Father Brown (2013–…): Season 6, Episode 1 - The Tree of Truth - full transcript

Father Brown attempts to overturn a miscarriage of justice while rehearsing for the Kembleford Christmas pantomime.

♪ In heav'n the bells are ringing

♪ Ding dong merrily on high. ♪

You are one cheeky madam! Hmm.

Good to see nothing's changed.

Sidney! Hello, Sid!

We weren't expecting you until

Yeah, I cadged a lift on the
diplomatic flight, didn't I?

How's Aunt Fliss?

Yes, she's good.
Sends her love. Oh, she's got news.

One for you. One for you.

And this comes with strict
instructions to

open before Christmas.

I hope this will go perfectly with
your sage twinset

for the WI Committee dinner.

The Duchess of Windsor has an
identical one.

Ghastly woman, but there's no

she does have impeccable taste.


I don't know what they've been
feeding you,

but you're all skin and bones.

It's good to be home. Sit down. Sit
down there.

Plans for the holiday, Sid?

Oh, you know, Mrs M's home-cooked
food, and a nice quiet Christmas.

Oh! Oh! That is... Oh!

Any idea who she is?

Well, the money's
on Scarlett Dreyfuss. December 1946.

The papers called it
the Red Riding Hood murder.

Did a Big Bad Wolf get her?

She was leading lady
in the Christmas pantomime.

Left after the dress rehearsal,
and was never seen again.

Next day, the cleaning lady finds
the bed unslept in.

And downstairs, there's blood
and signs of a struggle.

How did they know it was murder?

A local man confessed,

though he wouldn't say what
he did with the body.

Currently serving
life in HMP Wynchurch.

Well, that's something.

What a waste.

Have I missed something?

The pantomime's being
held at the Haydock this year,

so they need a much larger cast.

No chance. Spend my holiday
cooped up in a theatre?

No, thank you. Mind you, Mrs M,
you're the old pro.

Well, I was roped
in for Fairy Godmother

while on tour with my late husband.

And I hear Father Brown is
quite the thespian.

Pontius Pilate.

I think I gave a convincing

The reviewer said it was murderous.

Speaking of which, remember this?

I spy the honourable
Penelope Windermere.

Quite the box office draw.

Let's pray she can sing and act.

They won't be coming to listen
to her.

I hope you don't expect me to
audition. Douglas.

Douglas, shake a leg
and let them in.

And may God have
mercy on our souls.

Good afternoon. I'm Prudence Bovary,
the artistic director.

Leading players, Rose Marie Sturgess

and Dr Eugene Cornelius.

And my son Douglas - our stage
manager, actor, and pianist.

Aren't there a lot of you?

Right. Douglas.

Who are you reading for?

Prince Charming! It's played by a
girl. Next!


Bunty Windermere,
auditioning for Cinderella.

I don't think so, dear.

Sleeping in the cinders.

That's how I got my name.

Ever since my father died, things
haven't been the same.

Except mother bosses me around.
That's just the way it goes.

Like the ash in the fireplace,
she does get up my nose.


Are you ready? One. One, two, three.

This is Bridget McCarthy,
auditioning for the Fairy Godmother.

At the stroke of midnight, please
beware - these things return to

what they were. Your gown returns to
rags and cloak.

Your pumpkin is no more a coach.

But dance, be gay, perchance to
meet -

a prince to sweep you off
your feet.

Young man! How tall are you?

Six foot two, why? Name?

Sidney Carter. Whoa, whoa,
whoa - I'm not auditioning.

No, I'm just here for moral support.


Dear God!

The lights turn blue. It is dead

What do I fear?

Myself? There is none else here.

Richard loves Richard.

That is, I am who I am.

Is there a murderer here? No.

Yes, I am. Then fly.

Who from, myself?

Thank you.

Yes, sir?

Tell me about Benedict Clough.

Benny? Nice lad, but simple,
if you get my drift.

Made a living making bicycle

And Scarlett Dreyfuss?

A newcomer,
rather racy for these parts.

Two ex-husbands and a roving eye.

She must have ruffled a few

She ruffled Benny's, all right.

He followed her round like Mary's
little lamb.

So when she went missing
he was number one suspect?

He was spotted bicycling home in the
vicinity with scratches on his face.

When the police turned up to
question him, he bolted.

And when apprehended,
confessed his socks off.

"I did something bad to
Miss Scarlett."

Tried to assault her.
When she fought back, he panicked.

Caved her skull in with a doorstop.

Did he, now?

Why all the interest
in a closed case?

Because according to the

Benedict Clough's confession
was a pack of lies.

Fairy Godmother...

