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The Inspector Lynley Mysteries

Series 1: A Great Deliverance

The Inspector Lynley Mysteries premieres with a chilling two-part adaptation of Elizabeth George's acclaimed first novel, A Great Deliverance, airing Mondays, August 19 and 26, 2002, at 9pm on PBS.

Nathaniel Parker stars as Oxford-educated Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard. He's a committed crime-fighter who also happens to be the eighth Earl of Asherton. Sharon Small plays his brusque working-class assistant, Sergeant Barbara Havers. She's an unfashionable plain-Jane with a very low opinion of the highborn.

It's a marriage made in headquarters, not in heaven. "A fast-track Oxford golden boy, and an arrogant aristocratic ponce," is how Havers sees her new partner.

The doubtful duo is thrown together to solve a gruesome and baffling crime. The investigation is made all the more complex as Lynley runs into hostile former colleagues in the Yorkshire police force.

Making matters worse is Lynley's star-crossed love life. In most detective novels, Lynley would inexorably fall for the woman fate has placed in his path, namely Havers. But author George is more subtle than that.

"The dynamic between [Lynley and Havers] is not one of sexual attraction," explains George. "Lynley is from a posh background with a posh voice, educated at Oxford, with a title and money. Havers is from a poor background, and she's had to fight for everything she's got. Needless to say, they have huge preconceptions about each other; what I'm interested in is how they start to discover their common ground through police work."

Series 1 Episode Descriptions

Plot Revealed Below!

A Great Deliverance introduces a new detective duo: Inspector Thomas Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Sergeant Barbara Havers (Sharon Small) from the best-selling mysteries by Elizabeth George. He is suave, sophisticated, and the eighth Earl of Asherton. She is rumpled, resentful, and working class -- with a very low opinion of the highborn. Theirs is a marriage made not in heaven, but in headquarters, prompting tensions that often get in their way as they tackle a baffling decapitation on a wind-swept Yorkshire farm.

Episode 1

Farmer William Tey has lost his head in his Yorkshire barn. Next to his decapitated corpse police find his traumatized, blood-spattered 16-year-old daughter, Roberta (Rebecca Gallacher), unable or unwilling to talk. The beloved family dog has also been executed on the spot. Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Havers (Sharon Small) are sent north to investigate.

Meanwhile, Lynley faces his own trauma: His best friend, forensic scientist Simon Allcourt (Anthony Calf), has just married the brightest of Lynley's many flames, Deborah (Amanda Ryan). Thinking the murder locale is at least a diversion from this heartbreak, Lynley discovers that the newlyweds have picked the area for their honeymoon.

Havers, meanwhile, finds upper-crust cops detestable.

Episode 2

The investigation leads Lynley and Havers into the seamy side of a tranquil English village, where an unsolved case of infanticide may hold the key to farmer Tey's recent decapitation. The victim had a secret past that provides a host of clues, suspects, and motives.

Though Tey was as godly as a vicar, suspects and motives abound -- from his nephew and heir, Richard (Brendan Coyle), to his estranged wife, Tessa (Denise Black), to his mysterious elder daughter, Gillian (Hannah Storey).

A Great Deliverance cast and credits

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