Sister Boniface Mysteries

Sister Boniface Mysteries is a British cosy mystery detective period comedy drama television series, created by Jude Tindall, which is produced by BBC Studios and BritBox. It is a spin-off of Father Brown, as the Sister Boniface character was introduced in a Father Brown episode (Series 1, Episode 6: "The Bride of Christ"). A 10-episode first series premiered on 8 February 2022, on the BritBox streaming service,[1] and released in the UK on the UKTV Drama channel later in 2022.[2] Sister Boniface Mysteries was commissioned for a second series,[3] which began streaming in the US on Britbox on 3 April 2023. Series 3 will commence streaming on Britbox on 24 April 2024.[4]

Sister Boniface Mysteries
Series title against a blue background
Genre
Created byJude Tindall
Starring
ComposerMichael Price
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes21
Production
Executive producersStephen Nye
Will Trotter
Emily Powers
Jonathan Karas
ProducersPeter Bullock
Loretta Preece
Running time45 minutes.
One 90 minute special.
Production companies
Original release
NetworkBritBox
Release8 February 2022 (2022-02-08) –
present (present)
Related
Father Brown

Premise edit

The series is set in England during the early 1960s. Sister Boniface is a Catholic nun at St. Vincent's Convent in the fictional town of Great Slaughter in the Cotswolds. In addition to her religious duties at the convent, she makes wine and has a PhD in forensic science, allowing her to serve as a scientific adviser to the local police on investigations.[5]

The three regularly featured police officers are Detective Inspector Sam Gillespie (revealed in episode 9 to be a former army officer), Detective Sergeant Felix Livingstone (on secondment from the police force of Bermuda), and Constable (WPC) Peggy Button.

Cast edit

Supporting cast edit

Guest cast edit

Production edit

 
Princethorpe College in June 2013

Development edit

Father Brown executive producer Will Trotter anticipated developing a Sister Boniface spin-off as soon as Father Brown had ended. He eventually pitched the concept to Britbox.[5] The series share several writers and directors, such as John Maidens, Paul Gibson, Kit Lambert, Tahsin Guner and Ian Barber.

Locations edit

The location for St Vincent's Convent is Princethorpe College, a Catholic independent day school in Princethorpe, near Rugby, Warwickshire, England.[6]

The location for the town's village hall is in Great Barrington, Gloucestershire. This hall is used multiple times during Season 2.

The location of the hidden radio station in Season 2 Episode 8 "Dead Air" was at Donnington Brewery, which is also home to Mrs Devine's house in Father Brown

Episodes edit

Series
SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1108 February 2022 (2022-02-08)8 March 2022 (2022-03-08)
2103 April 2023 (2023-04-03)29 April 2023 (2023-04-29)
Special19 December 2023 (2023-12-19)

