Father Brown (2013–…): Season 7, Episode 3 - The Whistle in the Dark - full transcript

A professor in serious debt invites collectors to his home to bid on an ancient whistle that summons the dead.

Colonel, I think I ought to tell
you that my own views on

such subjects are very strong.

I am, in fact, a convinced

in what is called the

"What?!" said the Colonel, "Do you
mean to tell me you don't believe in

"second-sight, or ghosts,
or anything of that kind?"

I blew a whistle twice,

and the wind seemed to come
absolutely in answer to my call.

There was a rustling and shaking,

surely more than any rat
could cause.

But the reader will hardly,

perhaps, imagine how dreadful it was
to him to see a figure

suddenly sit up in what
he had known to be an empty bed.

Argh! All right, all right.
That's enough.

Come on, come on out,
that's it, come on out.

It's getting late. You've got school
tomorrow. All right, Mummy.

Put your coats on.

Next time, maybe you can tell them
something a bit less ghastly.

Well, it's a classic.

A whistle that summons
supernatural forces?

Ah, yes, the whistle is a metaphor,
you see.

Well, your "metaphor" is going to
keep the children up half the night.

All right. Next time it'll be
Goldilocks And The Three Bears,

I promise. Um...

Dad, it's all right.

You don't have to keep... The
children need clothes, don't they?

You sure you can afford it?

Don't you worry about me.

You're all that matters.

You and those children.

Now, Henry and Margaret,
you are to be good to your mother.

And remember...

..ghosts only
exist in books.

In real life,
there is no such thing.

Come on.




Fascinating. So you've finally seen
the light?

I don't think I'm ready to give up
the cassock just yet... Damn.

..but I look forward to arguing with
you at length over Russell's

more questionable assertions
on religion.

I've been saving a bottle of brandy
for just such an occasion.

Tonight? I can't tonight, erm...but
we'll make an arrangement soon.


Try not to fall asleep at the wheel.

We're parked.

Looks like you've got to be going.

Evening picnic.

I don't fancy your chances.

Mrs McCarthy has set her heart
on it.

And besides, I have my trusty

I suspect you're going to be
needing it.

Well, I must dash now,
got some papers to mark.

So I'll see you soon.


No, definitely not there.

I'm sure I packed them.


There's nothing strange about it.

How much sleep did you get
last night?

Or more to the point,
how much alcohol did you consume?

I was at a friend's birthday party!

It doesn't make sense.

It makes perfect sense to me.

It explains why she forgot to pack
my strawberry scones.

You'll have a perfectly fine picnic
without strawberry scones.

Don't be so ridiculous.

Robert prides himself on
his rationalism.

What? Who? There's something wrong.

What are you talking about?

I need to go back to the
Professor's. I can give you a lift.

No, thanks.




Robert, so sorry to disturb
your marking.

Car broken down.

May I use your telephone?

Yes, it's a gift from my brother.

He has an ironic sense of humour.

You know where the blower is.

More irony?

Are you going to make
your telephone call?

The car didn't break down, did it?

Robert, what's going on?

I'm having a party.

A party? With an occult theme.

Just a bit of fun.

And you didn't invite me?

I didn't think it was appropriate.

What's in the box?

I'm sorry, Father, but my guests
will be arriving any moment.

I don't want to be rude, but...


Don't worry.

I'll be on my best behaviour.

Wait here.

Major Winthrop. Thank you so much

I'm warning you - if this is a con,
I'll have your guts for breakfast.

I won't be fooled, Wiseman.
I won't be fooled.

Understood. But I can assure you...

Where is it?

Through here.

Of course.

Something of that power.

I'll bet the Church would pay
anything to get their hands on it.

I'm rich, but I'm not that rich.

I'm sorry?

You didn't tell me there was
interest from the Vatican.

Father Brown's a friend,
and he was just leav...


Please, go.

I will explain everything later.

Go? And miss the party?


Dorothy Parnell. It is a pleasure
and an honour to...

The cloves.

Quickly, quickly.

This house needs to be cleansed.

The energy here is unsettled.

Duly noted.


Archie. My son.

Just ignore him.

Dorothy Parnell.

Major Basil Winthrop.

Is the military bidding?

Is that a problem?

It's not a weapon. You can't bend
its power to your will.

And you can?

No-one can.

We must simply submit to it.

Let it guide us.

What are we talking about?

The whistle, of course.



You can't control it.

You're a fool if you think you can.

With all due respect, Dotty -
may I call you, Dotty? -

why should I listen to you?

My mother is a renowned
psychic medium.

Our final guest.

Lilith Crowe. A pleasure.

Major Basil Winthrop. Dorothy...

