Father Brown (2013–…): Season 3, Episode 6 - The Upcott Fraternity - full transcript

Whilst Father Brown is visiting the Upcott seminary for trainee priests young student Thomas Potts confesses to him that the recent drowning of his friend Douglas Hitchens was no accident before he plunges to his death from the bell tower. Father Brown suspects foul play but is blocked by the sinister Father Lewis and so, with the connivance of the elderly rector Father Palfreyman, sends Sid in undercover to pose as a trainee. He soon learns of the Secret Fraternity, an elite group of students, and believes that they are covering something up - but which of them is a murderer?

Through your goodness
we have this bread to offer,

which earth has given
and human hands have made...

..where it will become for us
the bread of life.

Blessed be God for ever.

Let us pray, brethren,

that our sacrifice

may be acceptable to God,

Our Almighty Father.

May the Lord accept the
sacrifice at your hands

for the praise
and glory of His name.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Sync: Marocas62

Father Brown
Season 3 - Episode 06

"The Upcott Fraternity"


Perhaps I can be of assistance,

I was wondering
if there was a safe place

where I could leave my bicycle.

- We're honest men here.
- That makes my job easier.

I'm here to take confession.

As student guest master, it's
my duty to escort all visitors...

I'm sure that won't be necessary.

Father Brown is an Upcott Old Boy.

Long overdue for a visit.

Better get to lectures,
Mr. Wolfe.

There is nothing to be learned
through loitering.

Welcome back, Father.

- Diligent.
- Clearly.

As his spiritual director,

I've recommended him for
the Westminster archdiocese.

High praise indeed.

A seminarian with promise should
always be encouraged.

I thought I might
drop in on the rector.

He's over at the monastery

No change there then.

Father Palfreyman's
behaviour of late

has somewhat been
cause for concern.

Erratic, absent-minded,
the vagaries of old age.

It comes to us all.

Perhaps it's time
he thought about retirement.

With you in line to replace him?

I only have the
interests of Upcott at heart.


Father Brown!
What a pleasant surprise.

You invited me to hear confessions.

Yes, of course.

Still rooting out evil
and planting virtue.

No. Food for the table.
Medicinal herbs.

You must join us next week

for the Feast of the Assumption.

It's high time our students
had something to celebrate.

I read the findings of the inquest.

Douglas Hitchens.
He worked with me here.

Death by misadventure.

At least now he'll be able
to rest in peace.

I'll get this lot over to
the kitchen, Father Rector.

Mr. Risley.

Make sure you elect somebody
else to peel them.


Mr. Risley,
serial volunteer.

Reliably pious.

It's an arduous path to
spiritual perfection.

Yes, Douglas's passing has
tested our faith.

But we must bear our
suffering lightly,

as our Lord did.

I hear you're losing Father McNeive?


At least that missionary zeal

will not go to waste.

Potts, I was hoping to run into you.

I was getting some air.

Boil the flowers up into a tea.

It's kind of you to think of me.

Seminal year.

We can't have you
wasted in the infirmary.

I'll be late for Theory.

Father Lewis will never forgive me.


An unfortunate affliction.

Yes, not uncommon for those with
a nervous disposition.

What would they do without you?

God entrusted these
men to my care.

Upcott needs me more than ever.

Better then?

- I'll live.
- You didn't miss much.

A lecture from Lewis
on the practice of prayer.

The usual fire and brimstone.

I've been having those
nightmares again.

This is reparation.
We stepped away from God.

You'll bear the burden
of your conscience quietly...

if you're truly one of us.

I'm not sure I am any more.

Of course you are. We need you.

Ask for guidance
during afternoon prayers.

I'm taking this to Palfreyman.
He needs to know the truth.

- You swore an oath.
- I should never have kept this quiet.

Betray your pledge
and you'll pay for it.

As you were.

Mr. Potts,

recovered, I hope,
from your latest unfortunate malady.

I shall endeavour to catch up,

Your absence from
the study group

has been cause
for some concern.

