Father Brown (2013–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - The Wrong Shape - full transcript

Poet Leonard Quinton invites Father Brown to the house where he lives with his long suffering wife Martha and young mistress Violet as his spiritual adviser Umesh has told him he will soon die and he wants the priest to look after Martha. Shortly after Violet has threatened him for not leaving Martha for her Leonard is found hanged and Umesh,as his sole heir,is arrested. Martha tells Father Brown that she and Leonard had once had a baby,born disfigured,who died and whom they buried in the garden,the event which she believes drove them apart. Martha's admirer Harris then admits to killing Leonard Quinton - though Father Brown knows better.

Mr. Leonard, sir!




What is it?

What do you want?

I was pruning the hedges
in the garden,

and I saw something terrible.

Mr. Leonard,

I'm afraid you are
going to die today.

Father Brown
Season 1 - Episode 03

Subtitles by Red Bee Media
Sunc: Marocas62

"The Wrong Shape"

Thank you, Mrs. Parfitt!

Thank you!

How many more?

Just a half dozen.

Lady Felicia.
You do look a picture.

Father Brown.
Mrs. McCarthy.

I'm not interrupting anything, am I?

- Not at all.
- Only I wondered

if you'd care to accompany
me to a poetry recital?

I know it's short notice, but the host
specifically requested your presence.

Indeed, he was quite insistent.

Father Brown is in the middle
of auditions.

Which, I'm sure, can wait.

Who, might I ask, is the host?

One of her highfalutin cronies,
I shouldn't wonder.

Mr. Quinton.

Not Leonard Quinton?

I've always enjoyed a nice sonnet.

Especially that Greek one.
The one about the vase.


If you will.

Did Mr. Quinton say why he wanted me
to attend?

I'm afraid he's a peculiar
man of very few words.

I don't like to gossip, but rumour
has it he's lost his marbles.

Have you met the wife?

Is it true she never
leaves the house?

And that he keeps
an Indian hermit?

Like you, I don't like to gossip.


She's very young.


It's such an honour to meet you.

I wanted to go to your
finishing school,

but Papa told me you'd have
nothing to teach me.

On account of my
own natural grace.

Not your instruction.

Is that Christian Dior?

His designs are so flattering

for mature women, aren't they?

Lady Felicia.

Your husband is a very good client.

I try not to get involved
with my husband's business affairs.

Better to enjoy the spoils.
I'm sure you've earned it.

What a delightful home.
Such curious artefacts.

Yes. Lenny will be so pleased
you could make it.

We're very much looking forward to
meeting him, aren't we, Mrs. McCarthy?

Yes, and I'm delighted to make your
acquaintance, Mrs. Quinton.

No, Lenny and I aren't married.

Not yet, anyway.

Come, do follow me.

I'm afraid the train from
Paddington was cancelled

so it's going to be
a rather intimate gathering.

I'm ashamed to say that Violet
is Leonard's mistress,

and almost as insufferable
as he is.

How very French.

Mrs. Quinton.

And the great man himself!


Thank you all so
much for coming.

I realise our
domestic arrangements

might seem a little odd,

but I assure you they
are mutually agreeable.

Do take a seat.

May I have a quick word first?

I must confess I'm
intrigued to why

you've invited me here today.

I'm not known for my literary

And you clearly look East
for spiritual guidance.

She had a smile that used to
light up the room.

Mr. Quinton, is there something
you'd like to share with me?

I would like you to look
after my wife, Father,

if anything should happen to me.

She's one of yours.

But I'm afraid she's lost
her way a little.

You have my word.

I will help her to God's counsel
in any way I can.

But what do you imagine
is going to happen to you?

Let's not waste no more time,
shall we?

Violet, my dear. Perhaps
you'd like to begin?

...aadhaaranilayah, adhaataa,
pushpahaasah, prajaagarah,

oordhvagah, satpathaachaarah,

"Entwined in the long grass,

"sun freckling buttocks,

"The last thing on our minds
are priests in cassocks.

