A Great Deliverance


Nathaniel Parker .... Insp. Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers
Anthony Calf .... Simon St James
Amanda Ryan .... Deborah St James
Emma Fielding .... Helen Clyde
Nicholas Day .... Chief Supt. Hillier
Paul Brennen .... Supt. Webberley
Rebecca Gallacher .... Roberta Tey
Brendan Coyle .... Richard Tey
Pooky Quesnel .... Stepha Odell
Cate Hamer .... Olivia Odell
Denise Black .... Tessa Mowbray
Peter Halliday .... Father Hart
Matthew Dunster .... Ezra Farmington
Caroline Carver .... Danny
Colum Convey .... Det. Sgt. Niles
Howard Ward .... Det. Const. Pilley
Rob Swinton .... Landlord
Bethany Wysoczanski .... Bridie
June Watson .... Mrs. Havers
Toby Salaman .... Dr. Samuels
Rachel Ambler .... Madeleine Tey
Paul Butterworth .... Solicitor
Mark Benson .... Harry Houseman (as Mark A. Benson)
Joanna Thaw .... Female detective
Hannah Storey .... Gillian Tey
David Blair .... Jonah
George Potts .... Waiter

Directed by Richrad Laxton
Written by Elizabeth Mickery, based on a novel by Elizabeth George
First Broadcast on BBC One May 12 & 13, 2001


On a remote Yorkshire farm, farmer William Tay is found decapitated in a barn. The local priest Father Hart discovers the body, and also discovers William Tay's sixteen year old daughter Roberta sitting alongside her father in a state of great shock and declining to speak.

This is the first of the Inspector Lynley episodes and we are introduced to the characters of Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (or Lord Lynley, the 8th Earl of Asherton), and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Thomas Lynley is attending a grand wedding in the equally grand surroundings of Chiswick Villa, this is an unhappy time for him as he is witnessing the marriage of his best friend Simon St.James to one of his old flames Deborah, a woman he still loves very much. Barbara Havers is a plain, working class woman in her thirties who lives at home with her aged parents. Havers has a reputation at the Scotland Yard for being difficult to work with. This unlikely detective pairing are sent to Yorkshire to head up the investigation.

Although Roberta is not an outright suspect they realise that behind her 'elective mutism' are the answers to many questions. Lynley and Havers find a shrine to her missing mother Tessa and photographs of a runaway sister Gillian in the farmhouse. Tay's nephew Richard is in line to inherit the farm, and it transpires that he had an incestuous relationship with Gillian. This, combined with the fact that William Tay was engaged to be married again to a much younger woman, indicates that this was a dysfunctional family. Lynley and Havers will not need to look for strangers to find the killer.

This is a difficult time for Lynley as he is nursing a broken heart, dealing with Yorkshire colleagues with whom he has a history and who despise him, and learning to get along with the prickly and defensive Barbara Havers. Things are further complicated for him when he discovers that Simon and Deborah are honeymooning in Yorkshire before heading off to Venice. As the investigation concludes, Lynley learns to let go of the pain of losing Deborah, whilst the emotional rigours of the case have helped him to learn and understand some of Haver's own personal grief.

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