Regarding Sarah: it appears that they made a conscious decision to pare down the supporting cast and only feature the same main players in each episode. They included Sarah to the mix and dropped not only her husband, the Vicar, but all of the other faces that we frequently saw in passing. Perhaps it was a financial decision?
I turn on the closed captioning for this show sometimes because I miss the dialogue due to the accents. It helps!
My favorite character is Bill's partner, the bumbling lead detective. He is terrific!