The Inspector Lynley Mysteries return in four new adventures drawn from the novels of Elizabeth George, airing August 31 to September 21, 2003 on PBS.
Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small return as the class act of crime detection, the mismatched New Scotland Yard team of Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, eighth Earl of Asherton, and his Cockney colleague, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers.
Series 2's cases take the sleuths to murders at a posh boarding school, a Scottish estate, Cambridge University and a scenic but sinister Lancashire village.
As always, there's a strong dose of class conflict between the two cops, who see the investigation from opposite ends of the social scale: Lynley from the airy reaches of the highborn, Havers from the nitty-gritty of the working class. And, oh yes, Lynley's love life with the unattainable Lady Helen Clyde is looking up -- at least for one blissful evening.
Series 2 Episode Descriptions
Plot Revealed Below!
Well-Schooled in Murder
Well-Schooled in Murder takes Lynley down Memory Lane to an elite boarding school much like the one he attended as a youth... only his school didn't feature the ritual slaying of students.
The investigation begins as a missing student case. Lynley is summoned by the boy's housemaster, John Corntel (John Sessions), who happens to be an old school chum. He brings Havers along, knowing that she will cut through the school's smokescreen of pretense and tradition. When the boy turns up dead, Lynley and Havers fear an inside job. The older students not only control the younger ones, they also have a Mafia-like grip on the administration, which is headed by an unctuous prig named Alan Lockwood (Bill Nighy). Then a second boy goes missing and the race is on to find him.
Payment in Blood
Payment in Blood finds Lynley and Havers in a figurative game of Clue on a Scottish estate (in reality, the former home of the late George Harrison).
The victim is a playwright. The weapon is a knife. The perpetrator? Could it be theatre impresario Sir Stuart Stinhurst (Ronald Pickup), owner of the mansion where the murder took place? Or perhaps Robert Gabriel (Idris Elba), leading man in the play written by the victim? Or possibly leading lady Joanna Sydeham (Camilla Power), or her manager-husband, David (Julian Wadham)? Or, worst of all, could it be director Rhys Davies Jones (Jonathan Firth), who is having an affair with Lynley's unrequited sweetheart Lady Helen Clyde (Lesley Vickerage)? Lynley fears it is, and his desperate attempts to separate Helen from Jones strike Havers as a tad unprofessional -- even if the killer is preparing an encore performance.
For the Sake of Elena
For the Sake of Elena shows that all is not well at Cambridge University, where the deaf daughter of a don is discovered dead on a jogging trail.
Elena is her name -- a promiscuous young woman with many admirers, including a pillar of the deaf community Gareth Randolph (David Ellington); lascivious English tutor Dr. Thorsson (Richard Lintern); and family friend Victor Troughton (Will Knightley), to whom Elena was secretly engaged. Her father is eminent historian Dr. Phillip Weaver (Tim Pigott-Smith), an ambitious scholar who abandoned Elena and her mother, Glyn (Selina Cadell), for the young and stylish Justine (Sophie Ward). But Weaver has recently had an affair with Sarah Gordon (Cherie Lunghi), the famous if burned-out artist who discovered Elena's body. Fortunately, Lynley is an Oxford man and Havers is strictly trade school, which allows them to get to the bottom of a crime that is far from academic.
A vicar calling on a single-mom parishioner falls victim to her cooking when she confuses a poisonous root with an edible one. Was it a mistake or murder?
Missing Joseph opens as Reverend Robin Sage has finished a gourmet meal prepared by his parishioner Juliet Spence (Pippa Haywood), a New Age herbalist in a sleepy Lancashire village. The vicar enjoys sleep all right -- The Big Sleep, thanks to a lethal dose of water hemlock, which Spence mistook for wild parsnip. Or so she claims. Arriving on the scene, Lynley and Havers are helped by local policeman Steve Shepherd (Jason Merrells), but they soon discover that Shepherd and Spence are having an affair. Shepherd's attempts to put spurned lover Polly Yarkin (Joanna Dunn), the vicar's housekeeper, in the frame don't wash with Lynley, who is more interested in Juliet's obsessive devotion to her only daughter, Maggie (Charlotte Salt). The big break comes when a photo of the vicar's deceased wife turns up. A presumed victim of suicide, she bears a striking resemblance to someone still alive.