Father Brown (2013–…): Season 8, Episode 1 - The Celestial Choir - full transcript

A mysterious saboteur tries to stop Kembleford winning the Three Counties choir competition.


# And did those feet
in ancient time

♪ Walk upon England's
mountains green... ♪

It seems a bit snug, Mrs McCarthy.

There. That wasn't so difficult now,
was it?

I just wanted to wish you
all the best.

And I will be praying for you.

Thank you, Father.

We'll need it.

Ah, Kembleford!

I have to say, how brave of you
all to come back after last year.

Well done, you!

We got the lowest marks
in the history of the competition.

We've been working very hard
since then, I can assure you.

As have the Hambleston Harmonisers.

We might be reigning champions,
but one can't rest on one's laurels.

Break a leg.

Well, I think
you are going to be marvellous.



Thank you
to the Salperton Songbirds!

Next, ladies and gentlemen,
we have the Kembleford Choristers.

# O Sanctissima!

# O Piissima!

# Dulcis Virgo Maria!

# Mater amata

# Intemerata

# Ora

# Ora pro nobis


The moment of truth.

Which three of our
Gloucestershire entrants

will be progressing to
the Grand Final

of the Three Counties Choir

to be held here, in
Worcester Cathedral, next weekend?

Whatever happens,
you have done Kembleford proud.

Hear, hear.

The three Gloucestershire
finalists are...

..Shepherd Magna.

Last year's champions,
the Hambleston Harmonisers.

And last but not least...

I still can't believe you came back
all this way just for the final.

Mrs M would never have forgiven me
if I'd missed it.

I've never seen her in such a tizz.

You are a good friend.

And fortunately, Monty had
some business in London

and the timing was perfect.

Now, not so bad, if I say so myself.


And I'm not the greatest
admirer of the humble omnibus.

In fact,
perhaps we should take your car.

Oh, you know perfectly well that Mrs
M wants us to all travel together.

She's terrified that something bad
will happen if she lets us

out of her sight.

I'm sure you're right.

And, for her sake,
I shall rough it just this once.


Ah! There you are!

You excited about your big day?

Exasperated, more like.

Harriet Whitley has dropped out.

Dropped out? Why?

She claims to have picked up
a stomach bug

and says she can't get out of bed.

The rules state clearly that each
choir must have six members.

Three men and three women.

What will you do?

Well, don't look at me.

My music teacher once paid me

to bunk off on the day
of the school concert.

She said that my soprano could be
used as an offensive weapon.




Right, then, sir, I'm going.

Yes, sir, my afternoon off.

Afternoon off?!

For the choir competition, sir.

I did tell you...

..on several occasions.

What time is it?

Just gone quarter to 12, sir.

Is there a problem, sir?

My daughter's performing in the
competition with her youth choir.

How exciting for her.

Isn't it just?

That's why I promised the wife,
under pain of death,

that I'd be back in time
to go with them.

Only it slipped my mind,
what with all these burglaries.

I'm sure she'll understand, sir.
You know, duty calls, and all that.


I'll be in the doghouse so long,

I'll have to get the postman to
start delivering my mail there!

Well, you could come with us
on the bus, sir.

There's bound to be a spare seat.

Are you sure there's room?

The more, the merrier, sir,
you know?

You might have to put up with us
practising some of our songs,

but, well...

That's all right, Goodfellow.

I knew I wouldn't escape
punishment entirely.

No doubt they will be here soon.

When I was choir leader,

I'd instruct everyone to be
here at least ten minutes early.

Well, I'm choir leader now,
and I'm sure they are on their way.

Now, there they are.

My apologies, Mrs McCarthy.

Where have you been?
Sorry, Mother.

My fault. I wanted to show Nicholas
some hotel brochures

for the honeymoon.

Waste of money, in my opinion.

My Henry and I made do with
a slap-up meal at the Red Lion.

He was back at the factory
next morning.

Yes, well, Audrey deserves the best.

Setting up home together
isn't cheap, you know.

