Father Brown (2013–…): Season 3, Episode 12 - The Standing Stones - full transcript

In a village stricken with polio barmaid Sylvia Swann is stabbed to death at the Standing Stones and her friend Ginnie Godden, the last person to see her alive, is arrested. Father Brown finds evidence to link local herbalist Malcolm to the murder site but Malcolm believes that Sylvia was ritually sacrificed to heal the polio victims and asks Father Brown to help him stop any further deaths.

If it's true what they say...

..that you have the power of life
and death...

..I need your help.


I didn't think that you'd come.

Well, if I can help Freddie

and sort things out
between us...

You can't still be angry with me?

- I don't have eyes in the back of my head...
- I trusted you.

And now he's sick.

What if he doesn't get better?
If he can't walk?

God forbid,
what if he d...

Do you really think I'll be able to
forgive you?

We'd better both pray the
Standing Stones live up to the myth.

It's getting powerful
round here now.

And the closer it gets
to Midsummer Night,

the stronger they are.

I can feel it. Can you?

Let's just get on with it.

Did you bring the blood?

No, I couldn't cut him.
You can use mine.

I don't know if it'll work
with yours.

And I haven't got a knife.

Do you know the words?

Give me your hand.


I should have said this
before, but...

You're right.

It was my fault.

I'm sorry.

I'd do anything to turn back
the clock.

- I think you should go.
- No, Ginnie, I...

I've changed my mind.
Just go!

- I want you to forgive me.
- Go!

Be like that.

If Freddie does die,
don't come crying to me.

It's not my fault your son
can't do as he's told.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Sync: Marocas62

"The Standing Stones"

Father Brown
Season 3 - Episode 12

Sylvia Swann, 23, barmaid.

Any ideas what lock this belongs to?

We're about to try her lodgings now,

Any family?

She turned up about a year ago.

Got some work in the pub.

This can't be anyone
from Standing, Sir.

We stick together here.

Specially in times like these.

What about the woman who discovered

Ginnie Godden?

Why didn't she come
to you first?

Well, she was in shock.

She ran up to the road,
and collapsed.

Lucky someone saw her -
she might've been next.

Any connection to the deceased?

They worked together behind the bar.
Best friends.

Ginnie says she met Sylvia here,

they'd separated,
then she heard a scream.

A bit odd, isn't it,
that she didn't happen to...

see any of this murder
or whoever committed it.

What were they doing all the way
out here?

Collecting mushrooms.

By firelight?

Well, it's certainly not the sort
of place you'd...

happen to be passing.


I was on my way to Standing
and I saw your cars.

- God rest her soul.
- It's Sylvia Swann.

Thank you, PC Everett.

I'd like you to leave my crime
scene, please.

That's an interesting key.

- Sir!
- Now!

What's that?


And I thought it was just straws
you grasped at Father,

- not sticks!
- This is no stick.

I know a young parishioner
who'd say

it's the beginnings of a rather

- fine catapult.
- Over here!

Well, that's curious.

Is that blood?


Yes, sir.

Send a sample of this to
the laboratory in Oxford.

I thought Mrs. Godden said

the first she knew
of Miss Swann's injury

was when she heard her scream
over there.

- She did, Sir.
- Then why is there blood here?

More importantly,

why didn't Mrs. Godden
mention it?

This story isn't adding up.

Ginnie Godden?

But she and Sylvia
were best friends.

Ginnie wouldn't have any reason
to hurt Sylvia.

Would she?

Late, as usual!

Change of plan.
We're not going to the hospital.

But what about the children?

So I have come all this way...

I've just come from
the Standing Stones.

Sylvia Swann was killed there
last night.

At the Stones?

- You don't think...
- No, I don't.

But you do know the legend -

that one midsummer midnight,

77 stones got up
and walked,

converging on a glade
in the wood,

aligning their entrance
to the midsummer moon.

That is the legend.

Yes, but they say that
on that one night,

they have the power over life
and death.

