A Sacred Trust
Episode 7, 2011 in UK – in US/Canada Set #22)
Producer: Jo Wright
Director: Renny Rye
Writer(s): Rachel Cuperman, Sally Griffiths
characters in Caroline Graham novels
Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Jason Hughes, Fiona Dolman, Tamzin Malleson
Guest cast: James Blakely, Martha Macintosh, Joanna
David, Fiona Glascott, Susan Sheridan, Rosalind Knight, Michael Colgan, Emma
Davies, George Irving…
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated.
Runtime: approx. 100 minutes per
Genres: Crime drama/Mystery
Review by Larry
the night vandals have thrown beer bottles damaging the stained glass windows
of Midsomer Priory, the local and historic chapel. This act of vandalism brings DS Jones (Jason Hughes) of the Causton police to
investigate. But he is unexpectedly
turned away by Mother Julian (Joanna
David), the head prioress. Jones
asks if she doesn’t want those responsible caught. Mother Julian is content to pray for them. Jones leaves his card just in case. The next day Jones is called by Mother
Julian. He expects that she has changed
her mind about catching the vandals, but is surprised when she brings him to a
dead body by the chicken coop. It is Mother Thomas (Susan Sheridan). DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) arrives to head the investigation and immediately
suspects Mother Julian and the two other nuns are hiding things from him.
discovers that the local rich, bad boy was the one who probably was responsible
for breaking the chapel windows because he was caught having sex on church
grounds by one of the nuns. Humiliated
in front of the school girl he brought with him, plus losing his trousers,
could he have been driven to also murder the nun?
turns out that the local parish priest Father Behan has no love lost for the
nuns. He complains that Mother Julian
and the other three nuns are living like aristocrats in their huge Tudor
building. He thinks the nuns look down
on him as a peasant because their order is descended originally from French
aristocrats. When Barnaby asks if this
bothers him, Father Behan says it amuses him.
But Barnaby can see the enmity the Father has for the nuns.
Mother Julian reports the theft of the priory’s 17th century French
silver altar set. This consists of two 3 foot silver candle holders, a silver
platen, and a silver goblet estimated to be worth 60,000 pounds. How does the theft of the silver connect, if
at all, with the murder of the nun and the vandalism of the chapel
windows? And what of the sighting of a
stranger asking for directions in the village recently? A woman wearing old fashioned clothes and a
The mystery is
convoluted and rooted in the past, like most of the episodes in this mystery
series. The red herrings are
abundant. Hallowed institutions like
the Midsomer Priory clash with the economic and social realities of modern
Britain. Beneath the charm of the
pastoral English countryside and villages of Midsomer, Barnaby and Jones find
jealousy, envy, lust, greed, and pride.
All this is played with a light touch and great fun. The acting is first rate. The locations are picturesque. Neil Dudgeon’s DCI John Barnaby is friendly,
a smart copper, and happily married. The
whodunit is well done. What better way
to spend 90 minutes?
Sacred Trust” shows that the long running UK television series MIDSOMER
MURDERS is alive and well. Neil
Dudgeon is the new DCI John Barnaby. His
character replaces the popular DCI Tom Barnaby played by John Nettles. There were comments when this series was
shown in the UK about the new Barnaby, but I was pleasantly surprised how well
I liked the new Barnaby. For one thing,
Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes have an on-screen chemistry. This makes for fun interchanges between the
two and good natured ribbing by Barnaby.
As an outsider, Barnaby relies on Jones for local knowledge and
advice. John Barnaby is often amused and
sometimes bemused with the locals and their peculiar country ways.
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