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Sir derek jacobi is brother cadfael, ellis peters' crime-solving medieval monk, in this acclaimed series seen on pbs' mystery!
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The Pilgrim of Hate
Brother Cadfael, the Sherlock Holmes of the medieval world, discovers a corpse among the parade of the infirm and diseased taking refuge in the abbey on "Cripples Day." Thieves and con men ply their trades among the pilgrims so there is no shortage of suspects, but a few personalities leap from the crowd, namely a bitter young man accompanied by his pickpocket sister and a dying pilgrim making the trek barefoot while his pious brother pushes him along. The struggle between faith and dogma that rings through all of the Cadfael mysteries takes center stage in this story. The piety of the more judgmental Brothers of the Order comes across as hypocritical in their dealings with the unwashed peasants (who are, much to the monks' dismay, detained within the abbey walls during the investigation), but even their intolerance pales next to Cadfael's terrible discovery in the murder.
The Potter's Field
The brothers of the Shrewsbury monastery are doing some innocent backyard plowing when they turn up a murder victim's corpse--perhaps that of the former wife of their own Brother Ruald. Shrewsbury boils with rumors and accusations as a civil war devastates the countryside. The Potter's Field is a terrific mystery, filled with compelling human drama as well as a knotty riddle with a shocking solution. The production has an authentic feel, showing both the practicalities and the squalor of medieval life, and the direction artfully enhances the story. The acting is excellent across the board, with Jacobi's surehanded embodiment of Cadfael leading the way. This is an excellent, satisfying mystery.
The Holy Thief
Suspicion falls on the holy, the holier-than-thou, and the unholy when the sacred relics of Saint Winifred are stolen from the abbey and the pious prior of a fallen monastery and a greedy land baron both lay claim to them. Kidnapping, the jewel robbery, and murder only complicate the efforts of Brother Cadfael to separate holy miracle from worldly conspiracy. Derek Jacobi fills Brother Cadfael with a warmth to match his logic and a passion for justice that stands in contrast to the often fatal superstition of his world (trial by water as binding law). This episode is one of the darkest and most interesting entries in the series. --Sean Axmaker
Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius, Gladiator) is masterful in his role as Brother Cadfael, the sleuthing detective of 12th century England, in three perplexing tales based on the bestselling novels by Ellis Peters. With a passion for foiling treachery, Cadfael works to bring order to a world torn by civil strife and lawlessness. An award- winning PBS Mystery! series. Mysteries include The Pilgrim of Hate, The Potter's Field and The Holy Thief. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE exclusive audio comments by Derek Jacobi, Ellis Peters materials, production scrapbooks, closed captions, filmographies and scene indexes.
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