IMDb > "Mystery!: Cadfael" (1994)
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"Mystery!: Cadfael" (1994) More at IMDbPro »"Cadfael" (original title), TV series 1994-1996

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Release Date:
12 January 1995 (USA) See more »
A riveting mystery and a fascinating glimpse into a medieval world.
A Crusader-turned-Monk uses his botanical knowledge to solve mysteries in the old Norman England town of Shrewsbury. Full summary »
(15 articles)
Graham Theakston obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 22 September 2014, 7:08 AM, PDT)

Margery Mason obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 18 February 2014, 6:49 AM, PST)

Margery Mason obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 18 February 2014, 6:49 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A brilliant achievement, all to short (only 13 episodes) See more (28 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 6 of 16)

Derek Jacobi ... Brother Cadfael (13 episodes, 1994-1998)

Michael Culver ... Prior Robert (13 episodes, 1994-1998)

Julian Firth ... Brother Jerome (13 episodes, 1994-1998)

Terrence Hardiman ... Abbot Radulfus (10 episodes, 1994-1998)

Mark Charnock ... Brother Oswin (9 episodes, 1994-1997)
Albie Woodington ... Sergeant Warden (8 episodes, 1994-1997)

Series Directed by
Graham Theakston (4 episodes, 1994)
Ken Grieve (3 episodes, 1997-1998)
Richard Stroud (2 episodes, 1996-1997)
Herbert Wise (2 episodes, 1996-1997)

Sebastian Graham Jones (unknown episodes)
Series Writing credits
Edith Pargeter (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Russell Lewis (5 episodes, 1994-1997)
Christopher Russell (4 episodes, 1996-1998)

Series Produced by
Stephen Smallwood .... producer (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Neville C. Thompson .... associate producer (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Ted Childs .... executive producer (10 episodes, 1994-1997)
Rebecca Eaton .... executive producer (3 episodes, 1998)
Rob Pursey .... executive producer (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Original Music by
Colin Towns (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
Series Cinematography by
Nyika Jancsó (4 episodes, 1994)
Derek Suter (3 episodes, 1995-1997)
Tony Miller (3 episodes, 1996-1997)
Walter McGill (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Film Editing by
Jamie McCoan (4 episodes, 1995-1998)
Alan Jones (2 episodes, 1994)
Laurence Méry-Clark (2 episodes, 1996-1997)
Series Casting by
Anne Henderson (6 episodes, 1995-1998)
Doreen Jones (4 episodes, 1994)
Series Production Design by
Brian Ackland-Snow (4 episodes, 1994)
Austen Spriggs (3 episodes, 1995-1996)
József Romvári (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Art Direction by
Andrew Ackland-Snow (4 episodes, 1994)
Tibor Lázár (4 episodes, 1994)
Jonathan Lee (3 episodes, 1995-1996)
Malcolm Stone (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Set Decoration by
Richard Roberts (3 episodes, 1998)
István Tóth (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Simon Wakefield (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Chantal Giuliani (2 episodes, 1996-1997)
Series Costume Design by
Maria Hruby (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
Series Makeup Department
Karen Z.M. Turner .... hair supervisor / makeup supervisor / ... (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
Lisa Pickering .... makeup artist / makeup assistant (4 episodes, 1994-1996)
Anna Tesner .... makeup artist: extras (3 episodes, 1994)
Nóra Koltai .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1998)
Catherine Wilkins .... make-up assistant / makeup artist (3 episodes, 1998)
Pebbles .... makeup artist (2 episodes, 1994)

Katalin Jakots .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Gabriella Németh .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Shelley Powell .... post-production supervisor (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
Tamás Guba .... unit manager (6 episodes, 1995-1998)
Maria Ungor .... production manager / production manager: TMA (6 episodes, 1995-1998)
László Tímár .... production manager (4 episodes, 1994)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terry Bamber .... first assistant director (5 episodes, 1995-1998)
David Pearson .... third assistant director (3 episodes, 1995-1996)
Gergely Fülöp .... assistant director (3 episodes, 1997)
David Cain .... second assistant director (3 episodes, 1998)
Mitch Skinner .... third assistant director (3 episodes, 1998)
Gábor Gajdos .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1994)
Zsuzsa Gurban .... first assistant director (2 episodes, 1994)
Rita Nagy .... third assistant director (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Laszlo Sefel .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Bill Thompson .... second assistant director (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Series Art Department
Béla Péterdi .... construction manager (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
József Kiss .... construction coordinator (5 episodes, 1994-1995)
Peter Gartner .... property master (4 episodes, 1994)
Mihály Marton .... standby props (4 episodes, 1994)
István Tóth .... set dresser (4 episodes, 1994)
Gabor Toth .... swing (3 episodes, 1997)
Susie Jones .... assistant art director (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Sound Department
Iain Eyre .... assistant sound editor (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Stefan Henrix .... dialogue & adr editor / dialogue editor / ... (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
John Pitt .... sound mixer (12 episodes, 1994-1998)
Ross Adams .... digital sound editor (6 episodes, 1994-1997)
Brian Saunders .... dubbing mixer (5 episodes, 1994-1996)
Mike Dowson .... dubbing mixer (5 episodes, 1995-1997)
Richard Fettes .... effects editor / digital sound editor (4 episodes, 1997-1998)
Aad Wirtz .... dubbing mixer (2 episodes, 1998)

