Movies and mysteries: Brother Cadfael
I've really been taxing Netflix for all it's worth recently; cold weather and a very large knitting project (at least one that will take forever if I don't keep working on it) have made going to the dog park impractical, so I've been knitting in front of the TV (or my computer) watching the Brother Cadfael mystery series. Because Netflix doesn't really tell you which order they come in, I've just sort of been watching them. And it pretty much works out. We learn right away that Derek Jacobi is the title character, and since each story is more or less discrete, I haven't really missed much by watching them out of order.
A few notes for the unwary, however. Just in case one is interested, Cadfael - One Corpse Too Many is the first in the series. I watched it 4th or 5th, which was fine, but it does set up the relationship between Cadfael and Hugh, Shrewsbury's deputy sheriff. (I don't know if the person playing Hugh changes or if he just starts looking different, but that is one of the few changes I've noted between discs.)
The other sequence note that I have would be to watch A Morbid Taste for Bones before The Holy Thief. Bones is about how the bones of St. Winifred came to the Shrewsbury Abbey, while Thief is about which monastery should have the relic. No harm is done watching them out of order, but learning what we do in Bones makes Thief just a tad ironic, which no one will ever catch if watched out of order.
So far, those are the only sequential notes I have. On the whole I've been enjoying them, though they remind me more than ever why I tend to be biased against the Catholic church (and in many ways, the faith has not changed much since the 12th century setting of the mysteries). I also become increasingly frustrated when Cadfael is the only logical or practical person around, though as we learn in the Holy Thief, even he has his shortcomings. Yes, I know much of the plot is driven by the ignorance and unenlightened state of the 12th century, but when I still see some of these behaviors in today's society, I wonder how we've managed to come this far.
And my favorite quote so far has been something to the effect that during a civil war (in this case, a war between King Stephen and Empress Maud), everyone is a traitor to one cause or another.