Bunty Windermere.

I know you had your heart set...

No, no, no, that's wonderful.
Don't you worry about me.

And you are...


An indispensable part of any

Yes, yes, of course it is.

And Father Brown is Daisy.

And so is Sid.

That's a mistake.
I didn't even audition.

And how can you have two Daisys?

I think there is only one Daisy,
but she's in two halves.

The house is all decorated.

Holly and ivy, and all the old
decorations, except for the tree,

which I'm saving for Christmas

Padre. I'd say this was a nice

but then I'd be lying on both

Benny isn't very fond of the police,

so they thought it best
a chaperone was present.

Benny, this is Inspector Mallory.

He's not as scary as he looks.

Does he know when I'm going home?

I'm afraid not,
but I do have some questions.

In your confession, you said you hit
Scarlett on the head with

a doorstop, which you then buried
with the body?

We found the body. And there's no
signs of skull trauma.

Or a murder weapon.

When arrested, you said, "I did
something bad to Miss Scarlett".

Can you explain what you meant?

She said I'd go to hell. Nonsense.

God forgives everyone who confesses
their sins and tells the truth.

I had a delivery for Miss Scarlett.

I saw her car in the theatre.

So I went in...

Bad boy! Playing Peeping Tom
on naked ladies! I wasn't.

You'll go to hell for that.

I brought your nerve
powder from Dr Cornelius.

Was it worth it, Benny? Did you like
what you saw?

There was no mention of this
in your statement.

Benny can't read.

The policeman wrote it and said

if I signed it, then I'd be
home in time for Christmas.

Lying's a Ten Commandment,
isn't it, Father?

Number nine. Loud and clear.

What about in court?
Why did you plead guilty?

Ma said it was for the best.

Maybe I should have a
word with your ma.

She doesn't like policemen.

I'll take a chaperone.

Buttons, beware...

Buttons, beware...

The tree of truth will hear a lie.

The tree of truth will hear a lie
and drop an apple in your eye.

Good luck, Buttons.

Is there a girl you love, Buttons?


There is! Is she someone I know?

No. Ow...

I think you're fibbing,
Buttons. Who is she?

It's... it's...

Too early! Wait for the cue.

Again, please!

Be a brick, Barbara,
and gather up the apples.

Er, it's Bridg...

I was expecting something
rather more festive.

If you mean the letters,
I write what he wants to hear.

Benny loved Christmas. This place
would look like Santa's grotto.

When they took him away,
I burnt the lot.

What's the point of Christmas
without a child?

Scarlett Dreyfuss....

Was a succubus.

Two Cs, one B. Thank you.

Any male was fair game, even
a child in a man's body like Benny.

Tell me about these other men?

Ask that amateur dramatics lot.

And then ask yourself why the police
didn't interview them at the time.

Mrs Clough.

As you clearly believe your son is
innocent, why did you get him

to plead guilty?

To save him from the noose.

A guilty plea in return for a
reduced charge of manslaughter.

Your DI Jones was very...


DI Jones passed away last year.

I'm on the case now
and if there has been any

irregularity, you have my word
it will be investigated.

And you can keep your nose out.

This made you angry?


And did you express your anger?

It's happening again!

That's another fine mess
you've got me into.

That's showbiz, Sid!

If anyone sees a cloak with a hood,
I need it for the forest scene.

Ow! Sidney!

You look like a fairy tale!

It's a bit big.

Well, a few alterations will
soon fix that.

I read all about the Red Riding
Hood murder.

I suppose she was a friend of yours?

She was a piece of work.

Translation - she stole the leading
lady role from under your nose.

I meant poor Douglas.

He was engaged to a nice WAAF before
she got her claws in him.

And that ghastly scene
at the dress rehearsal!

I can't. Not here. I can't.

Something tells me that you can.

You stupid, stupid boy.

You do know he's engaged to
be married?

Maybe he can make an honest woman
out of me, instead.

Then the flash pot went off,

and Douglas had one of his episodes
and bolted.

He'll marry the likes of you over my
dead body.


He had a bad war.

I was treating him for shell shock,
and he was responding well until...

we're a wardrobe mistress short.

Think you can double with
prompt, Barbara?

Well, I'm not sure I'm qualified,
and it is Bridget.

That's the spirit. You can
start by sorting this lot out.

The police need to speak to us
about Scarlett.

They're in the scene dock.

Well, you don't think any of us
did it?

I'm merely following up on some
loose ends.

And as Miss Dreyfuss was last seen
alive in the theatre...

Well, my husband will vouch for me.

He most certainly can.

Sir. Superintendent.