Peter Seres .... cable person (unknown episodes)
Series Special Effects by
László Pintér .... pyrotechnician (7 episodes, 1994-1996)
Ferenc Ormos .... special effects supervisor (4 episodes, 1994)

Kati Tomola .... special effects makeup (unknown episodes)
Series Stunts
Péter Katona .... stunts (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Béla Unger .... stunt coordinator (10 episodes, 1994-1997)
Ferenc Novinecz .... stunts (6 episodes, 1994-1996)
László Imre .... stunts (6 episodes, 1997-1998)
Tivadar Mike .... utility stunts (4 episodes, 1994)
Laszlo 'Sancho' Mecseki .... stunt coordinator (3 episodes, 1998)
Sandor Bertalan .... stunts (2 episodes, 1998)

Sándor Boros .... stunt double (unknown episodes)
Levente Lezsák .... stunt performer (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Keith Hlady .... camera operator (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Rudolf Takács .... gaffer (4 episodes, 1994)
Julian Doyle .... camera: second unit (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Series Casting Department
Marianne Elliott .... casting assistant (4 episodes, 1994)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gabor Szabo .... costumer (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Andrea Friebert .... wardrobe master (9 episodes, 1995-1998)
József Lender .... dresser (8 episodes, 1994-1998)
Michael Price .... wardrobe supervisor / assistant costume designer (6 episodes, 1994-1996)
Zsoka Hoka .... wardrobe mistress (5 episodes, 1995-1998)
Sarah Touaibi .... assistant costume designer (3 episodes, 1998)
Series Editorial Department
Paul Newson .... assistant editor (5 episodes, 1994-1998)
Adrian Hauser .... telecine colorist (2 episodes, 1994)
Joe Illing .... assistant editor (2 episodes, 1994)
Alan Jones .... supervising editor (2 episodes, 1994)
Series Location Management
Terry Bamber .... unit location manager (4 episodes, 1994)
Gyorgy Kuntner .... location manager (4 episodes, 1996-1998)
Series Music Department
Steve Parr .... music mixer / music recordist (3 episodes, 1994)
Series Other crew
Katalin Baranyi .... interpreter (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Béla Vaszary .... set doctor (13 episodes, 1994-1998)
Lesley Broderick .... production accountant (10 episodes, 1994-1998)
Susie Jones .... script supervisor (10 episodes, 1994-1997)
Gina Cronk .... script editor (4 episodes, 1994)
Deirdre Doorley .... production coordinator / contact: London (4 episodes, 1996-1998)
Paula Byrden .... contact: London (3 episodes, 1998)
Julia Ouston .... script editor (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Liz Watkins .... production coordinator (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
Ceri Evans .... script supervisor (2 episodes, 1998)

Krisztian Kertai .... interpreter (unknown episodes)
Peter Seres .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
Sarah Teboul .... post-production accountant (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cadfael" - UK (original title)
See more »
75 min (13 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The original choice for the part of Cadfael was Ian Holm; Holm accepted but ITV took so long to bring the project to fruition that he decided to take other roles that were offered to him in the meantime. Philip Madoc, who had played the part in the BBC Radio 4 dramatisations, was also considered.See more »


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53 out of 59 people found the following review useful.
A brilliant achievement, all to short (only 13 episodes), 18 May 2006
Author: catuus from United States

Now that all 13 episodes of (Sir) Derek Jacobi's landmark mystery series "Cadfael" are now available in a single package, it's time to give this treasure a good look. The bound-leather look of the collection is nice, even if it's obviously not mediaeval. It has convenient double trays and a clever faux clasp to hold it shut.