Series 1 (2022) edit

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Unnatural Causes"Paul GibsonJude Tindall8 February 2022 (2022-02-08)
Grace Pearson is found dead at a local festival. Detective Inspector Sam Gillespie, to the bewilderment of newly arrived Detective Sergeant Felix Livingstone, uses Sister Boniface as his scientific adviser. She determines that Pearson died by suffocation after her head was pushed into sawdust. The investigation leads to the three Bellamy siblings, at whose home Pearson was a housemaid. Their wealthy uncle died of an apparent heart attack at a dinner party six months earlier, leaving the siblings his large mansion and fortune. However, the discovery that Pearson wrote a letter to the local newspaper's agony aunt suggesting murder gives the police and Sister Boniface cause to revisit the circumstances of the uncle's death.
22"Lights, Camera, Murder!"Merlyn RiceDominique Moloney8 February 2022 (2022-02-08)
Top television spy series Operation QT is filming at the convent, and when a real bullet is fired narrowly missing the leading actor, Sister Boniface investigates. Together with DS Livingstone Sister Boniface works out the real target was the show producer Dick Lansky, who has many enemies on and off set and a roving eye for the actresses. Lansky is found dead in a chair, electrocuted, and DI Gillespie takes charge. With help from reporter Ruth Penny, Gillespie is directed towards one of the actresses who had fled from Lansky's caravan. He also realises the bullet and electrocution reflected scenes from the episode being filmed and the last scene features a briefcase containing a bomb. Sister Boniface, who had rudimentary training in bomb disposal when she worked at wartime Bletchley Park, lends a hand.
33"Love and Other Puzzles"Ian BarberKitty Percy15 February 2022 (2022-02-15)
Sister Boniface is called to examine the body of Hilary Sympson-Smythe who has died mysteriously, her face covered in cold cream and a completed jigsaw with one piece missing. A lonely hearts connection to Ruth Penny's newspaper leads Gillespie and Livingstone to investigate the male respondents. Ruth believes there is another victim who died in identical circumstances. A third victim is murdered with the only clue some mud from a shoe. Narrowing the suspects to three men and then to one, but with no evidence, Gillespie and Livingstone need a potential victim to attract the killer. Their landlady Mrs Clam volunteers. Looking for the mud's location, Sister Boniface and WPC Button realise the detectives have gone after the wrong man, and Ruth Penny is in danger when she discovers the missing jigsaw pieces.
44"My Brother's Keeper"John MaidensKit Lambert15 February 2022 (2022-02-15)

Sister Reginald's incorrigible brother Alfie Lynch, a habitual thief, turns up at the nunnery seeking help. He is put up at Mrs Clams's guest house. At an art exhibition in the local gallery, egocentric artist Gerry Ardwell features himself as the main exhibit. The next morning Ardwell is found dead, bludgeoned by a brass statue, and a valuable painting stolen. Alfie Lynch is missing and DI Gillespie's main suspect. Sister Reginald pleads with Sister Boniface to find the real culprit, a task made harder when the painting is found in Lynch's room and other suspects have alibis.