We wouldn't want to emulate
Mr. Risley.

A cursory grasp
of basic theology

and double Dutch Latin.

Mea culpa, Father.

Hardly worthy of
a seminary scholarship.

Mr. Wolfe,

your writing on theophany
showed rare insight.

Thank you, Father.

We can only try our best.

A priest acts in the person
of Christ!

The head of His Body, the Church.

Are you all worthy?

- Yes, Father.
- I need to be excused.


If you must.

Bless me, Father,
for I have sinned.

What brings you here today?

I was there at the lake,
the night Hitchens died.

On the seminary retreat.

He drowned in the shadow
of the apostolic palace.

The bell was ringing for Angelus!

I closed my eyes to a terrible thing!

You know that whatever you say
will remain between us.

- We took an oath of allegiance.
- Who did?

The chosen few.

Better men, better lives.

And where are the
chosen few now?

Far from God, tainted by sin.

How can I ever take
the Holy Orders?

What happened in Italy?

Mr. Potts?

Mr. Potts?

Better men.
Better lives.

I was speaking to Potts
this morning.

I should have seen the signs.

We're all culpable.


I just need to get my breath back.

Father Brown.
Well, well.

I shouldn't be surprised,
I suppose.

Upcott is my alma mater.

You certainly pick your moments.

Clearly a suicide.

You seem very sure of that.

Mental frailties.

Alluded to in a statement
from Father Lewis.

Strange he chose to jump backwards.

Perhaps he couldn't
look death in the face?

His pupils are very...

Yes, we'll need to do
a full postmortem.

It's hard to believe he jumped.

It does seem improbable.

- How well did you know Thomas Potts?
- We had neighbouring rooms.

Did he seem at all
troubled to you?

We'd barely seen him.

And where were
you at the time of death?

- In the chapel.
- You were loitering in the quad.

I was late for prayers myself,
waylaid in the kitchen.

- I can vouch for Mr. Wolfe.
- We went in together.


I heard Mr. Potts' confession
before he died.

Did he say anything that might
be important?

I can't break
the seal of the confessional.

How convenient.

Everyone's lips appear
to be sealed.

These men have lost a friend,

Surely this can wait?

Very well, but I will need
to take statements

from all of you in due course.

Go to your rooms and pray for him.

Perhaps we should
inspect the tower...?

I think I can manage thank you,
Father Brown.

I'll see you back in Kembleford.

This is what happens

when the men lack leadership.

I have to inform the bishop.

You don't look well, Rector.

Maybe a lie down in the office?

I have all this in hand.

Father Brown.

Surely you know this
room is out of bounds.

No suicide note,
in case you were wondering.

I suggest you leave now,
before I call for the inspector.

You told the inspector that
Potts was unstable.

Suicide is a mortal sin.

Diminished responsibility carries
a small hope of salvation.

Are you protecting Mr. Potts
or yourself?

I won't have this seminary
mired by another scandal.

Last summer's retreat,

you chaperoned the students.

The night Douglas Hitchens died...

A tragic accident.

The burden of guilt must
weigh heavily.

You've outstayed your welcome,
Father Brown.

I'm not sure the rector would
agree with you.

Father Palfreyman is indisposed,

which means I'm in charge.

If you're not on your bike within
the next five minutes,

I'll have you escorted
from the premises.

That won't be necessary.

I've been asked to leave.

I'm tempted to come with you.

You're needed here.

Why would Potts choose
to remove himself

from God's saving grace?

I'm not convinced he did.

The alternative doesn't
bear scrutiny.


These men are being
trained for the priesthood!

Potts was found with
a cross around his neck.

Well, it's not unusual.

It was enamelled
with cryptic symbols.

They found one like that
on Hitchens.

Fourth shelf down, under the stairs,
his personal effects.

Does this mean anything to you?

Beyond the crossed
keys of St Peter

and the clasped hands
of friendship, no.

This can't be just coincidence.