I've heard of folk praying to
the Stones to save the sick.

Who's to say it only works
that way round?

What if...

somebody prayed to the Stones

to have Sylvia killed?

- Mrs. McCarthy...
- I know. I know.

"Thou shalt not have
strange gods before me."

Whoever it was,
was entirely human.

if we don't have to be here,

I'd sooner keep away.
This is not a healthy place.

If we were going to get it,
we'd have got it by now.

There are other unsavoury
elements in Standing

besides the polio, Father.



Leave him be, Father.
That one will never see the light.

Anyway, we haven't got time
for this.

We need to talk to Ginnie.


With modern science,
there are tests we can do.

If it's blood, we'll find out.

All right, it's blood.

But it's not Sylvia's. It's mine.

how did it get there?

I fell...

and cut myself -
I must've leant on the stone.

So why not say this at the initial

Because I didn't think
it was important.

Is this really appropriate?
Her son's very sick.

Nurse Shipton, a woman's been

Niceties have to be set
to one side.


Don't worry. We'll pump by hand.

All day, if we have to.

Sweet Lord Jesus.

Nurse Shipton, I...

I didn't realise.

He's completely dependent
on the machine.

If it stops, he dies.

Tell Mrs. Godden
we can do this down at the station.

I don't intend to distress her son.

It's the news of the murder,
more than anything.

Sylvia sit...

Used to sit with Freddie
when Ginnie had to work.

He knew her well, then.

We're creating a timeline
of her last hours.

Did she sit with him yesterday?

Ginnie wouldn't let her come.

Inspector, we'd like to
speak to Mrs. Godden.

I thought they were best friends?

Last week, Sylvia was supposed
to be watching Freddie,

but he went off playing
with the neighbours' children.

- Then they fell ill...
- That's how he caught the polio.

Ginnie and Sylvia fell out over it.


Did you know this?

What were you thinking,
keeping it to yourself?

This is a motive.
Mrs. Godden...

Why didn't you say you held
Miss Swann responsible

for your son's condition?

Inspector, you're making a mistake.

With the evidence as it stands,
I have no choice.

Ginnie Godden,

I am arresting you on suspicion
of the murder of Sylvia Swann.

No, you can't do this!

Marjorie will sit with your boy,

every second you're away.

You're not obliged to say anything,

but anything you say will be taken down
in writing and may be given in evidence.

No-one hurts my staff
and gets away with it.

If you saw anything or anyone,
I'm begging you, come forward.

None of that mumbo jumbo,
am I clear?

The only way stones can kill someone

is when somebody's holding them.

Miss Swann was stabbed.

I don't think we can blame
a stone for that.

And the inspector's
already made an arrest.

Ginnie Godden.

That's nonsense!
I'll go talk to him.

I'm glad you said that.

I find it hard to believe
that Ginnie's a murderer.

Also, I just came from
the cottage hospital.

Little Mary Harris died
this morning.

- What?
- Another death.

Just this morning.

Make sure the children
stop indoors.

I'll let you all get home.

If you have any information
on Sylvia's murder,

go see Walt at the police house.

Oi! I live upstairs.
The lavs are that way!


- Sid.
- Father!

Fancy meeting you here.

Returning lost property.

- What's your excuse?
- Who loses a stick?

More to the point,
who blinkin' well returns one?

This is not just a stick.

This is a hazel dowsing rod.

It didn't just fall off a tree
and where I found it...

There are no hazel trees.

Out at the Stones.

Where that murder happened
last night?

- You've heard?
- Everyone's heard.

Sid? What's all the...

Father Brown.

I'm here to see Malcolm.

I had no idea he was so popular.

Malcolm's my...


We're studying physical
energy together.

- First time I've heard it called that!
- Ley lines, Sid. Dowsing.

I do believe Sidney
thinks I'm having an affair.

No-one would think that of you,
Lady Felicia.

And in any case...

Malcolm believes that with
purity comes strength.