But, as you're friends,
I'll give you a special

discount on our bumper
pack of cleaning products.

It has everything you
need for a sparkling home.

Well, we'll definitely
think about it, Wesley.


I already have everything we need.

And the soap he sold me last week
left stains all over my basin.

No, that can't be right.

My products are top-of-the-range.

Afternoon. I hope you don't mind.

I offered the Inspector a lift.

Why ever would I mind?

Hello, everyone.

Mr Summerton.


Good to see you again.

Oh, Audrey...

..these are for you.

They were left on the presbytery


Did I mention that I hate buses?

Who's been sending you flowers?

They're from the children
in my class, silly,

to wish me good luck.

Now that everyone is here, I've a
very important announcement to make.

We have received news from Canon Fox
that the winner of the competition

will get to perform at this year's
Royal Variety Performance

at the London Coliseum, in front
of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

Now, there will be
a lot of press there today,

so, I beg you,
on your best behaviour, all of you.

Whenever are we not, Mrs M?

All right Derek, we're ready to go.

Right you are.

Hm. Help yourself, sir.

No, thank you, Goodfellow.
I know what fate awaits me

when I see my wife
and daughter in Worcester.

I don't want my last meal to be
a stale, half-eaten teacake!

Now, I want you all
back in the bus in five minutes.

What have
I said to you about smoking?

You two need to take care
of your voices!

Sorry, Mrs McCarthy.

I've been smoking since I was
knee-high to a grasshopper,

Mrs McCarthy.

One more's not going to make
any difference.

Er, I wanted to have
a word about our robes.

Did you see what Hambleston
were wearing last week?

I don't wish to look like
anybody's impoverished cousin.

Lawrence Ashton is
chaplain at HMP Sonning.

Now, he has a whole prison full
of ladies with nothing better to do

than make robes for him.

Whereas I, on the other hand,
had to sew all the robes myself.

And that's very much appreciated.

But if, by some miracle,
we were to win, we might wish to

improve our choral-wear prior to
performing for the Queen.

Yes, well, we'll cross that bridge
when we come to it.

Does anyone know who's in there?
Because they are taking an age.

Did you knock?

Yes, but no-one answered. Oh.



Anybody in there?

Goodfellow, barge this door down.

Let me try.

I've got a new hypothesis
about the Kembleford burglar.


And you've no memory of what
happened? Not really.

I thought I heard something
outside the window,

so I opened it to take a look.

And the next thing I remember is
all of you standing above me.

Do you think it's possible that
you just fainted? Maybe.

I don't know.
It's all so embarrassing.

We should get you checked out.
Oh, no, I'm fine, really.

Right, come along, come along.

We don't want to be late, do we?

Excuse me...


Good. Now, we're all here.




Derek, let us be on our way.




# ..but Thou art mighty

# Hold me with Thy powerful hand

# Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

# Feed me till I want no more
Want no more

♪ Feed me till I want no more. ♪


The fuel pipe has been punctured.

How can it be punctured?!

Something could've kicked up
off the road.

If not that, then...

The Hambleston Harmonisers.
They were there.

Oh, come on, Mrs M.

You honestly think they'd
stoop to sabotage?

No, I suppose not. Can you fix it?

Not without a replacement part.

The pressure's too high on that
side of the fuel inlet

for us to tape it up.

We wouldn't even make it to the next
village, let alone Worcester.

You all wait here. Goodfellow
and I will walk along the road

until we find a house
with a telephone.

We'll call for a mechanic and...
And how long is that going to take?

I wanted to be in Worcester
by four o'clock.

There is another solution.

We could leave the coach
and the driver here

and walk to Lower Swaddling.

It can't be more than two miles, and
it's a stop on the Worcester line.

Then we could catch a train
the rest of the way.

Yes. Now, everyone, gather up
your music and the hampers.

Look at me, Father.
A couple of miles in these shoes?


I told you we should have
brought your car!

My point is, Father,

that cleanliness is next to
godliness, am I right?

And an official endorsement
from the church would be doing me

a massive favour.

Well, I'll certainly consider it.