You're not seriously suggesting

the two deaths are connected?

Something terrible
happened by the lake.

Something the faithful
colluded to hide.

That is a heinous accusation.

If Potts was killed to hide
a secret...

We must question the seminarians

and find the truth.

I don't think Father Lewis will
agree to that.

Then what do you suggest?

If there is a murderer in Upcott,

we need to flush him out.

A game of cat and mouse.

I was thinking more of a mole.

- I couldn't possibly.
- A keen seminarian,

- a bit wet behind the ears.
- It wouldn't be ethical.

Easy to confide in...

Where do you propose to find him?

A trainee priest!
I've been to mass once in 15 years.

Perhaps it does require
a certain leap of faith.

The man is practically a heathen!

- There's no need for that.
- For once I agree with Mrs. M.

He'd need to remember his catechism.

- Mass prayers.
- And the order of responses.

I could think of one now,
if I weren't in polite company.

A priest has to carry himself with a
certain manner,

modest and dignified.

- And as for a vow of celibacy...
- I'd need help, of course.

I know my basic tenets.

Even if you don't always
act on them.

Perhaps it's a bad idea.

Not your finest hour, Father.

Given the material
we have to work with.

The good Lord himself would be
put to the pin of his collar.

You don't think I can do it.

We'll have to leave it
to the Kembleford police.

No, Sid Carter never
ducks a challenge.

Five shillings says I can
pull it off.


- Done.
- A few Hail Marys,

how hard can it be?
Oh, hello?

The four cardinal virtues...

Prudence, justice,

temperance and...

Don't tell me...


- Fortitude.
- That's what I said.

I'd better offer up a prayer
to Saint Jude,

patron saint of lost causes.

Right, you can take that off
and I'll sew it.

Your ministry placement...
must be a formality.

It's awaiting the
bishop's approval.

I still haven't lined up
a suitable parish.

I thought you could
put in a word for me?

Now that Potts is gone,
we need to stick together.

This time next month,
I'll be ordained.

- We go our separate ways.
- And what about our pledge?

I'll be making vows to God.

One word from me
and I could ruin you,

destroy this temple
and everything it stands for.

And where would you be
without the Church?

Back in the gutter where
you came from.

You could take me with you.

- You'd only hold me back.
- Is that what you said to Potts?

- You seriously think I pushed him?
- You tell me.

And where were you exactly
when he fell?

Prayers in the chapel.
We went in together. Remember?

I'll speak to Father Lewis.

See what I can do.

I'd appreciate that.

Sidney Carter. Diocese of Southwark.

It's a pleasure to
make your acquaintance.

He sounds like
a door-to-door salesman.

And as for that
hand-me-down cassock...

It was the best I could do under
trying circumstances.

The Father has filled out
a little in recent years.

I'm never going
to pull this off.

Don't slouch, Sidney,
it really isn't priestly.

You're all here.

I trust your rounds were
fortuitously blessed?

You don't think
the glasses are too much?

I think they make him look cerebral.

I've spoken to Father Palfreyman.

He's expecting his new
arrival tonight.

- Heaven help us all!
- It will take a miracle.

God, our Father,

please send us holy priests

all for the sacred
and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

all for the sorrowful
and Immaculate Heart of Mary

in union with Saint Joseph.

- Amen.
- Amen.

By Jove, I think he's ready.

Rise and shine.

- What time is it?
- Quarter to six.

You'll get used to the bed.

Like sleeping on a sack
of bleeding spuds.

- If you'll pardon my French.
- This was Potts' room.

- The man who jumped off the roof?
- You heard?

Terrible business.

God rest his soul.

We called him Doubting Thomas.

The rigours of a parish would
never have suited him.

I'm Mr. Risley, just next door.

Sidney Carter, Diocese of Southwark.

It's a pleasure to meet
your acquaintance.

Better get dressed.
I'll show you the ropes.

I'm a priest.

Morning prayers and Adoration,
Lectio Divina.