Dorothy Parnell.

Have we met?

I attended one of your public
readings many years ago.

Did I read for you?

For my mother. You helped her
through a very difficult time.

Thank you.

Oh, my dear.

What's your interest in this?

I'm a collector.
Of whistles?

Of objets d'art.

This isn't a pretty little ornament
for your dressing table, you know.

Where is it? It's in the next room.

I can feel it. Yes.

It's in the dining room.

That's all well and dandy,
but I shall require a little more

evidence than the FEELINGS
of an old woman.

Oh! What's that, my dear?


Oh, yes, he is, isn't he?

It's Philip. My late husband.

He says you're a pompous ass.

And he says, "Tuck your shirt in."

Sorry, Father.

And that's from him.

I promise you, before this night is

you will all be convinced of the
whistle's power

beyond a shadow of a doubt.

What power?


Nothing like a refreshing downpour
to liven up a picnic.

Everything is absolutely sodden.


..you'll have to save what you can
and throw the rest away.



I hope he's still not out in that

Well, we would've passed him.

He must still be at the Professor's.
I'll go pick him up.

You will do no such thing!

I'm not scared of a bit of
thunder and lightning.


Maybe I will wait until it's over.

Oh, Whistle And I'll Come to you,
My Lad.

Published in 1904 by MR James.

The story of a whistle...

Yes, yes, yes, we've read the story.
Get on with it.

I have reason to believe that James
was inspired

not just by his imagination...

..but by historical fact.

A genuine whistle with genuine
supernatural properties.

So you said in your letter.

You also promised us proof.

The Fourth Book Of
Occult Philosophy, 1655.

A recently discovered footnote makes
reference to a whistle

possessing mystical qualities dating
back to the mid-15th century.

And this extract from the journal of
Benedict Augustus,

a Franciscan friar, tells the same

elaborating on its construction.

He writes that the whistle was
carved from the skull of

Catherine Woodford,
a heretic burned at the stake.

It was created by her father,
a master of the occult.

How did you acquire the object?

I found it. Found it?

At the excavation of a Medieval
burial site.

How can we be sure it's real?

Because I've used it.

I have seen its power.

And you will too.


Mother, we should leave.

Don't be a coward.

Just blow the damn thing!


Was that it? No. That
was just a draught.

The spirits won't reveal themselves
at once,

they'll come in their own time.

How long are we supposed to wait?

It could take hours.

I've prepared rooms.


What's wrong?

He's gone.


Why are you doing this?

I'm a believer.

I've seen it with my own eyes.

But you have always said
we should not trust our own eyes.

I was wrong.

I don't believe you.

Then, perhaps you better leave.


I'm not going anywhere.

I've placed mirrors
throughout the house.

The spirits often like
to manifest in them.

And what of the evil spirits?

The incense should keep them at bay.


How did the spirits manifest
themselves when you first

blew the whistle?

In various ways.

I'm all ears.

Disturbances. Apparitions.

Ectoplasm? Yes.


Your rooms are through here.

I'm afraid I don't have
space for you, Father.

You'll have to sleep on the couch.

I doubt if any of us will get
much sleep tonight.


What in God's name?

Where's it coming from?



What, is it? I felt something
on my neck. Breathing.

Another draft? It wasn't a draft.

It was hot. It was panting.

Philip, where are you? Speak to me.

Is this a trick, Wiseman?
I won't be fooled.

I'll recite an incantation.

Wait here. Destroy that whistle.

It's the only way.

That infernal instrument
chased him away.



Mother? Mother?



For my daughter.
And my grandchildren.

I don't understand.

They need the money.

I've lost everything.


Bad investments.

The house is being repossessed.

Even the ghosts will have
to move out.

This is not funny.

People are being deceived.

People who want to be deceived.

People who deceive
themselves every day.

Gullible fools?
With more money than sense.

No. You are exploiting
people's beliefs...

Exploiting their...? Remind me,
how much is the Vatican worth?

Tell the truth.
Or I will do it myself.

No, wait!

Philip? Speak to me.


She is a widow,
bringing up two children alone.

If you expose me, she will suffer.
They will suffer.

No shoes on their feet.
No food on the table.

And will you tell your daughter how
you came by this money

or will you be too ashamed?
You know this is wrong.

Possibly, yes. But I'm a parent,

and a grandparent,
and I will do anything to...


Your demon's missing.




Ah! Ah!



Hello? Yes.


Yes, I'd like to report a murder.

Willow House.

Hello? Hello?

Must be the storm.

It isn't the storm.

Then, what?

An evil spirit.

One I've encountered before.

A trickster. Duplicitous. Cruel.

What happened here was not
caused by an evil spirit.

