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A Great Deliverance 

After a farmer is found decapitated, aristocratic Detective Inspector Lynley is assigned to the case with a resentful new partner, D.S. Barbara Havers.



(novel), (screenplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Simon St. James
Deborah St. James
Chief Superintendent Hillier
Superintendent Webberley
Rebecca Gallacher ...
Roberta Tey
Richard Tey
Stepha Odell
Cate Hamer ...
Olivia Odell
Denise Black ...
Tessa Mowbray
Father Hart
Matthew Dunster ...
Ezra Farmington


When a farmer, William Tey, is hacked to death with an ax in his barn, Scotland Yard assigns Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers to the case. Lynley is the 8th Earl of Asherton and is a graduate of Eton and Oxford; he is on the fast track in the police service. Havers has a working class background and feels that she is discriminated against. Despite the differences in their background - very often, the two simply don't understand one another - they make a good team. As for the murder, there are several possible suspects. Tey's wife had left him many years before and one of his daughters ran away and would have nothing to do with him. A nephew will now inherit his farm, providing a good motive. Throughout the investigation, Lynley has to deal with former colleagues who would like nothing better than to bring him down. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

12 March 2001 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 parts) | (2 part dvd release)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Inspector Lynley's distinctive blue sports car in the early series is a Jensen Interceptor Mk II. In later series, Lynley's brown car is a 1968 Bristol 410, an extremely exclusive make of vehicle built in England. Only 79 410 were ever built. See more »


During the final interrogation scene Lynley removes the earpiece, but at the end of the scene it's back in. See more »


D.S. Barbara Havers: Parents are supposed to take care of their kids, aren't they?
Inspector Thomas Lynley: That's the theory.
See more »


Followed by The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: Missing Joseph (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

The first Inspector Lynley mystery
22 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A Great Deliverance" from 2001 turns out to be the first Inspector Lynley mystery, adapted from the series of books by Elizabeth George. I haven't read them, but from looking over the reviews here, fans of the novels seem quite happy.

Nathaniel Parker is Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton, who is a police inspector, and when we first meet him here, he's best man at his old girlfriend's and best friend's wedding and attempting to keep a stiff upper lip. He's called into a community with a troubled police force to look into a murder investigation in which a man was decapitated, and the man's daughter was found at the scene catatonic. DS Barbara Havers (Sharon Small) is assigned as his partner, and it's an odd coupling. She's a working class woman who puts no emphasis on her appearance, and she's living a high-pressured life caring for her demented mother. Added to this, her blunt mouth has gotten her into trouble, and if she can't make a go with Parker, this may be it for her and the force. She's extremely resentful of the aristocratic Parker before even meeting him.

This unholy alliance travels to the murder site and, in the midst of trying to solve the murder, try to work out their relationship. The question is, which is more difficult? Good mystery, gorgeous scenery, and excellent acting make this series a winner. I actually saw a later one before this one. Parker and Small are excellent together, and Parker is movie-star handsome and easily believed as an earl. Small, as the scrappy, intense Havers, does a wonderful job.

Can't wait to see more of this series.

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