Then practical theology
with Father Lewis.

- Meditation, homiletics...
- Do we ever get time off?

Two hours a day for study groups.

Recreation after supper.

I like to put mine to good use.
There's the allotment to tend to,

kitchen duties,
when they need extra hands.

You certainly like to keep busy.

My reward will be in Heaven.

True enough.

Maybe you could volunteer?
Douglas used to help me.

- Douglas Hitchens?
- Hitch and I were friends.

- So, this is the new boy?
- I'm taking good care of him.

Pipe down, Risley,
you're giving me earache.

You could have
timed your arrival better.

Yes, I heard about Mr. Potts.

We miss his communion. Upcott
won't be the same without him.

He must have been tested
to end it all that way.

- You seem to know a lot about it.
- Seminary gossip.

Gossipers speak
of the failings of others,

which is why the Church
sees it as a sin!

Of course, Father.

- Mr. Carter joins us from Allen Hall.
- That's right.

How's Father Pinkerton these days?

Still a martyr to his gout?

He certainly doesn't like to
suffer in silence.

That certainly
sounds like Father Pinkerton.

I see you've all
met our newcomer, Mr. Cartwright.

Here upon my personal

Free from the flesh pots
of Londinium.

I've left all that behind me,

Good to see you back on your feet,

Thank you for your concern,

Shall we go in?

New seminarians
are always welcome.

Ciaran Wolfe.
Welcome to Upcott.

Glad to be here.

If you want to fit in around here,
you'll learn to keep your head down.

I'd keep well clear of Wolfe
and his cronies.

They're bad news.

Anyone would think they're
running the place.

There'll be room in the choir
stalls if we're lucky.

I've forgotten my prayer book,
I'll see you in there.

I don't know how you coped,

Cold showers.

Morning, afternoon
and evening prayers.

Lumpy porridge and lumpy beds.

It certainly brings
back memories.

- It's worse than prison.
- Is it?

You said there had been
some developments?

Douglas Hitchens' prayer book.
I found it in Wolfe's room.

That smacks of a man with
a guilty conscience.

That's certainly
worth investigating.

What about Father Lewis?

That man's stare
could turn milk.

Runs a study group.
Bit of a closed shop.

Try and get closer to Mr. Wolfe.

- Gain his trust.
- That's easier said than done.

I've got the college idiot
sticking to me like glue.

Mr. Risley.

I feel a bit sorry for him,
to be honest.

He's short of a friend
since Hitchens died.

I'd better get a wiggle on,

I'll be late for that visit to the
Blessed Sacrament.

We'll rendezvous tomorrow
at the college feast.

Let's hope something comes up.

This collar's beginning to itch.

- You will be careful?
- Are you worried about me, Father.

Don't be,
I've got this one covered.

Hello again.

- You are so naughty.
- So they tell me.


I missed you at vespers last night.

I wasn't feeling too good.
I thought I'd better stay in bed.

Perhaps it was
something you ate?

Wouldn't surprise
me in this place.

When you get dressed, I'll walk
with you to the chapel.

I think I can find
my own way by now.

I thought we were friends?

Well, maybe you jumped the gun.

I welcomed you to Upcott

as a brother in Christ.

Do you know something, Risley?
You're starting to creep me out.

You'd rather spend time with
the fraternity boys.

- What fraternity?
- Mark my words.

Nothing good will come of it.

Father Brown,
what a pleasant surprise!

You invited me...
to the feast.

Yes, of course!

It should be an impressive
display, Father.

And I shall multiply
the fruit of the tree

and the increase of the field.

What more could
we do to celebrate the Assumption.

You will,
as my guest of honour,

be sitting next to me.

I thought we'd seen
the last of you.

I'm full of surprises...

Good to see the lads
enjoying themselves.

Some more than others.

Young Carstairs is
blending in rather well.

Let's hope he keeps his mind
on the task in hand.

You'll like this one.