That's all I ask!

I didn't like to say
anything in front of Mrs M

as she's in enough of a flap
already, but I do think

the coach was sabotaged.

The fuel pipe looked like it had
been sawn through with a knife.

But why would anyone want
to do that?

To stop us getting to Worcester,

take out the competition.

Perhaps the same person was
responsible for what happened

to Audrey. She is Kembleford's
star performer, after all.

That's true. And, seeing as
Hambleston just happened to be

passing by the scene of the crime...
It could have been anyone.

For now, it's best to assume that
they were regrettable accidents.

Whilst keeping our eyes open
for anything suspicious?

Could you please pick up the pace?

We're going as fast as we can.

If we miss this train, we'll never
get to Worcester in time.

Hardly our fault.

And what's that supposed to mean?

We never had any trouble
with the old bus company.

It was you who decided to find
a cheaper option.


Perhaps it would be quicker
if we went across country.

How do we even know that's
the right way?

Well, the Cotswolds Way heads
straight for Lower Swaddling

as the crow flies.

Anything to get this over with.

Come on.

What are you doing now?

I thought I might stay here,

try and flag down a passing car,

preferably one with a picnic basket
and a bottle of Champagne.


You have travelled
halfway round the world.

Another mile or two won't make
any difference now.

Perhaps a sing-song,
help raise morale.

Oh, that's a great idea, Father.

Warm our voices up for later on, eh?

Faith Of Our Fathers.

# Faith of our fathers, living still

♪ In spite of dungeon,
fire and sword... ♪

You're more than welcome to
join in with us, sir, if you like.

No, thank you, Goodfellow.

If You fancy smiting someone with
a thunderbolt, be my guest.

You'd be doing me a favour.

The competition starts
promptly at five o'clock

with a performance by
the Three Counties Children's Choir.

You're on third, after
the Throckmorton Veterans' Choir.

Thank you.

You're with the Children's Choir,
I take it? Yes.

This all looks fine.

Welcome to Worcester, Miss Mallory.
Thank you.

# Faith of our fathers, holy faith

♪ We will be true to thee
till death... ♪

MAN: Over here!

Oh, well,
at least we've got one fan.

He looks very enthusiastic.

MAN: Look out behind you! I think
he's trying to tell us something.

I think I know what that is.


Don't startle it!

Oh! Sorry. Force of habit.

Everybody start moving very slowly
towards the gate. Yes.


My father taught me an old trick to
deal with situations like this.

What was that?

Make sure you get a head
start on everyone else.

Wait up! Oh! Oh, my shoe.

Leave it!

For all we know, it could be made
out of his cousin. What-ho!

Oh! Ah! Oh!

What's wrong, Mother?

I think I may have sprained
my ankle.

Well, I guess that's it, then.

Mrs Curtley can hardly walk to Lower
Swaddling with a sprained ankle.

Not to mention the rain.

Or my lack of footwear.

I feel terrible about what I did.

And so you should.

I panicked. I'm sorry.

Let me go and find help,
make it up to you all.

No. No, I think it's best...
I insist!

Nicholas, please, just leave me be!

Don't be like that. Audrey!

Anything I can do to help?

I wish.

Pre-marriage nerves
are not uncommon.

The course of true love.

I thought true love was about being
honest with each other.

You know, anything you say to me
is between us and God.

I found this picture, in Audrey's
house, of her when she was younger,

with this...

..other fella.

She'd told me she'd never been
with anyone else.

So, I asked her about it.

And what did she say?

That it was her brother.

She's never mentioned
a brother till now.

And when I asked her some questions
about him, she wouldn't say a word.

Now's she's in a mood with me
for not trusting her.

Do you?

Trust her?

I want to. I...

I love her, I really do.
It's just, what...

What if the flowers...?

I'm being daft, aren't I?

I should go find her.

Chin up, sir.

Could be worse.

Worse? We're stuck in a stinking
barn in the middle of nowhere.

I should never have agreed to
get on that bloomin' bus

in the first place.

I was only trying to help, sir.