"My pulse races
as he traces his finger

"'cross creamy white skin,
with a lovely linger.

"'Twas as if we were otters,

"frolicking as hot as
a great ball of fire

"in the wet sand.

"Oh, yes!

"I cry to the skies

"with quivering thighs.

"It doesn't seem wise
to dwell on the lies.

"But my heart goes cold,

"and I can't help but fidget,

"As the band of gold

"I spy wrapped around his digit.

"Alas! Alack!

"There's no going back.

"Till she loosen the noose

"and cut him loose.


samkha-bhrit, nandakee, chakree,

shaarnga-dhanvaa, gadaadharah,
rathaanga-paanih, akshobhyah,


"It slithers out white,


"Lump meets stump.

"Blood thumping, pumping.

"Bone against bone.

"Howls crunching.


"If I could.

"If I hadn't.

"If you were.


"No, feet.

"Clasping air.

"Gasp in pain.


"Horror swaddled in twisted
crimson ribbons.

"Vomiting love.



Please, excuse me.

What was that about?

And why were
we invited to witness it?

We weren't all invited.

You mustn't look.

Lenny hasn't let me see it yet

and I sat for him for hours.
In my birthday suit!

Your father must be very proud.

Forgive me,
is Mr. Quinton in poor health?

Not physically.

Only these are academic
medical text books.

He's a man.
Ergo a hypochondriac.

Lenny used to be a Doctor.

He had a practice
on Harley Street.

Please, don't mention it to him.
He gets very upset.

I can't imagine why.

It's his behaviour since
that brings him into disrepute.

The man's a buffoon.

He's talking about converting the
stables into a levitation centre,

- for goodness sake!
- Meditation centre,

based on the teachings
of Krishna, Shankara

and the yoga sutras of Patanjali.

Is he a client of yours, too?

I don't have to like my clients
to do my job.

Though I'd never have taken him
on if it weren't for his wife.

Martha and I are old family friends.

- Mrs. Quinton!
- I'm quite all right, thank you, Father.

- You're shaking.
- I said I'm fine!

It's Leonard that's feeling
a little out of sorts.

- Poor Lenny!
- Mr. Harris,

could you take our guests for
a stroll round the garden

- while he takes a nap?
- Of course.

I'll make sure tea arrives
promptly upon your return.

I'll wait here, in case Lenny
wakes and calls for me.

Do what you like.

- Shouldn't we call a doctor?
- No, that won't be necessary.

He's just a little tired.

Perhaps I might speak with
Mr. Quinton privately?

No, he explicitly asked to
be left alone.

A walk would be lovely.

A breath of fresh air will do us
all the world of good.

Do follow me.

I gather they have an
extremely rare collection

of tropical plants!

I wish my Parson's Pink
would repeat-flower like that.

The Quintons have an odd
relationship, don't you think?

It's none of my business.

Who's the Indian gentleman?

Martha calls him the gardener.

Leonard calls him
his spiritual advisor.

I call him a fake and extortionist.

He brought him back from his trip
to the Raj.

Parades him round
like an exotic pet.

No doubt he's brainwashed Leonard
out of thousands,

promising to ward off evil spirits
in return for a small fee.

Corruption's endemic
in their culture, I'm afraid.

Have you been to India?

I couldn't care less how Mr.
Quinton fritters away his money.

I dare say his wife might have
something to say about that.

His wife seems curiously
silent on a number of subjects,

the sort of woman who does her duty for
20 years and then does something dreadful.

If she did, could you blame her?

Come, we need to stick together.

Now what is this one called?

It looks like oleander but I think
it's something far more unusual.

I don't think this is a proper path.

I think we must have taken
a wrong turn.

And if I am not mistaken,

all the plants in
this bed are poisonous.

How horrible.

Lady Felicia!

I tripped over that
and I've broken my heel!

Mangy beast.

All ears and fleas.
Martha always hated that cat.

What's this?

Poor creature.

All creation, O Lord,
is in your care.