A rabbi, a vicar
and a priest walk into a pub,

the bartender looks
them up and down,

"What is this,
some kind of joke?"

Top us up, Grisley!
This jug's running dry.

Come on, Grisley Risley.
The boys are thirsty.

That's a lovely apron, Grisley.

- To Upcott!
- To Upcott!

You've made yourself quite at home.

- Mr. Carter's one of us now.
- I wouldn't be too sure of that.

I've been hearing whispers
about this...

fraternity of yours.

You should be careful who
you listen to.

I'm just saying

if ever you're looking
to replace Mr. Potts...

I'll bear that in mind.

I checked with Allen Hall.

They said they'd never heard of you.

Must have been a mistake.

You're a poor excuse for
a priest, Mr. Carter.

All that beer's got to your head.

- Perhaps the blessing?
- The blessing!

If I could have your attention?

This will be my 25th feast

as Rector of Upcott.

It seems like yesterday

that I arrived,
a green academic,

mindful of our illustrious history,

dedicated to God

and to the young men
He has chosen to guide here.

Sadly Thomas Potts
is not here today.

The passing of one our own

has left us with
serious questions,

doubt, recrimination

and understandable sorrow.

But on this
magnificent feast day,

let us put aside our grief,

and celebrate

the powerful redemption
of faith.

Join me, if you will,
in the blessing of the fruits.

Our help is in the name
of the Lord...

- McKenna?
- Help him!

Somebody fetch a doctor!

Thready pulse.

Deadly nightshade.


How's he doing?

He's stable. Thanks to prompt
action by the rector.

These crosses they're wearing,
it's a secret fraternity.

Risley warned me off.

A fraternity hand-picked,
no doubt, by Lewis.

I've called the police.

- Make yourself scarce...
- Gosh,

they were jolly quick.

I'll keep tabs on Wolfe.

McKenna's in the infirmary,
the antidote worked.

- McKenna?
- The seminary doctor's

with him now.

I'm here in connection
with the death of Thomas Potts.

You said in your statement, you
prescribed him a herbal remedy.

A dilution of feverfew
for his headaches.

The body of the deceased
was found to contain

traces of a powerful
hallucinogenic drug.

You're not suggesting that
the rector is culpable?

I'm suggesting it's a possibility.

I don't think so!

Find the infirmary,
check on this McKenna.

I need to ask you
some questions.

You've got the wrong man.

We can do this in your study
or down at the station.

Please, come to my study.
Follow me.

Heaven knows
why I sponsored you.

All you've ever given me is trouble.

You think I had something
to do with this?

I know what you're capable of.

- I made ONE mistake.
- You have sinned against God.

And I have sinned for hiding
what you did.

If this gets out,

I'll lose my placement,

the parish,
everything we've worked for.

You really think
you are fit to be a priest?

You fraternity boys
are dropping like flies.

Maybe I'll pass on the membership.

I don't think you've got
what it takes.

Badge of honour,
the oath of allegiance, come on.

Even Inspector Sullivan will make
the connection in the end.

The police have got nothing on me.

Maybe they'll perk up a bit

when they find
that prayer book of yours.

That's to say
if it's still in your room.

- You devious little sneak.
- You killed Douglas Hitchens.

- I didn't kill anyone.
- You hounded Potts

- to the top of the bell tower...
- Potts jumped.

You poisoned McKenna,
all to save your own skin.

I think...

it's time you confessed,
Mr. Wolfe.

They're searching my study
for evidence.

Not even a warrant!

Deadly nightshade.

Anti inflammatory
in small doses.

- Seer's sage...
- Analgesic,

induces mild euphoria.

Could be hallucinogenic
in larger amounts?

Unpleasant memories,
recurring nightmares.

- A frightening loss of control.
- Mr. Potts.

Someone replaced blackcurrants
with belladonna,

and swapped feverfew flowers
for psychedelic leaves.

Someone who worked
in this garden.

We need to find Mr. Risley.

- Risley. Wolfe? Have you seen him?
- Not since the feast.

