Mystery!: Cadfael: Season 1, Episode 3

The Leper of St. Giles (12 Jun. 1994)
"Cadfael" The Leper of St. Giles (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 112 users  
Reviews: 3 user

When a cruel middle-aged baron and a beautiful wealthy orphan are to be wed at the abbey, it comes as no surprise when the sadistic nobleman is found strangled to death.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Leper of St. Giles (12 Jun 1994)

The Leper of St. Giles (12 Jun 1994) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Michael Culver ...
Julian Firth ...
John Bennett ...
Lazarus the Leper
Sarah Badel ...
...
Iveta de Massard
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Agnes Piccard
...
Godfrid Piccard
...
Joscelyn
...
Simon
Adrian Ross Magenty ...
Guy
Norman Eshley ...
Baron Huon de Domville
Albie Woodington ...
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Storyline

Young heiress Iveta de Massard comes to the abbey to marry Baron Huon de Domville, as dictated by her guardian Godfrid Picard. Joscelyn loves her and would protect her with his life, which makes him the prime suspect when de Domville winds up dead. Cadfael must find the real villain from a tangle of hidden motives and a mysterious leper who has arrived at the hospice. Written by mama.sylvia

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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12 June 1994 (UK)  »

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Quotes

Lazarus the Leper: You speak only of Domville. What of the second murder? I hope that no innocent man has been accused of that.
Brother Cadfael: Godfrid Picard was not murdered.
Lazarus the Leper: What do you mean?
Brother Cadfael: He was stopped in the forest, and challenged to single combat. He was armed with a dagger, his opponent had only his bare hands. Picard must have thought it would be so easy, but he didn't know that his opponent possess the lion's heart.
Lazarus the Leper: It must have been some very grave quarrel between these two.
Brother Cadfael: The oldest and the gravest: the shameful...
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Dei Santus Stirity
[Monks chanting]
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User Reviews

"They must've had a very grave quarrel."
11 July 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Sayeth the leper with a mysterious past.

I envy this story, or more rather I envy Elizabeth Peters ability to place her great imagination on paper and tell a story to which we think we know the ending. This was one of her many writing talents, and the adaptation of Peters' work does not disappoint.

Not only are we subject to a mystery to which the authorities must solve without the benefit of a DNA lab and other modern forensics, a challenge in and of itself, but we're given a window to another period in time. A period where reputation carried a bit more weight than it ever could now, and even though man's mechanical know-how was simpler, and he lived a simpler life in terms of material wealth, mankind himself was no less rich in wit. This included criminals trying to outdo the opposition.

The story seems formulaic enough in some respects, and we're treated to more than one McGuffin, which themselves we understand as McGuffins. But even when the greater initial mystery is solved, we're left with another.

"Cadfael" is another one of my favorite TV series. The artistry that went into the art direction and performances stands out, even in light of the fact that some of the episodes were shot on a very low grade 16mm stock. But it doesn't matter, because the setting and cast, lead by the superb Derek Jacobi, present to us a series of tales in a time when the world was full of natural mystery, ghosts, demons, witchcraft, and a beneficent (though vengeful) god to oppose the ills of the world.

This slice of performed reality shows us not only the cruelty of the time, but also happier moments. We see not only the deadly bids for wealth and power via the taking of life, but the efforts of mankind to unite to right wrongs and succor those in need. In spite of the fact that there was no electrification of the material world, there was electricity in the spirit of the people. Secret loves, intrigues, infidelities, vendettas, deep friendships, temptations, and a wonderment of life itself, the things we grapple with today, were all very much thriving in those heady times.

Cadfael is a man of "God". A former soldier (man at arms) who forsakes the life of sword and shield for one of dutiful healing of people in mind, body and spirit. And, when the opportunity arises (every episode), solve the occasional murder ;-) My only complaint is that the remaining stories have not been filmed, and it seems unlikely that they ever will be. Which is a shame, for there are few noteworthy television series of such high caliber that were more deserving than "Ellis Peters'" own version of a Canterburry Tale.

A magnificent series that mixes the old 1970's Monday Mystery Movie with the art direction of "Braveheart". Truly a treasure to be watched.


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