"Cadfael" is based on the novels of Ellis Peters (pen name of Edith Pargeter). It's set in 1138-1144/5, during the spotty reign of Stephen of Blois – King of England 1135-1154 – and his civil war with his cousin "Empress" Maud (or Matilda). Stephen's claim to the throne was less compelling than that of Matilda (or Maud), as he was the son of William I's daughter Adela and had already sworn to support his cousin's claim. Maud's (or Matilda's) claim was better, since she was the daughter of William II. Her title "Empress" was only a courtesy because, although she had been wife to Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, she had never been crowned. Despite his oath Stephen quickly appeared to claim the throne when William II died. Matilda (or Maud) came to England in 1138 and a bitter civil war ensued. "Cadfael" begins in 1138, when Stephen seems to be gaining the upper hand. He has just captured the Shropshire area, subsequently executing a large number of his enemies – thus effecting the taming of Shrewsbury.

I expect some really sincere groans after that….

Brother Cadfael is the herbalist and, in consequence, as close to a doctor as Shrewsbury Abbey is likely to get. His medical practices are fairly advanced for the time – but then, any genuinely medical practices would be. Cadfael has come late to his monkish vocation, having spent 3 or 4 decades in Palestine on Crusade. He has an interesting past … many details of which we learn as the series progresses. Learned for his time, and being clever and inquisitive, Cadfael's avocation is solving murder mysteries. Derek Jacobi invests the character with enormous humanity and compassion in brilliant and nuanced performances.

In fact, "Cadfael" is an ensemble of excellent performances. Not least of these is the performance of the technical staff in reproducing the squalor and degradation of living in 12th-Century England. At the height of the Little Ice Age, England was a less pleasant and productive land than it is now – a situation exacerbated by the collapse of Romano-British civilization, the deep-rootedness of Christian superstition, and the triumph of Norman greed. Interestingly, this period is equally well portrayed in a comedy, the hilarious Brit series "Dark Ages".

The mysteries that involve Cadfael are complex and interesting, lasting about 1 hour 15 minutes each. His task is made more difficult by the rampant sophomoric thinking of the times and the numerous uptight personalities who think they're better than anyone else.

Speaking of personalities … this series is full of them, all highly interesting and individualized, portrayed by accomplished actors. While the murders pose interesting puzzles – especially in the absence of modern forensics – it's the interactions of the characters that really make the stories. (As to forensics, Cadfael is surprisingly thorough and almost scientific. This is almost a century before the prime of Roger Bacon, an era of the triumph of religion and therefore the abasement of empiricism – and yet, here is Cadfael.) Most of the main characters are involved in the abbey. This is, initially, headed by Abbot Heribert (oddly - for the time - spelt "Herribert"). He is played with gentle gravitas by Peter Copley. By decision of a church council, Heribert is quickly replaced by, Radulphis, played with assertive gravitas by Terrence Hardiman. Whilst Heribert tended to give Cadfael his head, Radulphus began his tenure as more skeptical of Cadfael's abilities. However, he quickly came to depend on Cadfael in difficult situations involving murder.

Cadfael's nemesis in most circumstances is Brother Robert, the abbey Prior, played with stuffy all-purpose disapproval by Michael Culver. In his grouchy skepticism, he's seconded by busybody Brother Jerome, played with prissy toadiness by Julian Firth. It's not always clear what this pair is up to, but they're always up to it together. Cadfael is assisted by young Brother Oswin, played with earnest immaturity by Mark Charnock. His clumsiness is a running joke for a time, but this is later wisely abandoned.

Cadfael's main ally is the Under Sheriff, Hugh Beringar – originally a partisan of Matilda (or Maud) who ultimately swore loyalty to Stephen and was raised to his current post. He is played very authoritatively by Sean Pertwee – easily the best bit of eye candy in the series. Alas, Beringar is played by 3 actors. Pertwee has the role during Season 1, Eoin McCarthy in Seasons 2-3, and Anthony Green in Season 4. The latter two do well, but the viewer misses Pertwee's affable authority. Beringar is assisted by a Sergeant, Will Warden, a hulking berserker sort, prone to arrest first and ask no questions after, played with appropriate menace by Albie Woodington. He doesn't appear in the last season, alas.

"Sheriff", by the way, should more properly be spelt "sherrif". The Old English is scir gerefa, later rendered as "shir(e) reeve" once the "ge" syllable had been lost (nasty Teutonic thing). Conflating into a single word, we should have been left with a double R (and a single F). Such are the vagaries of English. Ask me about the abomination "dwarfs" some time.

The generally top-notch actors give real life to some top-notch stories. But these are, of course, British films. It's amazing that this country, with a fine and sophisticated mystery tradition of its own, has produced little to rival the great British mystery series. Be that as it may, "Cafael" is one of those great series and this set is the most convenient and most economical way to get it.

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