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Payment in Blood 

After a playwright changes dialogue in her play just days before its opening, she is found brutally stabbed with other murders to follow.


Kim Flitcroft


Elizabeth George (novel), Lizzie Mickery (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James McAvoy ... Gowan Ross
Naomi Frederick Naomi Frederick ... Elizabeth
Ronald Pickup ... Sir Stuart Stinhurst
Yvonne O'Grady ... Joy
Jonathan Firth ... Rhys Davies Jones
Camilla Power ... Joanna Sydeham
Idris Elba ... Robert Gabriel
Julian Wadham ... David Sydeham
Sharon Small ... Barbara Havers
Nathaniel Parker ... Thomas Lynley
Don Gallagher Don Gallagher ... Inspector Macaskin
Gary Cross Gary Cross ... Sergeant Lonan
Lesley Vickerage ... Helen Clyde
Ravin J. Ganatra ... Forensic Pathologist
Ron Donachie ... John Ross


Inspector Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Sergeant Havers (Sharon Small) are sent to a remote Scottish mansion house, the home of Sir Stuart Stinhurst (Ronald Pickup), to investigate the violent death of a famous playwright whilst she was helping to rehearse a production of her new play. Initial investigation reveals that practically anybody could have committed the crime but everybody appears to have a convincing alibi and nobody has a motive. As the investigation continues an apparent nearby suicide begins to have a bearing on the case and Lynley believes that is wasn't suicide. The arrival of a new guest, Helen Clyde (Lesley Vickerage), a former girlfriend of Lynley's who is now a lover of one of the main suspects starts to cloud his judgement and raise Havers' suspicions. As the real motives begin to appear and the dark pasts of some of the guests are revealed will Lynley catch the double murderer? Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

7 September 2003 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Barbara Havers: You resign, I resign.
Thomas Lynley: That's absurd. Why, for heaven's sake?
Barbara Havers: Well, do you want the truth?
Thomas Lynley: Yes!
Barbara Havers: No one else would work with me.
Thomas Lynley: This is you being nice to me, isn't it?
Barbara Havers: Yeah.
Barbara Havers: Shall we hit the pub?
See more »

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User Reviews

An Insector Lynley mystery
2 May 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

This is my introduction to Inspector Lynley, and I liked it. The series stars Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small as Lynley and his partner Sergeant Havers.

In this episode, Lynley and Havers go to a Scottish castle where a play is being rehearsed to investigate the murder of the playwright, who was killed after making changes in her script.

Of course the place is loaded with suspects, starting with the owner of the house, Sir Stuart Stinhurst (Ronald Pickup) and continuing to the young handyman in love with Stinhurst's daughter (John McAvoy). He is grieving for his mother, who has recently committed suicide. To complicate matters, an ex-girlfriend of Lynley's, Helen (Lesley Vickerage), who is now the lover of one of the suspects (Jonathan Firth).

My understanding is that this isn't a particularly good episode, but I liked it well enough. I spent a lot of time studying Nathaniel Parker's face. A little Keanu, a little Clive Owen, a little Jon Tenney, somehow handsome but not as good-looking as those mentioned above. He's very good, and has the aristocratic looks and air befitting the role. Small is a great contrast his middle-class partner.

Catching the killer isn't easy in this one, and Parker has a few misses along the way. It's an episode that will keep you guessing.

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