedict is introduced as rival secretary Violet who is a recurring antagonist in the books. I thought this was a fine episode overall and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.