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Payment in Blood 

After a playwright changes dialogue in her play just days before its opening, she is found brutally stabbed with other murders to follow.


Kim Flitcroft


Elizabeth George (novel), Lizzie Mickery (screenplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James McAvoy ... Gowan Ross
Naomi Frederick Naomi Frederick ... Elizabeth
Ronald Pickup ... Sir Stuart Stinhurst
Yvonne O'Grady ... Joy
Jonathan Firth ... Rhys Davies Jones
Camilla Power ... Joanna Sydeham
Idris Elba ... Robert Gabriel
Julian Wadham ... David Sydeham
Sharon Small ... Barbara Havers
Nathaniel Parker ... Thomas Lynley
Don Gallagher Don Gallagher ... Inspector Macaskin
Gary Cross Gary Cross ... Sergeant Lonan
Lesley Vickerage ... Helen Clyde
Ravin J. Ganatra Ravin J. Ganatra ... Forensic Pathologist
Ron Donachie ... John Ross


Inspector Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Sergeant Havers (Sharon Small) are sent to a remote Scottish mansion house, the home of Sir Stuart Stinhurst (Ronald Pickup), to investigate the violent death of a famous playwright whilst she was helping to rehearse a production of her new play. Initial investigation reveals that practically anybody could have committed the crime but everybody appears to have a convincing alibi and nobody has a motive. As the investigation continues an apparent nearby suicide begins to have a bearing on the case and Lynley believes that is wasn't suicide. The arrival of a new guest, Helen Clyde (Lesley Vickerage), a former girlfriend of Lynley's who is now a lover of one of the main suspects starts to cloud his judgement and raise Havers' suspicions. As the real motives begin to appear and the dark pasts of some of the guests are revealed will Lynley catch the double murderer? Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

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Release Date:

15 April 2002 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Barbara Havers: [admiring Stinhurst's enormous castle] Is your pad in Cornwall this big?
Thomas Lynley: Size isn't everything, Havers, isn't that what you women keep telling us?
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User Reviews

Murder in Scottish castle
27 October 2010 | by glastonSee all my reviews

I've now seen a number of these episodes and read a couple of the original books. The books were ho hum but the series is consistently interesting and quite extraordinarily well-cast. Sharon Small as Det Sgt Havers is a delight to watch and lifts each episode whenever she appears. It was nice to see Mr. Tumnus of Narnia (James McAvoy) in an early role.

One caveat, Leslie Vickerage as Lynley's love interest Helen is beyond awful - fast-forward through her bits.

Nathaniel Parker always delivers and almost makes one believe the preposterous premise that he is - in civilian life - an earl with a large estate and a private fortune. Lord Peter Wimsey he is not but he is enjoyable.

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