Give us eyes to see that every
living creature

speaks to us of your love.


- I think I may need some help.
- Looks like a bad sprain.

I'll go and fetch
the first aid kit.

And what are we supposed to
do in the meantime?

I looked at your painting.


Say something!

I gave up everything for you!

You're never going to leave her,
are you?

I hope you rot to death in hell!

I thought we'd never
find our way back.

Well, if you will wear those
ridiculous shoes.

Was it a poem,
or an instrument of torture?

And about time too!

Sorry I took so long.

Stand back.

Is everything OK?
I thought I heard...

Mrs. McCarthy.


It seems he left a note.

"I die by my own hand"

will you call the police, please?

"Wheresoever the body shall be,

"there shall the eagles
also be gathered."

Gospel of Matthew
if I'm not mistaken.

And you're always complaining
I'm after your job.

Milk, one sugar.

That's how Lenny liked it.

Thank you.

We found this on the conservatory
bench, Inspector.

Not the most illuminating
final missive.

Mrs. Quinton, can you confirm this
is your husband's handwriting?

Please accept my condolences.

- If there's anything...
- Nothing.

Death has been certified.
Could you show the doctor out?

Shall we join
the countess in the study?

I'm sure Inspector Valentine
has everything in hand.

What a perfectly awful day.

You think he might have waited
till after we'd gone.

He was worried how his wife would
cope by herself.

She barely seems to have noticed.

I imagine that was Father Brown's

This is a very fine oolong.

Such a shame the pot wasn't
warmed before pouring in water.

Next time you can make it yourself.

Though, of course, that would
involve setting foot in a kitchen.

I wonder what made such
a distinguished man of science

throw off medicine.

Maybe something happened
on his trip to India.

How long did you say you'd
known him?

I didn't. Truth be told,
I only met him a fortnight ago.

We were introduced at a charity
gala in London.

He was with that Hindu fellow,
I think.

I'm afraid I don't remember our
conversation quite so well

as the headache I had the
following morning.

Really, you'd think I'd be used
to champagne by now.

I need find Inspector Valentine.


perhaps I should talk to the Hindu
gentleman in private first.

Best to have all the facts.

Mrs. McCarthy,
would you round everybody up

and bring them to the drawing room?

I have something very important
to tell you all.

I'll explain shortly.

But no-one must leave.
And no-one must be left on their own!

I don't believe we've
been introduced.

My name is Father Brown.

Umesh Varma.

I used to be a tour guide
at the Botanical Gardens in Cochin.

It's where I first met Leonard.

I understand you
and Leonard were good friends.

He was a good man.

A kind man.

But I'm afraid his soul
was in torment.

Did you discover the cause
of his sorrow?

Mr. Leonard was a very private man.

I would never betray a confidence.

Did Martha and Leonard
lose a child?

May I ask what
business it is of yours?

Leonard asked me
to look after his wife.

By poking round his house
and digging up the past?

I only want to uncover the truth.

The truth is not always
black and white.

It's over.

Why can't you leave it at that?

I'm told you have some important
information to share.

I think we'd all agree...

Mr. Quinton was a
deeply troubled man.

Married to her?
Who can blame him?

The woman's not human.

You could cut off her head,
she wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Some people are simply able to
keep their emotions in check.

Please understand the last thing

I want to do in these
awful circumstances

- is to cause you
- further distress. Get to the point, please, Father.

I'm afraid Mr. Quinton could not
have hanged himself.

But we saw it.
He even left a note!

- Go on.
- Leonard was left-handed,

as evidenced by the slope
of his handwriting

- and the arrangement of his desk.
- Yes. And?

The knot of rope around
Mr. Quinton's neck

was tied right over left.

I don't understand.
What are you saying?

He's saying Leonard was murdered.

We need a pathologist
here as soon as possible.

I want the conservatory locked and
an officer outside both sets of doors.

Search the grounds for anything

No doubt you have theories.

- A number of theories...
- And I'm grateful for your insight so far.

