Mystery!: Cadfael: Season 4, Episode 1

The Holy Thief (23 Jun. 1998)
"Cadfael" The Holy Thief (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 72 users  
Reviews: 3 user

Ramsey Abbey in Cambridgeshire puts in a claim for the remains of St. Winifred, whose reliquary is the object of prayer and lucrative donations to Shrewsbury Abbey.



(screenplay), (based upon: The Holy Thief) (as Ellis Peters)
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Title: The Holy Thief (23 Jun 1998)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Terrence Hardiman ...
Michael Culver ...
George Irving ...
Lord Beaumont
Benedict Sandiford ...
Frank Baker ...
Natasha Pyne ...
Lady Donata
Neil Caple ...
Money Lender


Prior Herluin arrives in Shrewsbury demanding that Prior Radulhus hand over the reliquary containing the bones of the holy virgin St. Winifred. Pilgrims to Shrewsbury have always been generous to the Abbey because of the Holy relic and its loss may result in an economic downturn for the Benedictines. Hurliun bases his claim on the reported visions of his novice monk Tutilo and the burning of his abbey in the current civil war. When a dying wealthy old woman takes a liking to the handsome Tutilo and doubts his vocation, she bequeaths a priceless jeweled necklace to him. It is soon obvious that the necklace is more than enough to rebuild the abbey, Winifred's bones now seem safe at Shrewsbury, but the theft of the gems and a resultant murder throw the issue in doubt again. Among the red herrings facing Cadfael are a minstrel, his slave - a beautiful singer, an arrogant nobleman, and Tutilo himself. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

abbey | prior | vision | slave | pilgrim | See All (22) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

23 June 1998 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Prior Herluin: If you think I've walked 200 miles so you can sing with a tavern slut, you can think again.
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Oh My Love Has Golden Hair
Performed by Louise Delamere
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User Reviews

Fine use of religious elements and several mysteries for Cadfael to solve
20 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Perhaps not Cadfael's strongest effort as a detective but fascinating nonetheless as near-continuous rain, thunderstorms and rising waters threaten to swamp Shrewsbury and environs. There was some fine interplay between Derek Jacobi and the guest stars - an arrogant lord exerting his property rights, an equally arrogant prior in search of a favor, yet another novice hearing voices and seeing visions and a slave girl with an angel's voice.

One unusual thing about the episode was it began with a voice-over narration. I'd have thought that by the start of this final season of Cadfael, viewers would have enough sense of the time and place to render the narration superfluous. A minor quibble -- very distinct shadows on the ground in some scenes where it was absolutely pouring rain.

A complaint - background music that became intrusive, perhaps because rather than the instrumental music, this episode featured a lot vocal music. At times it went on long enough to appear to be substituting for dialog or scene changes. The music was lovely and the voices superb but the end result was noisy what with the storms, the sloshing around, the wagon and horses, etc.

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