His chastity allows him
to commune

with Higher Powers.

The Father found Malcolm's
stick out at the Stones.

He could have left it there
any time.

Anyone who believes in dowsing

wouldn't let their rod
out of their sight.

I saw him with this around

late yesterday.

Hang about.

So that means it was dropped
sometime between...

then and this morning, which
means that Malcolm could be...

- A witness...
- the killer.


Is this what you were looking for,

Where did you find it?

At the Stones.

You were there last night,
weren't you?

When Sylvia was killed?

Stupid girl.

Messing with what
didn't concern her.

And what exactly was that?

Those stones are powerful.

She should've known better.

What if Freddie dies?

If I'm not there with him,
he'll think I've abandoned him.

The Father's working
tirelessly for your release.

If there's anything you can tell me,
no matter how small...


I've just come back from the

The whole village knows,
they're all behind you.

You have to do something.

Listen, I'm going to get you
out of here.

I'm still a Standing Bobby,
I've got influence.

It's just wrong.
Why did Sylvia have to die?

Hush, now.

At this rate, you're going to
make yourself sick.

Now, Marjorie's going to take
care of Freddie.

If you need anything,
you let me know.

I can reach you at any time.

I want to see Freddie.

Marjorie will be with him every
second of the day and night.

now that PC Everett is here,
I'll be off.

But if there's anything else that
I can do...

Yes. Mrs. McCarthy, wait.

Would you go and sit
with my son, please?

Well, PC Everett said Nurse
Marjorie will be with him.

Marjorie's not Catholic.

She doesn't understand
last rites.

I want someone there from the
church, just in case.

Well, I am very busy, you know.

But I suppose Lady Felicia
has time on her hands,

so I will make sure that one or
other of us

is with him at all times.

Thank you.

Where did you find it?

I was dowsing near the Stones.

It's the most powerful time of
the year.

I was searching for strength
and it lead me to...that.


And then I heard the police bells,
and I realised it was time I left.

Must've dropped the rod as I went.

Did you see anybody? Anything?

We're going to hand it in.

They'll hang, draw and quarter him!

Malcolm didn't have to show us
the knife, he chose to.

That is not the mark
of a guilty man.

Are your fingerprints on it?

I was wearing gloves.

I'll tell them
it was found at the church.

In return, anything you find,

make sure you bring it to me.

I will get to the bottom of this.

You don't believe all that guff,
do you?

I believe in innocent
until proven guilty.

Oddball does not equal murderer...

or they'd have arrested me.

A bloody murder weapon present
at the scene?!

Admittedly no motive, apart from
being a nutter, but...

I'll keep digging.

the police can run their tests.

I suspect that this is what will
interest them.

Just in here, sir.


where's this murder weapon?

I took the liberty of asking
the barmaid

to bring out a kitchen knife.
This is the one she brought,

this is the one left at St Mary's.


Apart from the blood, of course.

What's going on?

Father Brown's handing over some
rather interesting evidence.


does the key in that lock
match the one

that was found round Sylvia's neck?

You need a search warrant for that.

I can get one.

See if your home's any more

I'm expecting to learn
that Sylvia had her

own key to your lodgings.

If there's something more to say,
I suggest you tell it now.


All right, yes.

Sylvia and me,
we had something going on.

Sylvia was pregnant.

Presumably she wanted you to marry

How did you feel about that?

I wasn't happy about it.

I didn't kill her.

We'll see what the
pros sols think about that.

No, we won't.

- I've got an alibi.
- Really?

Ask anyone.

- Anyone?
- We're in an epidemic.

Folks are taking shifts at the
cottage hospital, round the clock.

I was there most
of last night,

along with half the village.

- We'll check that out.
- Be my guest.

Isn't this is where you're
supposed to reveal

that Malcolm had the knife?

You're going to regret
covering for that man.


The villagers who can corroborate
Mr. Gastrell's alibi.

But you are on this list.

