Posted: 11/04/2010

 

Cadfael: The Complete Collection

(1994-98)

by Jef Burnham



Now available on DVD from Acorn Media.


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Acorn Media presents the Cadfael: The Complete Collection, a 13-disc set including all 13 medieval mysteries as seen in the U.S. on PBS’s Mystery!, re-released and re-packaged in this brand new Collector’s Edition. Award winning actor Sir Derek Jacobi (Doctor Who, Hamlet (1996)) stars as Brother Cadfael in this series based on the books by Ellis Peters.

Like a sort of medieval Sherlock Holmes, Cadfael solves mysteries in war-torn, Twelfth Century England with the aid of a keen eye, a superior intellect, and an extensive knowledge of period biology and chemistry. His abilities are a constant source of surprises, for although Cadfael is a devoted Benedictine monk, he is exceedingly worldly, having once served as a soldier in the Crusades. Moreover, as portrayed by Jacobi, Cadfael’s interaction with the central narrative of each mystery is often akin to that of a peripheral character, rarely stealing the spotlight from the plot at hand. And each tale develops with incredible attention to period detail. For instance, the first mystery, One Corpse Too Many, is resolved by a duel to the death in which the accuser must slay the accused murderer in order to prove the accused’s guilt that the mystery might be solved.

Bonus features in this complete series re-release include exclusive audio-only comments by Derek Jacobi, a Derek Jacobi essay, Ellis Peters materials, production scrapbooks, and historical background notes. Notable series guest stars include Julian Glover (By the Sword Divided), Sean Pertwee (Cold Feet, Dog Soldiers), Toby Jones (Infamous, Doctor Who), Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), and Stephen Moyer (True Blood).

Finally, the mysteries, which clock in at 75-minutes a piece, are as follows: One Corpse Too Many, The Sanctuary Sparrow, The Leper of St. Giles, Monk’s Hood, The Virgin in the Ice, The Devil’s Novice, St. Peter’s Fair, A Morbid Taste for Bones, The Raven in the Foregate, The Rose Rent, The Pilgrim of Hate, The Potter’s Field, and The Holy Thief.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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