At ease, lads.
It's plain Mr Sturgess now.

I wasn't aware.

This gorgeous creature's my wife.

And how's retirement treating you,
sir... Mr Sturgess?

As you see, she's roped me
in as Baron Hardup.

And why all the interest in the
Dreyfuss case?

A word in private.

Should I say something?

Say what, exactly? You will say
nothing to the police, Douglas.

And we discovered he may have been
duped into signing it by DI Jones.

Who is unfortunately deceased
and thus unable to defend himself.

But, sir... It's a can of worms.

You want the public thinking
we left a killer on the loose?

I'd call that a catastrophic own
goal for community relations.

Is that clear, son?

Perfectly, Mr Sturgess.

On the subject of which,
we're still short on cast,

and I'm sure the public would
appreciate a police

involvement in such
a community event.

Happy to oblige, sir.

Good man. Good men.

Found you some volunteers, Pru...

Lucky for you, I've no
intention of dropping anything.

We can do some sniffing around.

I'm sure we can manage seventh
and eighth villager.

I'm sorry, sir.

Oh, you will be, Sergeant.

Oh, they're a lovely fit.

Here are your scripts, and we'll see
you at rehearsals tomorrow.

And when you're finished with those,
just hang them up on the rail.

Will you help me out of my dress,
sir, please?

♪ I'm all a-quiver
when the moonbeams dance

♪ That is the moment
when I long to dance

♪ I can never close a sleepy eye

♪ When the moon comes creeping
through the sky. ♪

Is this what you were looking for?

If you're a fairy, can you grant me
three wishes?

Ugh! Where did you find that?

In one of the costume trunks.
Is something wrong?

Prompt! Prompt!

Who do you think I am?
The genie of the lamp?

Is something wrong?

That's Red Riding Hood's cloak.

Dead woman's cloak.
She wore it on the day she died.

Very well. One. But be careful what
you wish for, Buttons.

The tree of truth hears everything.
Exit stage right. Lights down.

Something to share, Mrs McCarthy?

If she wouldn't be seen dead in
this, then I'm wondering why was

her address found in the pocket?

I think you're fibbing, Buttons.
Who is she?

Oh, how wonderful!

Oh, how wonderful, tickets for the
royal ball.

Think of it as detention.
There might be something we missed.

And it's more productive than
writing out 100 times,

"I must not volunteer my superior
officer for the part

"of Ugly Sister".

Actually, sir, we did miss something
or rather, something's missing.

Benny Clough made
deliveries near Scarlett's

house on the evening in question.

All were followed up
and statements taken.

But there's one missing.
Made by a Peggy Semple.

And she is?

No idea, sir. There's no
record of her locally.

You sure it isn't just misfiled?
No, sir.

You can see where the
staple has been taken out

and where it's been re-stapled.

Quite the Dr Watson.

Good luck, Buttons.

Is there a girl you love, Buttons?



There is! Is she someone I know?



I think you're fibbing, Buttons.
Who is she?

It's... it's...


What's the prognosis, Doctor?

Sadly, I am a doctor of philosophy,
not medicine.

I thought... your clinic...

I practise psychodynamic therapy,

focusing on psychological
functioning and change. Ah.

But I can tell you he's in a deep
coma and not expected to wake up.

Silly boy. It was his own fault.

He was in charge of numbering
the ropes.

but his head's been all over
the place since...

Since Scarlett's body was

Forgive me for eavesdropping,
but I overheard him

saying he wanted to
go to the police.

The night Scarlett went missing...

..he didn't come home after
leaving the theatre.

Staggered back at dawn
covered in mud and leaves.

Couldn't remember where he'd been or
what he'd done, but...

..when Benny confessed,
I could see the relief in his eyes.

And then the police started
questioning his conviction.

Douglas was getting flashbacks to
the woods that night,

and he was frightened.

Of what he might remember?

I wouldn't have blamed him.

Douglas and Lizzie, his fiancee,
were made for each other.

She was even prepared to
forgive his... blip with Scarlett.

Idiot boy broke it off anyway.
"I'm not worthy."

Now I wonder if it's because he
thought she'd be marrying a killer.

I will pray for him.

Shall I take this
back to the theatre?

I expect they'll be needing it.

Of course, Father.
The show must go on.

How are you planning on getting
into heaven

if you're scared of heights, Father?

I'm sincerely hoping there's
an escalator. What can you see?

They're all numbered and there's
a list on the blackboard.

Line 3, apple bucket.

Yeah, you were right, Father.
Up here it says eight.

I wanted to ask if you recognise
the name Peggy Semple?