You were at the hospital last night?

Alf can't be the killer.

the fingerprints on the knife.

Two sets of prints on the handle.

- The victim's and Mrs. Godden's.
- No, wait a minute.

The knife came from the pub,
she worked in the pub.

Of course her prints could be
on the knife.

The blood trail suggests

Mrs. Godden lied
about where she found the body.

Her prints are on the murder weapon.

And we know she held
Miss Swann responsible

for her son's illness.

He's close to death.

Means, motive, opportunity.

Inspector, please, I need to be
with my son.

That won't be possible.

Sergeant, get a search warrant
for her cottage.

We're charging you with murder.

Apparently I'm supposed
to talk to you.

I don't know why
Mrs. McCarthy sent me.

I'd be no help if you did wake up.

Children and I, we're like...

..a fish with golf clubs.

As Monty will attest.

Give me a thoroughbred any day.

You gave me a start.



- Where's Father Brown?
- I don't know.

I think I know what happened
to Sylvia.

I think it might happen again.

- What? Why?
- Father Brown will understand.

Help me find him for me?

Someone's got here before us.

This warrant's not worth
the paper it's printed on.

- Put it out, cover it up.
- Yes, sir.

What are you doing?

I have the same question for you.

- Burning evidence.
- Burning Freddie's things.

This is polio we're dealing with.

Is there a problem, Inspector?

I might've known you'd get here
before us, Father.

Clean clothes.

Ginnie will need them until you see
the error of your ways and let her go.

The whole village agrees.
Ginnie didn't kill anyone.

We want you to set her free.

I'm with them, sir. Her son's sick.

She's at breaking point.

Did you want something, PC Everett?

The autopsy results
for Sylvia Swann are back.

Maybe it's just as well you're here,
after all.

I asked the coroner to discover
how far her pregnancy was.

What he's told me
is she wasn't pregnant.


Father, hop in.

I need to take you somewhere.
It's important. Please.


Somebody, listen to me!

I need to make a confession.

Constable, find the Inspector - now.

Not a police confession.
I need Father Brown.


I thought you said he was
going to meet us here.

He's gone ahead...
to the Stones.

He says to read from page 79.

"Sacrifice and the Stones."
It talks about healing.

It says, "the only way to save
innocent human lives...

"..is to give another
innocent human life."

So someone wanted to save
the village children

from this frightful epidemic
and made Sylvia the sacrifice -

killing the one to save the many.

Except that, by all accounts, no-one
thought Sylvia Swann was innocent.

- Legenda n?o traduzida -

Maybe not Sylvia.

But definitely her unborn child.

Well, then we need to find out who
else knew about Sylvia's pregnancy.

Because whoever it is...

is going to try again.

Father, you're needed at
the station.


Thank God, Father.

I see. I see.

Mrs. Morris' what?

Mrs. Morris' dog!

I'll make a note.

Yeah, goodbye.


I'm here to see Ginnie Godden.

Mrs. Godden,
I've got the Father here...

Listen, Alf.

If my girlfriend got
herself pregnant...

..I can think of a couple of people
I might want to get on the blower.

I might have mentioned it to
Nurse Shipton

to see if she knew
anyone who might...

help with the situation.

- But she gave me short shrift.
- Anyone else?

That oddball,
the herbalist.

I thought he might know
some plants that could solve

our problem.

Though why he would, when he takes
great pleasure

in telling the world
he's pure as the driven...

You told Malcolm
Sylvia was pregnant?

Knife and Cleaver.

Father Brown, for you.

Felicia speaking.



Ginnie Godden's in hospital.

- What?!
- Attempted suicide.

She tried to hang herself.

But why?

Guilty conscience.

Maybe she did kill
Sylvia after all.

Who knows? It's the boy I
feel sorry for. Poor lad.

- What's going to happen to him now?
- Father, listen...

Malcolm knew about
Sylvia's pregnancy.

What if I was wrong?