Look, it's not just the rollicking
I'll be getting off the wife.

You know what this job is like.

When it comes to the kids,
I've missed a lot of...

..you know...

..important moments.

I wanted to be there for this one.

You never know, sir.

We might still make it.

Let's face it, Goodfellow,
it would take a miracle.


Well, don't look at me!

Maybe it would be wise
if we all just went home.

And give in to some bully? Never!

Let's be sensible, Mrs M. Barbara
can't walk, I've got one shoe,

and, even if we do make it to
Lower Swaddling,

we'll never catch the train.

Oh, yes, and somebody's
threatened to kill us!

Here you are!

And where have you been?

In the woods.
I was looking for Audrey.

I heard the scream, turned back,
got a bit lost.

And I saw the writing.

Somebody doesn't want the Kembleford
Choristers to perform tonight.

Perhaps you're not keen on Audrey
singing in front of the Queen.

Think she'll become a big star
and trade you in for a better model?

I would never do that! And if you're
looking for a suspect,

where's Wesley? That's right.

He was having a good old moan
in rehearsals about Audrey

getting all the best solos.

He seems to think
he's the next Nat King Cole.

And he's clearly already
well-known to the Inspector.

To be fair, that was
a private matter.

He sold the wife a feather duster

that was rather too quick
to shed its plumage.

Right. Still, he dropped us
all in it with that bull,

and now he's done a runner again.


So, he made ready his chariot,
and took all his people with him.

I managed to persuade
the farmer to give us

a lift to the train station.

On the back of that? What fun!

That's very kind, sir.

Kind? It cost me a pack of Brillo
pads and a tin of boot polish.

But, still,
a small price to make amends.

Do you still think we might
be able to make that train?

Have faith, Mrs McCarthy.

Not to put a dampener on things, but
what about Barbara and Aunt Fliss?

Well, the Inspector and I
can help Mrs Curtley

on the back of the trailer.

And, as for the lovely Lady Felicia,
I have a present for her.


Belonged to the farmer's wife.

She loved these boots, he said.

She was even wearing them
when she passed. Oh, well...

I think they rather suit you.


So, you don't think it was
Hambleston, after all?

How would they find us
all the way out here?

I reckon one of this lot
wrote that message.

Why would one of us
want to sabotage our own choir?

And why would anyone want to
do that to Audrey?


Pray, enlighten us, Padre.

There are a number of possibilities.

Resentment at another's success
after they themselves have failed...

..fear of losing a loved one...

..anger at not being
the centre of attention.


It'll be about money, mark my words.

Big deal,
performing in front of the Queen.

Could lead to lucrative
career opportunities.

Someone here has been
paid off by a rival choir.

So, what do we do?

Keep everyone together
and stay alert.

They'll make a mistake.
They always do.

Mr Ashton,
how delightful to have you back.

I trust your team are in fine voice.

They would give the cherubim
and seraphim a run for their money.

I must say, performing
in the West End has always been

a lifelong dream. Ah...

You haven't seen the Kembleford lot,
have you?

Time is...getting on.

Can't say that I have.


Quick! Would you put your foot down?

I suspect, Mrs M,
we may already be at top speed.

I'd suggest throwing
Inspector Mallory overboard

to lighten the load, but I doubt
it would make much difference.


Wait here.

Excuse me, was that the Worcester
train that's just departed?


Has the Worcester train
left already?

Oh, why has Thou forsaken me?

The train that has just left,

was that the Worcester train?

And when is the next one?

Oh, I'm really in for it
this time, Goodfellow.

There aren't enough chocolates and
flowers in the world to save me now.



We've worked so hard.

There's always next year.

Only if we don't get blacklisted.

If it makes you feel any better,

at least you're not wearing
a dead woman's shoes.

Perhaps we should just head
back to Kembleford.

What about the competition?

It'll be over before
we get there, anyway.

My head hurts, and...

..I just want to go home.

Were those flowers
really from the children?

Of course.

So much for singing for the Queen.

Wesley, now's not a really good
ti... I know what you all

think of me.