She always gave me milk
and biscuits for the ride home.

You made a delivery to her the night
Scarlett went missing.

Not to Peggy - she's the maid.
To Miss Sturgess.

Peggy Semple is the Sturgess' maid?

I had the wrong prescription from
Dr Cornelius. She got angry.

She hit me.

Hey, you, wait.

It's the wrong one.

Well, this isn't mine!

Where's mine? Hmm?

Is it in there?

I ain't got anything else!

There's no need to get in a tizz.
Let's get you inside,

we can call the doctor
and sort it out.

Thank you Benny.
That's very helpful.

Does it mean I can go home?

I'm working on it, son.

Peggy left us years ago.

Got married to a drayman from Largs

and was off without
a by-your-leave.

Do you recollect her account
of events on the evening that

Scarlett Dreyfuss disappeared?

Would you mind explaining
where this is leading?

The statement is missing, sir.

And for one thing, it could explain

the scratches on Benny Clough's

I told you to stop flogging
that dead horse.

With respect, that isn't your
prerogative any more, Mr Sturgess.

Friendly warning, boys.

I may be retired,
but one phone call from me

and you'll both spend the rest
of your careers directing traffic.

Do I make myself clear?

♪ Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen

♪ When the snow lay 'round about
Deep and crisp and even... ♪

Now what, sir?

You heard the man.

Any more digging
and we'll be on traffic duty.

There is something you could try.

You mean someone.

Think of it like Christmas Day
on the Somme.

The German
and British football match.

The German
and British football match.

No-man's-land. Different sides,
but playing the same game.

Then on Boxing Day, it's back to
knocking seven bells

out of each other?


Lad seems barely older
than our John.

Perhaps you can get on the
blower to him upstairs.

Ask for a miracle and get him
home in time for Christmas.

You only had to ask.

Forgot my car keys.

Did no-one teach you to knock?

Oh, you wouldn't believe
the gaps in my education.


I think Douglas saw
someone in the woods.

And when his memory started
to return

they tampered with the rope numbers

Oh, Sidney. Sorry.

And why did Scarlett have
Rose Marie's address in her pocket?

Which leads us
back to the missing statement.

Retired Superintendent Sturgess is
starting to look fishier than


What is he hiding?

I think I might hazard a guess.

Dandini, exit stage left.

Left! And thank you, Hernia.

Ooh, how wonderful.
Tickets for the royal ball.

Yes, and I hear the Prince has
the largest balls in all the land.

Ooh, you are a one.

Can we have that a bit harder?

Ooh, you are a one.

Right, there's going to be a change
of cast. I'm Hernia. He's Vulgaria.

If that's all right with you,

Now I suggest
we start from Dandidini leaving,

giving me
the tickets for the ball, yes?

Thank you, Prudence.

Ooh, you are a one.


Do that again and I'll...
I'll box your ears.

You can't box.
Can she, boys and girls?

Oh, yes, she can. Et cetera.

Then pick up from Hernia,
"Show me, then."

Show me, then.

White heroin is my guess. You can't
get that on prescription.

And that address label was identical

to the one found in
Scarlett's cloak.

Benny delivered nerve powders to
Scarlett. Yes, of course.

Care to share it?

Benny can't read.
He mixed up the prescriptions.

Naughty Rose Marie.

But this isn't mine.

And Rose Marie got Scarlett's.

Where's mine? Is it in there?

I haven't got anything else.

Cornelius isn't a physician.
He's a Doctor of Philosophy.

So the good doctor supplies
Rose Marie with something rather

more efficacious than nerve

The Superintendent's junkie missus
in possession of illegal drugs.

You can see why he'd
want to keep that quiet.

It's all starting to make sense.

Scarlett found out about

Rose Marie's dirty little secret
and confronted her.

He'd be ruined if it got out.

That's one big motive for murder.

Speculation, though.
You can't actually prove it.

Which means we're back to
square one.

There is a way. But we'll have to
wait till daylight.


Well, then, is this our man?

Hello, old chap. You
look like you've been in the wars.

Does this look like nerve powder to

This is all very cloak-and-dagger.

The tree of truth. I thought
it rather apt.

Don't worry about another accident.

Although why would you,
seeing as you planned it?

I've heard you fancy yourself
as the local Miss Marple.

Tell me why I would wish to harm

as inoffensive as poor Douglas?

Because he was in the woods
the night Scarlett disappeared,

and saw something he shouldn't.

I take it you mean me. Fascinating.

So in addition to the attempted
murder of Douglas, you are also

accusing me of Scarlett's murder?

No. Not at all.

I think we both know
she died by her own hand.

