Cadfael has a peculiarly strange case to solve when Prior Robert finds a dead man inside an old dirty sac. The monastery grounds are filled with pilgrims, mostly the lame and the seriously ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based upon "The Pilgrim of Hate") (as Ellis Peters)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Terrence Hardiman ...
Barney Craig ...
Simeon Bagot
Shane Hickmott ...


Cadfael has a peculiarly strange case to solve when Prior Robert finds a dead man inside an old dirty sac. The monastery grounds are filled with pilgrims, mostly the lame and the seriously ill, who are there for Cripples Day hoping to be miraculously cured. As no one will admit to knowing the dead man, Cadfael gets the Abbot's permission to render the body down to the bones to see if he can determine how he may have died. He finds nothing definitive though a a mark on the skull may indicate a deadly blow. Among the penitents, Cadfael takes notice of two brother, one of whom is atoning for sins against his father and also a young man who is lame and who is particularly cruel to his sister who he blames for his current condition. There are other suspects as well as Cadfael sifts through what few clues he has to work with. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

28 December 1998 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unlike most of the episodes in the series, the plot of this episode bears almost no resemblance to Ellis Peters' novel of the same name. Several of the characters share the same name as the characters in the novel, but their story arcs are entirely different and the murder victim is also entirely different. See more »


When Cadfael handles the skull of the dead man, it is obvious from its weight in his hand and the sound that it makes when tapped, that it is made of plastic. See more »

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User Reviews

The final Cadfael...
9 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

According to IMDb and some of the other reviewers, this episode of "Cadfael" is not really based on Edith Pargeter's novel of the same name. Unlike her other stories in the series, the BBC did NOT try to stick close to the original source material but kept just the name of her story.

The episode begins with a bunch of pilgrims descending on the abbey--seeking relief from their various leg ailments. However, a weird thing occurs--the monks discover a dead guy in a sack among the pilgrims' belongings! Cadfael carries out a bizarre sort of autopsy by boiling away the bones from the corpse and sees that the man appears to have died from a blow to the head--and it's assumed it is murder. Who was the dead man? Why was he brought along on the pilgrimage? And, most importantly, if there was a murder, who did it? It's all up to Cadfael to figure it out--but there aren't a lot of clues, though the film seems to indicate that some brothers might have something to do with this.

The solution to all this, though interesting, is VERY familiar to mystery films. The guy who THINKS that he murdered the man didn't actually do it--and another used this as a chance to kill the victim and blame it on the first guy. Very familiar...too familiar. A weak final episode, I assume just filming the book as it was written would have been better.

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