Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996)
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The Pilgrim of Hate 

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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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 »


Natasha Little, playing Melangell, is quite clearly wearing modern lipstick. This is most obvious when she and Cadfael are discussing whether her brother can really walk. See more »

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User Reviews

What happens when Christians have their way
2 June 2012 | by (Victoria, BC. Canada) – See all my reviews

I found this movie fascinating. It took me into strange world where Christianity imbued every aspect of life. It could almost be viewed as a sci-fi future dystopia, though takes place in the middle ages.

Benedictine monk Cadfael is a relatively modern man stuck in time in a horribly superstitious age. He is the voice of kindness, reason and moderation. I felt myself clinging to him as a father figure. He is presented with a suspicious death, and he uses the science of his age and common sense to gradually unravel the mystery.

On the way, we see a teenage monk who feels compelled to confess every sexual thought, and accept the punishment of lashings till unconsciousness.

We see a dealer in phony saint relics. We see a man who manipulates the belief in saints and relics to bilk the gullible. We see incredible cruelty and self delusion in the name of god. We see Benedictine monks extolling selfishness, like modern day Republicans. The notion of penance drives people to masochistic madness. The film does not touch on witchcraft or torture. We see how Christianity poisons the lives of almost everyone but Cadfael.

The special effects of bleeding and festered wounds are more than convincing. They make you wince.

The characters are so grimy, ratty and diseased. The villains are so oily, strange and creepy -- not your garden variety weirdos. The crimes are quite different than you will have encountered before in other films. Griminess is the norm. It made me very happy I can leave the TV and have a long hot soak in the tub, and put on freshly laundered, crisp clothes.

There are another 12 episodes in the series, I eagerly look forward to viewing them.

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