I think he murdered Douglas Hitchens.

The vestibule needed cleaning.

It was you?

He needed to pay,
they all did.

This man needs an ambulance.

I can't let you do that,

they'll lock me away.

- Was Mr. Risley in Italy?
- I suppose he must have been.

Overlooked, as always.

For a man of such physical presence,
he's easily missed.


He wears a cilice,
a metal chain around his leg.

When it cuts him,
he bleeds.

Self mortification,
I do not condone!

Suffering for God.

He's never felt good enough.

But why hold
a grudge against his fellows?


They covered up the death
of his only friend.

Would you please fetch
Inspector Sullivan.

I see the top of this tower
as a foretaste of Heaven.

It often leaves me breathless.

I've got no quarrel with you,

You laughed at me at the feast.

Wolfe will get
what's coming to him.

He got away with murder.
He killed Douglas.

Now he knows how it feels to
lose his friends.

- Sid?
- Up here!

Keep away! I'm warning you.

This won't bring Douglas back.

The priesthood was his calling.
They took that away from him.

You can still makes
things right.

Tell the police what you saw,
that night at the lake.

No-one ever listens to me.

I'm listening to you,
Mr. Risley.

They argued,

the fraternity brothers,
a trivial point of theology.

Wolfe lost his temper,
lashed out.

Douglas fell in.
It was dark.

A long way down.

- Go.
- I'm going.

No-one was sorry.
No-one was to blame.

How did that make them
better men?

Mr. Potts was sorry.

You heard him in confession.

The seer's sage made him talk.

But even on the roof,
he mocked me.

Risley, you scared me half to death,
you imbecile.

I had to do it.
Don't you see?

Without the shedding of blood,
there can be no remission.

Murder, Mr. Risley,

is not the shedding
of blood for remission.

Father Brown?


Bless me, Father,
for I have sinned.

I'm writing to the bishop,
the rector's a liability.

Time they put him out to grass.

They've arrested Mr. Risley

for crimes

against your fraternity.

- And Mr. Wolfe?
- They'll patch him up.

Then charge him in connection
with the death of Douglas Hitchens.

I founded the fraternity
to make them better men.

Two of your charges are dead.

Your pastoral care
has been somewhat remiss.

They came to me for help.

Would you have condemned them?
Ruined more lives?

I don't know.

Ordination changes souls,

purges sin.

I wanted to save them.

Well, you failed.

Sid Carter?
I'm taking you in.

On what grounds?

- Impersonating a priest.
- That's not even a crime!

Fraud, deception,
breach of the peace,

I'm sure I can think of more.

- It was all my idea.
- I'm only too aware of that.

- This is harassment!
- Don't worry, Sid,

we'll soon have you out.

I'm not getting in there,
not with him.

I don't suppose there's any
chance of a lift?

No, thought not.

I've tendered my
resignation with the bishop.

Effective forthwith.

Upcott needs a man with more vigour.

They'll have their work cut out.

Truth is I've been
becoming rather forgetful.

- Really?
- Yes.

They're sending an interim
rector from Aberystwyth.

Where will you go?

The Christian Brothers
said they'd take me in.

I'll spend the rest of my days
in quiet contemplation.

Upcott won't be the same
without you.

And I won't be the same
without Upcott.

You will visit?

Try and keep me away.

I shall need butter, soap,

fortuitous racing tips.

If you open the bottle,
we'll drink to the future.

Four hours in a police cell. They
have not heard the last of this.

At least he didn't charge you.

I cannot wait to get
out of this cassock.

I don't know how you ride
a bike in these things.

For the collection, Father.

Most generous of you, madam.
Go with God.

Red Lion. She's buyin'.
Things are looking up.

And there was I hoping for a
Damascene conversion.

- You'd be lucky!
- That belongs to the church, Sidney!

I won't tell if you won't!

It's for leaky roofs and orphans!

- Sidney! That is ten shillings!
- I know!

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