But from now this is a murder

so perhaps you could leave
the questions to me.

Mrs. Quinton,

did you and your husband
have any children?

- No.
- So I assume you're the main

- beneficiary in your husband's will?
- Murderer!

It's obvious it was her.

- She hated him.
- She's not the only one.

I'll be interviewing
everyone in due course

so you'll have ample opportunity
to express your opinions.

Mrs. Quinton, could you answer
the question, please?

I believe he planned to leave me
the house.

And the rest of his fortune?

I'm afraid Mr. Quinton recently
altered his will

and bequeathed the rest
of his fortune to Mr. Varma.

Our gardener.

Mr. Varma,
if you'll permit the observation,

you didn't seem surprised to come
upon Leonard's body this morning.

That's because I knew Leonard
was going to die.

And how could you possibly
know that?

I had a vision.

- A vision?
- Well...

not a vision exactly.

It came to me more as a colour,

when I was pruning
the hedges this morning.

And I saw the othalanga in bloom.

Oh, that's the name of it!

Also known as the Suicide Tree,

because its kernels are deadly

As soon as I saw it in flower,

I knew he was going to die today.

Just as I know this priest will
uncover how and why

and that the truth will be
sadder still.

You don't believe me?

I believe there is normally
a rational explanation

for the phenomenal.

So how do you explain your bible?

Didn't Jesus walk on water?

Feed thousands with
a single loaf of bread?

I also believe the world becomes
a very dangerous place

when we interpret holy
scripture too literally.

But there are so many things that
happen which we cannot explain.

If you'll excuse me, please.

So you're telling me
you have the gift of second sight?

I wouldn't call it a gift, no.
I'm a spiritual man.

Did you know Mr.
Quinton was planning

- to bequeath you his fortune?
- Yes.

And what were you planning to do
with the money?

- Give it to charity.
- A likely story.

I found this washed up
by the lake, sir.

What is it?
Some kind of effigy?

I was saying
Vishnu Sahasranama for Leonard.

- In English?
- It's a prayer

to invoke the thousand
names of Vishnu.

Leonard was teaching me...

I believe we all
have a thousand names.

A thousand guises.

Where were you between
11 and 12 this morning?

I was in the kitchen making pinda.
Rice ball offerings.

To nourish Leonard's soul
on it's onward journey.

- Before he was actually dead.
- Yes.

While someone next door
murdered him?

So it would seem.

I've heard it all now!

I saw the headstone this morning.

Please accept my sincerest

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

It has been 16 months since
my last confession.

Mr. Varma, I am arresting
you on suspicion of murder.

You are not obliged to say anything
unless you wish to do so

but whatever you say will be taken
down in writing

- and may be given in evidence.
- Wait!

She died a year ago today.

Her name...

was Olivia.

You have her
photograph in your locket?

A lock of her hair.

We didn't take any photographs.

She was handed to
me in a blanket,

so all I could see was her face.

Her beautiful face.

But when the midwife brought me

a cup of tea a
few minutes later,

I remember her hands shaking.

And then I looked at Leonard,

and realised something was
terribly, terribly wrong.

She was born grotesquely deformed.

Some limbs missing,

others the wrong shape.

Leonard never said a word.

Couldn't even look at me.

He ran off to India before I was
discharged from hospital.

I couldn't bear for her
to be gossiped about,

paraded through medical circles
like some monstrous curiosity,

so I decided to keep her secret.

I gave up the London flat
and I moved here permanently.

Leonard came back three months
afterwards, and she...

..died a few hours later.

It was as if she'd been waiting
for him.

We buried her in the garden

and then we went
our separate ways,

albeit under the same
roof for appearance's sake.

We never talked about her again.

I didn't even know he still thought
about her until this morning.

The poem.

I thought he was deliberately
trying to hurt me.

I realise now that...

that was the only way he
could express himself.

I thought he was under arrest?

Lady Felicia has belatedly recalled
hearing Mr. Varma speak publicly

about his plans to set up
a leprosy charity

whilst at a gala in London.


