When an unpleasant and cruel nobleman spites his stepson by ceding his estate to the abbey, he ends up being poisoned by one of Brother Cadfael's medications.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Ellis Peters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Culver ...
Bernard Gallagher ...
Gervase Bonel
Mary Miller ...
Huw Garmon ...
Sophie Lawrence ...
Mark Charnock ...
Albie Woodington ...
Edwin Gurney
Terrence Hardiman ...
Freddie Boardley ...
Brother Petrus


A man, dissatisfied with his step-sons life choices, decides to leave his manor to Shrewsbury Abbey. When the man ends up poisoned after eating food sent from the abbey, the step-son becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Cadfael doubts the quick assumption, sets out to find the actions and motives behind the crime, and in the process may help to redeem himself for a promise long unfulfilled. Written by M. Astaphan

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

19 June 1994 (UK)  »

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A character is sent to fetch basil, which was introduced to England in the 1600s. See more »


Richildis: Oh, Cadfael... did you take it so hard? Did it have to be the cloister? I have wondered about you so often and for so long... I never knew I had done you such an injury.
Brother Cadfael: The whole fault was mine. And I have wished you well always... as I do now.
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User Reviews

Dark Age
22 June 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

TeeVee mysteries captivate me, because there I such a wide variety. Some are very clever and understand what works. Some are amazingly daft about the charms of mystery, or even engaging narrative. Often, they try to get by with simple scenery.

That's how the book series is set up: the mysteries are thin, and the description of the medieval context is rich. It obviously worked for the readers. It works less well in the TeeVee version. I think its because we are so used to seeing sets and costumes like these. They give us absolutely nothing from the era that is not delivered by sets. But in any case, to have an effective film, you need the richest narrative you can deliver.

And they just do not here. Having a sometime great actor is a waste unless you give him something to do.

The episode I viewed was this one. According to the scriptwriter's playbook, you need one main driving story, here the murder. You need a second story that complicates the first. Here it is about a temporary petty tyrant at the monastery, and his corresponding inept substitute in the sheriff's office. And you need a backstory. In this case, the new widow is the detective's lost fiancé from the past.

Its all so mechanical, almost cathecatical. This episode was a waste and the whole series looks bankrupt.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

2 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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