But, since the day
I arrived in this country,

all I've done is try to get by.

That such a bad thing?

I finally thought
I might achieve something.

Win a bit of respect, you know?

Who am I kidding?

Now, where has Father Brown
disappeared to?


Courtesy of the
Lower Swaddling Constabulary.

Father Brown's idea.

And they just lent it to you?

Turns out I used to play rugby with
the Superintendent.

In that case, get out. I'm driving.

Come on. Right.


So, then, we are agreed?

If the Kembleford Choristers
don't arrive by five o'clock...

That gives them...

..15 minutes.


What's this?

I hope they're the right size.
Wasn't much choice.

Oh! Sergeant!

How? Lower Swaddling Police Station.

Please tell me
they're not taken from a corpse.

No, nothing like that.

Unclaimed lost property left over
from the May Day celebrations.

Sergeant, I am going to
personally recommend you

for the highest honour
the Police Force can bestow.

No need for that, Your Ladyship.


Right, quick! Everyone, follow me.

do you still have the robes?

Now, you can all start getting
changed while I go and register.

can you look after Mrs Curtley,

see if you can find her
a walking stick or something?

I need to spend a penny.

Yes, all right, go. But be quick!

The Children's Choir -
where are they performing?

I'm afraid you've just missed them.

The Kembleford Choristers.

What about them?

Well, we're here!

Anything I can do to help?

No, I don't think so,
thank you, Father.

Where's Audrey?

Still powdering her nose.

The nerves do tend to play
havoc...with her digestive system.

We don't all need to hear about it,

Is it just me or are we all wilfully
ignoring the fact that

someone has threatened to kill us
if we sing tonight?

I, for one, will not be
intimidated by an idle threat.


You weren't that courageous when
faced with that bull, Mr Summerton.

I suppose it suits you, all of this.

Even more of a disaster
than last year.

You'll be angling for your old
job as choir leader back.

What are you implying?

Come on, let's not fall out.

We've still got to sing together.

No, you don't.

What do you mean, Mrs M?

We've been disqualified.



The rules are perfectly clear.

All choirs must
register by five o'clock.

Everyone else managed it.

Surely you can make an exception.

While I may have the honour of
organising the choir competition,

it will not have escaped your notice
that we are in

an Anglican Cathedral.

I can hardly be seen to show
favouritism to a choir

from a Catholic church
from my own patch.

Surely, you don't... The perception
of fairness is paramount!

And was it fair that our choir
had their star singer attacked,

or their bus sabotaged?

Sabotaged? I...

Presumably by one of the

And it would hardly look good on the
competition, or the organisers

of the competition, if such
goings-on were to find their way

into the national press.


He's going to allow us to sing!

Oh, thank the good Lord.

We must hurry.
We're on in a few minutes.

What about Audrey? Oh, don't worry,
I'll find her.

Can I help?


Find Inspector Mallory.

There's something he should know.



I can't sing.

Well, that is not true.

You know what I mean.


How's your head feeling now?

A little sore.

Well, it was an awkward window
to get through.

After you sabotaged the coach.


There was dirt on the back
of your dress

when we picked you up off the floor.

Only the floor itself had
recently been cleaned.

Your dress got dirty...

..when you were underneath
the coach cutting the fuel line.

But it proved more difficult
to climb back in.

I couldn't be sure, of course.

But then...it was you who found
the threatening sign

on the barn wall.

And you had plenty of time
to write it yourself.

What reason could I possibly have?

You were being threatened by someone
who didn't want you to perform.

The envelope was in the bunch of

It contained a card.

What did the card say?

It told you not to come here,
didn't it?

I recognised the handwriting...

..from the choir register.

Father, please, just leave me be.

Tell the others to perform
without me.

So that your big secret
won't come out?

That you spent time at Her Majesty's
Prison Sonning?

Because that's where Lawrence Ashton
is chaplain, isn't it?

You! Didn't you get my flowers?

This is your last chance.

Pull out of the competition
or everyone will know

your dirty little secret.

