|Index||3 reviews in total|
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.
"The Holy Thief" is a bit unusual in that it does not begin as a murder
mystery but is about a theft. Only later in the show does the murder
occur. And, it's unusual because it's a follow up from an earlier show
"A Morbid Taste for Bones".
The show begins during a torrential rain--and folks are afraid for their lives. In the midst of all the chaos, the Curate, Father Herluin arrives. Herluin was the leader of a nearby abbey--and abbey that was burned down during the recent civil war. According to Herluin, his assistant, Tutulo, had a vision of St. Winifred--therefore the bones of this dead lady (owned by Cadfael's abbey) are now theirs! It was VERY easy for the viewer to hate Herluin...very easy. And, surprisingly, he was NOT murdered. I say surprisingly because most of the time in this series, the rich and obnoxious guy is murdered! So how does Cadfael get involved with his super sleuthy skills? Well, someone tries to steal the holy bones--and in the process a young slave is kidnapped. Only later does someone end up dead--and Cadfael (as usual) believes that the man being blamed is innocent.
This is a pretty typical sort of installment of Cadfael. This means the acting and look of the Middle Ages are quite nice and the story interesting BUT very confusing if you aren't paying close attention. Worth seeing. However, if you saw "A Morbid Taste for Bones", then you'll have a laugh about the whole thing...but I can't say more, as it would ruin "A Morbid Taste for Bones" if you haven't seen it.
It starts slow, with a bit about the civil war (Empress Matilda versus Stephen) and a determined Prior. The area is in danger of flooding, the roof abbey roof is leaking. Then we get to the murder. Also a singing slave girl is stolen and nearly killed, her owner also sings as part of their act. The remains of a saint that brings pilgrims to the Abbey are also taken, as are jewels given by a dying patroness to rebuild a distant Abbey. There is a trial by water where the innocent sink, the guilty float and get their hand chopped off if they are liars, hung if murderers. Then a trial to see who gets to keep the saints remains by opening the bible at random and reading the passage and judging its relevance. Cadfael does the business as usual, solving mysteries with medieval forensic science and psychology. Its lots of fun.
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