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DVD Review: Cadfael: The Complete Collection

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Brother Cadfael is a Welsh Benedictine Monk in the series Cadfael that appeared originally on PBS’s Mystery! in the late 1990s. Cadfael is based on the best selling books written by Ellis Peters. Brother Cadfael lived in Shrewsbury County in Shrewsbury (which is in England) in the early 1100s. He was once a crusader and is now a monk and an herbalist. Because he has spent so much time in the “real” world compared to the other monks, he is very observant and notices things going on around him that many miss. This manages to get him involved in a number of mysteries and intrigues. He’s also very much a realist and understands that at times rules need to be bent or circumvented in order to bring the guilty to justice. This gets him in trouble regularly with those higher up in his order who don’t understand the way he thinks.

In addition to Derek Jacobi as Cadfael, the series also stars Julian Firth, Michael Culver. Guest appearances include Julian Glover (By the Sword Divided), Sean Pertwee (Cold Feet), Hugh Bonneville (Lost in Austen), Tara Fitzgerald (Brassed Off), Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Toby Jones (Infamous), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) and Stephen Moyer (True Blood).

I really enjoy Brother Cadfael because it’s so rich in detail. You really get a great feel for life in medieval England. I also love the music and chants throughout the episodes as it really adds to the feel of being in medieval England. Episodes include investigations into the attack of a goldsmith and possible mob uprising, the disappearance of a cruel baron, the poisoning of a prosperous landowner, a young woman found frozen at the bottom of brook, the gruesome death of a cleric, the murder of a merchant at the fair and many more.

Cadfael: The Complete Collection includes all thirteen episodes on thirteen discs. There is over 16 1/4 hours of programming in this collection! The collection also contains audio comments from Jacobi, who plays Cadfael, as well as historical background notes. The original Cadfael Collection was released in January 2005 but is being re-issued now with new packaging and a $50 discount!

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.