Father Brown: Season 1, Episode 10

The Blue Cross (25 Jan. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery
6.9
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When the notorious thief Flambeau declares his intention to steal a valuable blue cross from the church Father Brown,against the advice of Valentine,decides to take it to safety to Newbury ... See full summary »

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Title: The Blue Cross (25 Jan 2013)

The Blue Cross (25 Jan 2013) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Mrs McCarthy
Malcolm Storry ...
Bishop Talbot
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Susie Jasinski
Keith Osborn ...
Sgt Allbright
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Justin De Vey
Patrick Brennan ...
Mr Dawson / Quip
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Captain Flynn / Flambeau
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When the notorious thief Flambeau declares his intention to steal a valuable blue cross from the church Father Brown,against the advice of Valentine,decides to take it to safety to Newbury abbey by train. He meets a trio of fellow passengers,one of which he is sure is the thief but his efforts to flush him out lead to the theft of the cross. Facing dismissal for his rash action the father agrees to meet with Flambeau and do a deal to return the artefact. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Mystery

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25 January 2013 (UK)  »

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Although with a slightly different ending, this episode follows the same basic story line as The Detective (1954) with Alec Guinness in the title role. See more »

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No soup, no salt, no Alec Guinness. What's the point?
26 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mark Williams is a really good actor, and I do hope he is thinking about changing his agent. If the best his present representative can do for him is to get him regular roles in stuff like this series and the concurrent "Blandings", where he's cast as Beach the butler, then his career might well be doomed, and that would be a shame. Two series at the same time whose only function is to travesty well-loved and distinguished works of twentieth century literature whilst simultaneously boring and enraging us all with gross incompetence and vulgarity would put any actor's working life into disarray. This new "Father Brown" series has been truly baffling as well as dreadful, and I cannot shake the suspicion that no-one connected with it has actually bothered to read any of G.K. Chesterton's stories. The prime movers have all seen the 1954 film starring Alec Guinness, possibly a long time ago, and have purloined freely from it. The setting is now the 1950s, as in the film; Father Brown has to cope with a bumptious policeman named Inspector Valentine, as in the film; and he has a slightly dodgy chum who works as a chauffeur, the part Sidney James played originally - and this new version of the character, elevated to regular-sidekick status, is actually called "Sid". However, the film also had genuine wit, real invention and a feeling both for the essential goodness of the priest and his mission (which is not to solve crimes, but to save souls), and for religious faith. A respect for religion is unknown at today's BBC - if it still existed, we would never have had to endure "QI" or "The Vicar Of Dibley" - and the niceties of philosophy are clearly incomprehensible to the makers of this series. Having left out the all-important character of Flambeau in previous episodes, this season finale (allegedly based on the same story which inspired the Guinness film) introduces him, and traduces the character utterly. This Flambeau, far from being the giant of the stories, is actually shorter than Father Brown is, but what's far worse is that he is presented as a kind of Hannibal Lecter devil figure. There seems no hope of redemption for this gun-waving villain who betrays and tortures his confederate and seemingly comes close to making Father Brown doubt his church. Chesterton's Flambeau, far more interestingly, is a good man gone wrong who is made to know himself by the priest - to know that his crimes do not make him a Robin Hood figure, as he has arrogantly imagined, but will set him on the path to Hell. The inventions of the original story - where Father Brown exchanges sugar for salt at a café, and flings soup at a wall so that his police pursuers will find him before Flambeau can make off with the priceless blue cross - are entirely elided (the Guinness film left these famous scenes out, too) and we are left with only Brown's hat and umbrella by a country stile. The old movie made many changes but did at least come up with some excellent new ideas. This TV show is feeble stuff which shows no understanding or sympathy with Chesterton's ideas. So why bother making it? There's certainly no need to watch it.


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