Are you blind? It's been plaguing us
all night.

It killed the Professor.

I believe he was killed
by someone in this room.

Just because you're in costume,
does not make you an authority.

And as for the disturbances,
You have all been tricked.


Does that sound like a trick to you?

Would you be so kind
as to follow me?


Is that necessary?
It's the only way.

The only way.


What is it?

A timer.

Or rather, six separate timers.


What about what we saw?
The apparition.

A film projector and mirrors.

And the breathing on my neck?
That wasn't a trick.

You were scared.

Under those circumstances,
the mind often plays tricks.

I didn't imagine it.

Oh, face it. He was a fraud.

And he fooled us all.

Rotten son of a...
No-one deserves that.

Someone clearly thinks otherwise.

I think we should stick together
until the police arrive.

We don't even know
if they're coming.

Where's your mother?



This way.



Mother, please don't disappear
like that.

I wasn't going to listen to
any more of his twaddle.

You still think it's an evil spirit?

Even after what you've just
been shown?

Just because the professor was
playing tricks,

does not mean there isn't
evil in this house.

Perhaps it was his belittling of it,
his mockery of it,

that made the spirits angry,
and that's why it chose him.

His death was a message.

Brandy, anyone? Mine's a double.

I sense you don't like me very much.

People like you have always
demonised people like us.

The clairvoyants.
I can't deny the truth in that.

Tortured us. Burned us.
Condemned us to the fires of hell.

we have much to be ashamed of.

Do you think I killed him?

I have reached no such conclusion.

However, there was a distinct smell
of cloves

near where Robert was killed.

I passed by a few moments before.

That's hardly a smoking gun.

Did you see anyone?
No, but I felt it.

It was everywhere.
It still is.

And before the night is out,
it will have taken us all.

One by one.



The telephones aren't working

and the wireless says all the
roads are closed.

It feels like the end of the world.

It'll pass. Don't worry.

I had the most awful nightmare.
Me too.

Something about...
Father Brown was in danger.

It was just a dream.
What was yours about?

I can't remember.
Well, I hope he's all right.

He is, he's... He's probably
still at his friend's house.

Perfectly safe.


It'll be light soon enough.
We'll be all right.

Do you think I have the gift?

I believe we ALL have a gift.
Don't dodge the question.

Do you think I have the gift
of mediumship?

Or do you think I'm a fraud, too?

I don't think you're a fraud.

Deluded, perhaps?

That's what people thought
when I first heard the voices.

That it was grief over my husband.

The tragic circumstances.

Killed whilst driving
his pregnant wife to hospital.

Giving birth whilst the only man
I'd ever loved was

dying in the next room.

It was the worst day of my life.

I'm so sorry.

But then he came back.

I felt him. I heard him.

Every day for 30 years.

Until tonight.

You can't just say that was
one long trick of the mind.

A game of smoke and mirrors.


Excuse me.

What are you doing?

If we're going to be stuck here,
we might as well lighten the mood.

Lighten the mood?
There's a dead body on the stairs.



You look like you could use a dance.

Come on. Don't be scared.

Philip! You're back, darling.

He says it's going to be all right.

Everything's going to be all right.
It's going to be all right.

I feel safer already.

I don't think Robert Wiseman
was the intended victim.


I think it was...

Nobody panic.
I'll see if I can find some matches.


Don't leave me, dear. Come back!

Dorothy, stop talking.

Dorothy, please. Please, Philip,
my darling.

Come back, don't leave me, please.

You're letting it know
where you are.




Archie, come away.

Get your hands off me!

It was one of you! Steady, now.

Empty your pockets.

What do you expect to find?
The whistle.

Maybe you killed her,
and this is all just a front.

How dare you?!

Or perhaps it's not a front.
Maybe you're in denial,

you can't face the fact that you
finally did in

your domineering, crackpot mother.

Bumping off his mother,
I can understand -

but why kill the Professor?

It was a case of mistaken identity.

He mistook the Professor
for his mother?

The killer thought they saw Dorothy
in the mirror on the staircase -

only it was a reflection of
a second mirror,

pointing to another room.

So, he was expecting his mother,

but it was Wiseman
who appeared on the stairs? Yes.

What bad luck!

But I don't think we should assume
that Archie's the killer.

What are you talking about?
Of course he did it!

His relationship with his mother
was clearly...unhealthy.

And he had the whistle.

Which could have been planted -
after all,

why demand we turn out our pockets
if he knew he had it?

Why would any of us want
to murder her? I don't know.

But whoever killed Dorothy
didn't just want her dead.

They wanted her to suffer,
to feel abandoned,

the whistle chasing away the only
comfort she had -

the spirit of her late husband.