If it was him all along
deliberately trying to mislead us.

What if he came to the hospital,
not trying to find me

but looking for another
innocent sacrifice?

It's getting dark soon.

If anything will be happening,
it'll be happening at midnight.

I wonder if you could send Sid to
meet me at the police station,

we'll go straight to the Stones.

Then, perhaps, you go to the
cottage hospital

and make sure the children are safe.

- That's 10.
- Johnny?

- 11.

- 12.
- And Freddie is, 13.

- We're one short.
- What?

But that's not Freddie.

- Then where is he?
- Well, I...

He was there.

Please, no!

- So what's the plan?
- No idea.


Tell me everything.

When was the last time he...?

When was the last time
he was seen?

So you didn't get our message.

Of course we did.
That's why we're here.

- No, the second message.
- Inspector...

It turns out his breathing
improved so much

they took him off the iron lung.

Well, they needed it
for another child.

You didn't think to ascertain
this before you called us?

I'm sorry, Inspector -
we really thought...

Time was of the essence.

Stand down, men.

Go home to your families.

It's about time
we called it a day.

Well, what about Father Brown?

He's out in the back of beyond
in the middle of the night.

It'll give him time to reflect
on the repercussions

of his wild accusations.

My bicycle's outside,
I'll go and find him.

We don't need any more accidents.

Unless there are
any more innocents

you need me to save?

Fowles in the frith,

The fishes in the flood,

And I mon wax wood...

How many of them are there?!

The prospect of saving
all the village's children

is very promising.

Yeah, but to kill a kid
to save a kid?

That doesn't make any sense.

Can you make out which one's

Yes, and they are not sacrificing
a child.

Right - so what're we going to do?

Two of us against all of them?

Well, I have asked
Sergeant Goodfellow

to alert Inspector Sullivan.

Yeah, but if he was coming,
he'd be here by now.

You go in the car
and get some help.

What about you?

I'll think of something

Kembleford 769.

Yes, he does house calls,

but you'll need to call
the presbytery.

Let me get this straight,

he's not answering the telephone?

"I will fear no evils,
for thou art with me.

"Thy rod and thy staff,
have comforted me."

The Police.
Thank you.


- No...
- Silence!

Midnight approaches.

Much sorwe I walke with.

The Solstice begins.

Much sorwe I walke with.

Is the knife sharpened?

Is the knife-bearer ready?

Is the knife-bearer ready?

We need you to be ready.

Are you sure, this time?

It didn't work before.

Because that was
the wrong sacrifice.
This is perfect.

And what if...?
What if we do nothing?

How many more children have to die?

You told me yourself, you couldn't
bear another child dying young

- or living maimed!
- I can't.

Then you know what you have to do.

This is the last death you need
to see.

Everything is in alignment.

It was meant to be.

We're going to be successful
this time.

Word of warning. The priest's about.

Just the priest?

I think we can handle him.

Is the knife-bearer ready?

She is.

- Midnight... begin!
- No!

Father Brown.

Don't worry, Malcolm.

- They won't kill you.
- No cavalry?

How are you going to stop us?

By offering myself in his place.

If you want to sacrifice
an innocent...

..sacrifice me.

Sergeant, you have to call
the inspector.

I don't care if you wake him up!

The Father went out to
the Stones tonight and...

Would you just be quiet
for one minute?!

He went out and it looks like
he's never made his way back.

No, he cannot be out on a call!

His pyx bag is here on the table
in front of me.

- You said you'd let him free.
- Later.

We don't want anyone
raising the alarm

before we're finished.
This can't be interrupted.

You think peace and quiet
makes it work?

You were right.

We didn't get
a true innocent last time.

This time will be different.

Exactly the same.

Another death...

..and no lives given in return.

We'll see about that.

Is that how you think it works?

It's what you believe, isn't it?

Jesus sacrificed himself
for our sins.

You preach it every Sunday.

Our Gods are just a bit

If you think you'll be able to
convert us,

you've got the wrong men.


you had a strong faith.