I presume you haven't told Nicholas.

No, he mustn't find out. Ever.
He would leave me.

I have a life, a future.
It would destroy everything!

Don't be afraid of Lawrence Ashton.

He's being taken care of.

# All things bright and beautiful

# All creatures great and small

# All things wise and wonderful

♪ The Lord God made them all. ♪

We are so close to our prize.

There are no excuses
for second place.


A word. Sorry,
but I'm in the middle of...

In private...if you'd be so kind.

She's lying.

Tell me about your brother.

When Mum and Dad died,
it was just him and me in the house.

It hit him hard, their deaths.

He started drinking.

Over time, he got worse and worse.

He was always shouting at me,
wanting me to do everything for him.

And then he started using his fists.

You must have been terrified.

One morning, I burnt his breakfast.

And he stormed into the kitchen,

threw the plate at me.

Then he picked up a knife.

And I...

I still had the frying
pan in my hand, and...

He died.

The police thought I did it
for his share of the inheritance.

Not that there was much to inherit.

I pleaded guilty to manslaughter...

..and did ten years.

And you never told Nicholas?

I was 19 when I went in.

I'd never even
been on a date with a boy.

I got out, moved to Kembleford,

somewhere no-one knew me.

Where you met Nicholas.

He was so kind, so...gentle.

I couldn't bear him
knowing what I had done.

And, as the months went on,
it got harder to find the words.

All I wanted was a new start,

my own life, and now it's just being
ripped into pieces.

The police will deal
with Lawrence Ashton.

As for Nicholas...

..you are engaged to be married.

How can you give yourself to him
before God

unless you are willing
to open your heart?

If you love him, tell him the truth.

If he loves you, he will understand.

But, first,
you have some singing to do.

I can't do this! What do you mean?

I don't know what I'm doing.
I haven't rehearsed.

I'm going to make an utter
fool of myself!

It's like that nightmare you have
when you're back at school.

Now, you listen to me.

You have been singing these hymns
since you were a little girl.

All you have to do is follow
the music and listen to the others.

You can do this, Aunt Fliss.

Right. You're on.

Audrey's not back yet.

Perhaps you could stand in for her.

Me? Oh, no, I can't...
You could mime.

I think you've kept us
all waiting long enough!

What's it to be?

Oh, here she is.


Right. Everyone ready?

# Ave Maria

# Gratia plena

# Maria

# Gratia plena

# Maria, gratia plena

# Ave, ave dominus

# Dominus tecum

# Benedicta tu

# In mulieribus

# Et benedictus

# Et benedictus

# Fructus ventris

# Ventris tuae, Jesus

# Ave Maria

I still can't believe I won!
Be-believe...you won.

Yes, we ALL won.

The look on Canon Fox's face

when he handed you that trophy
was an absolute treat.

Hello, Father.

Sergeant Goodfellow, I thought
you were on your way home.


Not quite yet, Father.

I just wanted to let you know that
Lawrence Ashton confessed

to threatening Audrey.

He's offered to pay for the damages
to the coach, so...

Well, looks like he'll get off
with a slap on the wrist.

Hardly punishment enough
after what he did.

If it's any consolation, he will
almost certainly

lose his job at the prison.
Thank you again, Sergeant,

for saving me from
that dead woman's boots.

If there's ever anything
I can do to repay you...

Now that you mention it,
there is one thing.

Hate to ask.
I know it's been a long day, but...

..I could do with a favour.

What on Earth are we doing here,

I need to get home before
the wife finishes sharpening

the carving knife!

Well, I know how disappointed
you were, sir,

that you missed her performance.

And I told them how hard you tried
to get there on time.


# Abide with me

# Fast falls the eventide

# The darkness deepens

# Lord, with me abide

# When other helpers fail

# And comforts flee

# Help of the helpless

# Oh, abide with me

# Swift to its close

# Ebbs out life's little day

# Earth's joys grow dim

# Its glories pass away

# Change and decay

# In all around I see

# O Thou who changest not

♪ Abide with me. ♪