Whoever killed her hated her.

Excuse me.


It's the police.

Yes, I'd like to report two murders.

Yes, two.

Willow House.

And I think you should know,
the murderer is still in the house.

They say there are trees
blocking the road,

but they will be here
as soon as they can.

The storm's dying down.

It's going to be light soon.

I'm not going to wait for the
police, I have things to do.

You can't leave the scene
of a double murder.

The police won't need me,
you can tell them what happened.

Besides, we caught the culprit -
we did their job for them.

I'll see you out.

That breath on your neck wasn't your
mind playing tricks, was it?

It was another lie to torment her.

You fancy yourself a bit of a
sleuth, don't you? How peculiar.

A sleuthing priest.

Strangest thing I've seen all night.

She did it.
How do you know?

The lipstick on her sleeve.
So what?

When the lights were out,
she slipped out, blew the whistle,

and then wiped it on her sleeve to
remove the lipstick.

But how could she plant it in his
pocket? It was pitch-black.

She didn't do it in the dark.

She did it
when she went to comfort him.

We think it's best
you wait for the police.

What has he been telling you?

Nothing that I wouldn't have deduced
for myself, eventually.

For example, how did you get

on the sleeve of your blouse?

That's not lipstick, it's blood.

It's everywhere tonight,
in case you hadn't noticed.

Nevertheless, as ranking officer, I
must insist you wait for the police.



In there.

What did she do to you?
Why do you hate her so much?

Whatever she did,
it must have hurt you deeply.





Tell me about your mother.

You told Dorothy she helped her
through a difficult time.

Why kill someone
who gave your mother such solace?


You want to know what she did to me?

You want to know
why I hated her so much?

Yes. I do.


When I was ten, my three-year-old
sister went missing.

The police couldn't find her,
so my mother turned to Dorothy.

She contacted the spirit world.

She told her
that my sister was dead.

Naturally, my mother was
grief-stricken. We all were.

But at least she had Dorothy.

For years.

Every day.

with her dead daughter.

It wasn't long before she lost
all interest in the living.

My father left.

I don't blame him.

We were...invisible to her.

Like we were the ghosts.

How awful for you.

You haven't heard the best part,
the kick in the teeth.

Your sister was still alive.

Found seven years later,

raised by a childless couple
who had abducted her.

It was all over the newspapers.
I read about it.

Of course, Dorothy wouldn't admit
she was a fraud.

She claimed she'd been tricked

by an evil spirit masquerading
as my sister.

The same spirit
she believed was here tonight.

And my mother believed her.

Thanked her, even.

When I laid eyes on her tonight...

..even as we embraced,
I knew I was going to kill her.

I'm sorry for the loss
you've suffered. I truly am.

But Dorothy wasn't a fraud.

She truly believed she had a gift.

She was a vulture,
preying on the grief-stricken.

You saw how she spoke to the spirit
of her dead husband.

She was deluded,
but she wasn't a monster.

She was an innocent.

Like all the others
you've harmed here tonight.

Is this the part where you tell me
to seek salvation?

I would do, if I thought
that you believed in the afterlife.

But you don't, do you?

That's why you were so cavalier
with the whistle.

I haven't believed for a long time.

And yet,
you make a living from the occult.

You'd be amazed at what the gullible

are willing to pay for
a lucky charm.

You have turned into what you

A charlatan...

..and a murderer.

You may not fear judgment
in the afterlife...

..but you will have to face
what you have done in this one.

I'm sorry, Father.

But it feels good to have got that
off my chest.

Thank you.

Perhaps now I can finally move on.






Five... Two dead... Possibly three.

Gordon Bennett!

So, explain to me again,
who was the first victim?

Professor Robert Wiseman.

And someone killed him
for his whistle...?

What on Earth...?

I knew something had happened.
What are you doing here?

We thought you'd got stuck
in the storm. Yes, I was.

And the dead bodies?

Ah, I'll explain later.

Well, there's no sign of a whistle,

Good riddance.

Father, are you all right?

Yes, I'm all right.

And now...

I just don't understand it.
What is it?

My strawberry scones. They're gone.

Well, maybe you forgot to pack them.
As if I would do such a thing.


Ooh, very funny, young lady.

Just joshing, Mrs M.

Looks like it might rain.

What are you talking about?
It's a gorgeous day.

Well, you never can tell, Father.

Which reminds me.

I must purchase a new...

BOTH: Ta-da!

I wonder what it can be?!

Thank you.
I think I may go for a walk.

Yes, a walk would be lovely.


Oh. Of course.

He just isn't right. No.
Not since the night of the storm.

I can still hear you.


Whistle and I will come...