And then I saw child
after child die,

or live maimed.

I prayed and I prayed, but...

if your Christian
God won't save them,

I want no part of him.

We need to save our children.

That's not quite true of you, Alf,
though, is it?

Convenient -

get rid of a pregnant girlfriend

you were tired of, wasn't it?

And Freddie?

No-one's done anything to Freddie.


Mrs. McCarthy was very impressed

with Walt's support for Ginnie
when she was in custody...

promising you'd be with
her little boy

"every second of the night and day."

With hindsight, that sounds
like a threat, wouldn't you say?

That's low.

Very low.

Even if he did say all that,
it's just words.

- And Ginnie.
- Ginnie did that to herself.

Is that what you think?

I think someone tried to
shut her up.

And after tonight,

I think they'll try again.

Ginnie was one of us.

Why would we kill her?

She brought Sylvia here.

But she didn't have the
strength to follow it through.

I won't be like that.

And Sylvia.

Killed for nothing.

And now me.

What if I'm killed...

and nothing changes?

And Sid's missing, too.

Hornby had to bring me over
in Monty's car.

What do we do?

- Sid!
- Call the police.

- Do you think I haven't tried?
- And Freddie's safe.

But Malcolm isn't.
He's about to be sacrificed.

- What?
- And Father Brown's out there by himself.

- Well, let's go.
- OK.


Kembleford Police Station, please.

Not losing your bottle, are you?

Gag him.

We need blood.

It's on me.

As his lifeblood drains...

with our eyes closed...

we perform our final chant.

Fowles in the frith!

The fishes in the flood!

And I mon wax wood,

Much sorwe I walke with...

This is her blood!

She's betrayed us.

Go after him.
Shut him up.

What about the sacrifice?

We've run out of time.

This dried-up old spinster
will have to do.

Not far now.

Who's that?

The police! thank God.
Where's Father Brown?

up ahead.

We caught them off-guard.

Lady Felicia,
is your car nearby?

- Just down the track.
- Could I borrow it?

- I'll go and find him.
- Of course.

- Sid, the keys.
- Stop! Police!

Hey, it's all right, Inspector.
I've broken it up.

Everybody's safe now.

Thank you, PC Everett.

All right, men, stand down.

Father Brown!

He's one of Sylvia's killers.

- What?!
- Quick!

- Get after him!
- Yes, sir.

What do you mean, "one of"?

Much sorwe I walke with.

Are you really going to stand there
and watch this?

Is this what it's come to?



Much sorwe I walke with.



They've followed you blindly
this far.

They won't follow you
over the abyss.



No more pointless deaths.

No more.


Father, I wasn't expecting...

Something from Mrs. McCarthy's

Thank you.

I thought if you came at all, you'd
be bringing the police with you.

You backed out of Sylvia's

You were prepared to tell all.

It's not your fault
that Walt got to you.

But I agreed to the plan
in the first place.

I lured Sylvia out there
to her death.

I was just so desperate.

Standing was a village
of desperate people.

We're just grateful for the chance
to return to normal.

Not that the publican
or the policeman
will be returning any time soon.

Well, at least the polio's
burnt itself out.

No new cases
for the last seven days.

- Thanks to the Father.
- Nonsense.

Nothing to do with me.

If I'd just read on a few more
pages, I'd have known.

The only thing more powerful

than an innocent
being sacrificed

is an innocent who is willing to be.

Though I wasn't willing to die
for them...

because not for a minute did I
think that it would have an effect.



..I was willing to die for you.

Every time I see him,
I can't believe it.

Thank you so much for letting him
stay while he recuperated.

It's nothing.

That's what the staff are for,
after all.

I'm sure Lady Felicia will be glad
of the peace and quiet.

Precisely what I was thinking.

I was saying to Monty only last
night -

if the past few weeks have shown me

it's how glad I am that
we never had children.


are you ready
to take your son home?

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