Whilst it doesn't explain how
he predicted Mr. Quinton's death

hours before it occurred,
it does cast doubt on his motives.

Unless he murdered Lenny
to save the lepers?

Does this mean we can't go home?

I'm afraid so.

I understand Mr. Harris, Father
Brown, Mrs. McCarthy and Lady Felicia

were on a tour of the gardens
between 11 and 12 this morning.

Miss Parnassus, where were you?

- I was in here.
- All the time?

- Yes!
- She's lying.

I heard her in the study.

She and Leonard were arguing.
Very heatedly, in fact.

She was furious with him
for not leaving his wife.

If I remember correctly,

she wanted him to
rot to death in hell.

Oh, dear.

Miss Parnassus?


We had an argument,

and I said some very silly things.

I'm a passionate woman!

And how did you overhear all of this
if you were in the garden?

I came back to fetch
the first aid kit

when Lady Felicia twisted her ankle.

In any case, how could I possibly
have strung him up like that?

Mr. Quinton wasn't a large man.

I imagine whoever killed him
used the trolley we found

collapsed at the scene
to move his body,

climbed the conservatory benches
and attached one end of

the curtain cord to the plant hook
in the ceiling,

tied the other round his neck

and then pushed the trolley over
to make it look like suicide.

It could have been any one of you.

Even you, Mr. Harris.

- Don't be ridiculous.
- You hated him as much as she did.

It's no secret I never liked the man

but what could I possibly stand
to gain from his death?

When I confronted Leonard
after the recital,

he told me that Olivia's condition
was his fault.

It took us a long time to conceive.

And I suffered very badly
with morning sickness.

I was terrified I was going to
miscarry, so he prescribed me

a new drug he'd heard about
on a trip to Germany.

He wasn't able to prove anything
but he was convinced that's

what caused her birth defects.

Which is why he gave up medicine.

Must have made you very angry.

Worse than that.

I felt relieved.

Because if it was his fault...

Then perhaps it wasn't mine.

Beginner's luck.

Is that what you call it?

One doesn't need
extrasensory perception

to predict your moves.
You're always on the defence.

And you've got too many men
round the edges!

We'll need to take formal
statements from everyone

while we wait for the
pathologist's report.

Perhaps we might use the study?

How is she?

Mrs. McCarthy, what's the botanical
name of the Suicide Tree?

Cerbera Odollam.

Inspector, would it be possible to
have another look at the body?

Yes, very likely. Thank you, sarg.

The pathologist will need
to confirm, of course,

but I think I've spotted traces
of toxic white sap

on Mr. Quinton's clothes,

which, I'm almost certain

we'll discover,
is from the othalanga tree.

And didn't the dead cat have

something white and
sticky on its paws?

Didn't you say Mrs. Quinton
hated that cat?

- That's hearsay.
- Nevertheless...

I knew it was her! I knew it!

She has no alibi and
an established motive.

I'd like to examine her clothes.

- She'll hang for this!
- It had nothing to do with her!

Or with toxic sap.

How can you be so certain?

Because it was me.

I murdered Leonard Quinton.

Are you sure?

After I left you in the garden
I went back to the house

and waited till Violet left the
study and Leonard fell asleep.

Then I came up behind him

and strangled him
with a curtain cord.

The rest happened
exactly as you surmised.

You forged the suicide note?

The study was littered
with his scrawlings.

He'd fallen asleep near a notebook.

I simply tore out a sheet of paper
and copied his hand.

Inspector, as far as I'm aware,

it is impossible to arrest
a man for killing a corpse.

- I beg your pardon?
- Mr. Harris,

I'm afraid when you
returned to the house,

you were in such a hurry
to kill Mr. Quinton

you failed to notice that
he was already dead.


The notebook you mentioned,
you took it with you, I presume?

If you hadn't been in such a hurry
to forge a suicide note,

you might have found the one
he'd already written.