Pray go on.

Benny mixed up the prescriptions.

Rose Marie wasn't your only addict.

I'm reliably informed that this is
cocaine - intended for Scarlett.

But instead she received
something far more deadly.

White heroin
intended for Rose Marie.

Where did you find that?

In Benny's saddlebag. He was
arrested before he could return it.

Benny made deliveries
for the whole village.

There's nothing to
connect that with me.

And if the police questioned you,
you'd just deny it.

And sue you for slander for good

Some would argue that the right man
was punished for the crime.

An interesting perspective.

If Benny hadn't mixed up
the packages...

Finally, someone with some sense.

Idiot boy got what he deserved.

Rose Marie alerted
you to the switch?

Scarlett was vapid and greedy.
Wouldn't think to check what it was.

And if she believed it to be cocaine
and inhaled it -

the results would've been fatal.

When she didn't answer her
telephone, I drove to her house.

I knew it would be traced back to me

It seemed expedient to
dispose of the evidence.

And that was when you saw Douglas?

I could see he was in a fugue state
and would have no recollection.

When the simpleton confessed,
it was karma.

The gods' way of telling me
I wasn't to blame.

Easier to let an innocent
go to jail.

Feed him and keep him warm,
and I doubt he knows the difference.

A being of no function to society,
whereas I...

You are a common drug peddler.

Condemning your victims to a long,
slow death of body and soul.

Desperate wives in gilded cages.

I give these women a reason to live.

You give them a reason not to live.

Dr Cornelius,

an admission would be the first step
toward repentance and God's grace.

Fascinating as this has been,

my only concern is with earthly

And as none of it can be proved,

at least I'll escape that.

Oh, no, you won't.

Behind you.

Did you get all that, Sergeant?

Yes, sir, I did.

Good. Eugene Cornelius...

"..has been charged with attempted
murder, unlawful burial

"and supply of illegal drugs."

Oh, and Rose Marie's in front
of the bench,

which is a five-minute wonder,

but at least she's getting

The doctors say I should talk to him
in case he can hear me.

I hope he can.

I don't want him to die
thinking he was a murderer.

Have you come to pray?

Not on this occasion. No.

Come in.

Hello, Prudence.

Hello, Douglas.

Sometimes love is the most
powerful prayer.

Fairy Godmother!
Has anyone seen Fairy Godmother?

We've half an hour till curtain

I call that cutting it fine.

Oh, nonsense. Stage fright.

Honey and lemon will do the trick.

Disaster. We can't do Cinderella
without a fairy godmother!

Who the blazes is Bridget?

I am. She is.

I can't possibly.

But I have nothing to wear.

Welcome, good folk one and all.

Let me be your guiding hand,

and lead you through this magic

Phew, sis, that was close!

It's behind you!

It's what, sorry?


Ow! You do that again
and I'll box your ears.

You can't box.
Can she, boys and girls?

Oh, yes, she can!

Oh, no, she can't.

Oh, yes, she can!

Oh, no, she can't.

Oh, yes, she can!

Right, come on, show me, then.

You said go left,
you always go left!

Mice medley, go! That's it.

Right to the other side of the

Good news. Benny's being released -
he'll be home tomorrow.

On Christmas Eve. How mirac...

Back on your feet, Hernia!
You've got the ballroom!

Not in this corset, I haven't.
Come on, sir, up you get.

I suppose you felt sorry for me.

Well, I do not need your pity.

Oh, typical. It's all about you.

Well, you knew that I was worse
than Pontius Pilate,

but you would have let me go out

to the ruin of my reputation!

Yes. I mean, no.
you were making a great improvement.

Fairy Godmother!
Transformation scene!

Ask yourself this -
what would my aunt say?

Chop, chop, Barbara!

Nice work, Penelope.

Cinderella. You shall go to the

Let me fit my foot
in the crystal slipper.

You couldn't fit your foot
in Crystal Palace!

My gift to you of joy and laughter,

as you live happily ever after.


Oh, it's so good to have you home!

I'm sorry I lied.

It just wasn't Christmas on my own.

But next year, I promise we'll make
it the best one ever.

Yeah, next year. The best one ever!

Merry Christmas, Mrs Clough.

Do you mind moving aside?
This thing's damn heavy.

Merry Christmas!

We thought you could do with
a transfusion of Christmas cheer.

One turkey, fully prepared.

So all you have to do is pop
it in the oven tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

♪ Ding dong merrily on high
In heav'n the bells are ringing

♪ Ding dong verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing. ♪

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Merry Christmas!

♪ Gloria Hosanna in excelsis!

♪ Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers. ♪