It's my belief that Mr. Leonard
Quinton poisoned himself

by ingesting kernels
from the Suicide Tree.

Possibly after experimenting

with the correct
dosage on his pet cat.

"I deeply regret the
pain and suffering

"I have caused my wife

"and no longer wish to punish
her with my presence."

"Please forgive my cowardice

"and help her to a better life."

I thought he loved me!

Darling, men are duplicitous
and fickle.

Better you learn that now,
while there's still time.

Until the post mortem, we can't be
certain that Mr. Quinton

was already dead
when he strangled him.

Therefore, Mr. Harris,

I am arresting you
on suspicion of murder.

You are not obliged to say anything
unless you wish to do so

but whatever you do say will
be taken down in writing

and may be given in evidence.

If you hated him this much,

why were you always making excuses
to come round?

Am I the only one who noticed
how often he looked at Martha?

How quick he was to defend her?

I thought if I didn't kill him,
she would.

At least I'd have the sense
to cover it up.

Or try.

And then after a decent interval
I could...

tell her how I felt and...

What made you think
she was capable of murder?

She pathologically
hated her husband.

Shuddered when he so much
as looked at her.

Then there was the dead cat.

And when I thought
about how fiercely

she insisted
Leonard needed a nap,

and the medication
she'd been hoarding...

- What medication?
- I discovered this morning.

She'd been stock-piling
her sleeping pills.

May we have a moment alone,
please, Inspector?

Every time I looked at him,
I saw her face.

I can't tell you how often

I wished I'd never have to set
eyes upon him again.

And yet now he's gone...

..it's like losing her
all over again.

Because despite everything,
you still loved him.

If you've got all the answers,
give me one good reason

why I shouldn't
swallow these pills.

The fact you asked the question
must stand for something.

So you're not going to try and tell
me everything happens for a reason?

That this is God's will?

I don't know why your
daughter died.

And I don't know why
God let it happen.

Then what do you know?!

I know that God knows what it is
to lose a child.

And that he is standing next to you.

And that he can't
stop you suffering,

but that he loves you

and he loves your daughter

and if you let
him into your heart

you will see Olivia again.

I've never heard...


say her name out loud before.

- Olivia.
- Again.

- Olivia.
- Again.


Mr. Varma.

I'm sorry I misjudged you.

Leonard told you about his
daughter's condition, didn't he?

You can stay with me until you've
had a chance to talk to your parents.

Natural grace, indeed.

You fixed it!

You obviously were never in
the girl guides.

Always fancied
the boy scouts myself.

Hop in.
We'll give you a lift home.

Thank you, that's kind,
but Father Brown...

The inspector's already offered to
give him a lift home in his.

- I'm not sure...
- You'd rather walk?

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to take
the weight off my bunions.

And your chauffeur
must be crying out

for some intelligent conversation.

How is she?

Upstairs, sleeping.

Umesh will take
good care of her.

If the post mortem confirms
Mr. Quinton was poisoned,

we'll have to let him go.

Mr. Harris will always be
a prisoner of his conscience.

Yeah, for a few weeks, maybe.

Then he'll have
forgotten the whole thing,

or edited and
refined what happened

till his conduct is
no longer in question.

God created man in his own image.

It's my vocation to remind
people of that.

Even the atheists?

Especially the atheists.

"Play, smile."

"Think of me, pray for me."

"Let my name be spoken
without effort,

"without the ghost
of a shadow upon it."

"Life means all that it ever meant."

"It is the same as it ever was,
there is unbroken continuity."

"Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?"

"I am but waiting for you."

"For an interval,
somewhere very near,

"just round the corner."

"All is well."

De profundis clamavi ad te,

exaudi vocem meam.

Fiant aures tuae intendentes,

- in vocem deprecationis meae.
- Goodbye Leonard.

Si iniquitates
observabis Domine,

Domine quis sustinebit.

Quia apud te propitiatio est

est propter legem tuam
sustinui te, Domine.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media
Sunc: Marocas62