Features cameo by Mark Williams as Father Brown
55"Scoop!"John MaidensKit Lambert22 February 2022 (2022-02-22)
Sister Boniface is called by DI Gillespie to the home of minister of defence, Charles Stratham, where guest Mary Sparkes was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Quickly assessing Sparkes has been murdered by poisoning, Gillespie and DS Livingstone have to identify the murderer among the persons in the house: one is reporter Ruth Penny, disguised as a maid and looking for a scoop. Others in the house are Stratham's wife and guests actress Jocelyn Kelly and her husband screenwriter Anthony Kelly. Also present is Professor Azim Thomas, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Defence, for whom Sparkes was secretary. Sister Boniface discovers a sophisticated binary poison was used while Ruth uncovers an affair between Stratham and Sparkes. A missing secret document concerning Britain's next generation of nuclear missiles points to KGB involvement.
66"Song for the Dead"John MaidensOliver Frampton22 February 2022 (2022-02-22)
Reggie Wallis, lead singer for the pop group The Queenmakers is found dead from an allergic reaction to a bee sting, confirmed by Sister Boniface as murder when she finds the dead bee and Wallis' shirt collar smeared with glue and pollen. Gillespie and Livingstone investigate the rivalries among the band, their conniving manager and Wallis' pregnant secret wife, who he was planning to divorce. Ruth Penny finds another motive in a roadie who had committed suicide exactly two years earlier. Sister Boniface concentrates on pollen combinations found on the dead bee to locate the garden the bee had come from. WPC Peggy Button, who had a crush on Wallis, finds her police career in jeopardy.
77"Dem Bones"Ian BarberMichelle Lipton1 March 2022 (2022-03-01)
A skeleton found buried in Edie Paignton's allotment is difficult for Sister Boniface to identify as male or female. Paignton's husband had disappeared, as had Frank Harsden's pregnant daughter Jenny. More tests by Sister Boniface reveal the victim had been murdered with a cultivator and buried in a caustic soda mixture. She finally identifies the body as Sidney Jackson, who owned the allotments and who disappeared the day before selling them to a supermarket chain. DI Gillespie arrests Peggy Button's father after discovering the murder weapon in his allotment shed and his use of caustic soda in his butcher's shop. DS Livingstone discovers that Frank Harsden was physically abusing his daughter Jenny and that Jackson was the father of her child.
88"Queen of the Kitchen"Merlyn RiceTahsin Guner1 March 2022 (2022-03-01)
Prunella Gladwell comes to St Vincent's Convent to present an episode of her top rated cookery show involving six contestants, including Sister Boniface, competing for a cash prize. Contestant Gladys Tibbs dies during the recording, and Sister Boniface determines she was poisoned by belladonna berries added to her own cake - a cake that should have been tasted by Gladwell. Sam and Felix uncover animosity among the contestants, television crew and Gladwell's husband. Sister Boniface discovers Reverend Mother's favourite carp, Colin, dead in the convent pond near a growing belladonna plant and a fragment of paper containing part of a recipe. The recording delayed, Sam and Sister Boniface have to prevent another murder while the show is broadcast live.
99"Sister Town"Dominic KeaveyOliver Frampton8 March 2022 (2022-03-08)
Great Slaughter's twinning with a German town is met with animosity by some members of the twinning committee and townsfolk. Karl Fischer, the German mayor, with his wife Elsa and a group of German soldiers led by General Udo Von Stark arrive for the ceremony. An attempt on Fischer's life kills Ellis Everett, who was opposed to the twinning. Sister Boniface discovers a handkerchief soaked with sweat and smelling of acetone, indicating diabetes. General Stark tells Sam and Felix that Karl insisted on twinning with Great Slaughter. Mayor and committee member Iris Heartley met and fell in love with Karl when she was a nurse in the POW camp where he was confined after being shot down in the war. Karl admits participating in the bombing of Coventry, something of which he is now ashamed. Diabetes tests conducted on all the suspects are negative, but Peggy Button's mentioning that her vitamin C tablets were stolen gives Sister Boniface a key clue. Ruth Penny discovers Sam and Karl Fischer have much in common.
1010"Crimes and Miss Demeanours"Dominic KeaveyJude Tindall8 March 2022 (2022-03-08)
The United Britain beauty contest comes to Slaughter Abbey, and one of the three favourites is found dead in the swimming pool. Sister Boniface deduces murder from a blow to the back of the head. To the annoyance of Sam, Detective Chief Inspector Winner is sent from Scotland Yard to oversee the investigation, but Felix sees this as his chance to transfer to Scotland Yard. The investigation reveals the victim was disliked by her fellow contestants, whom she looked to have disqualified for breaking contest rules. Sister Boniface determines the victim was murdered by a stiletto heel. Winner and Felix arrest Miss Glasgow, who won her title by default when the winner was disqualified, after her sash is found near the pool with the victim's blood on it, even though it was not there when WPC Peggy Button searched the area. Sam and Sister Boniface look for the owner of the stiletto, and a burnt birthday card confirms a motive for murder.

Series 2 (2023) edit

Series 2 began streaming in the US on 3 April 2023.

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
111"Don't Try This at Home"Ian BarberJude Tindall3 April 2023 (2023-04-03)
The children's TV show Jolly Roger comes to Great Slaughter to record a roadshow episode. The programme editor, Dinah Morgan, returns from three months' jury service and is not happy with producer Fliss Forsyth and the direction the show has taken. When Morgan is found murdered, Forsyth and the shows three presenters, ex soldier Jono Hardy, ventriloquist Danny Lemon, and former circus performer Sandy Shanks become Sam's main suspects and he needs Sister Boniface to find evidence. She discovers a button and some human hair and a witness to the murder but it is, Poopdeck Pete, the shows parrot who has escaped his cage following, determined by Sister Boniface, an attempt on his life.
122"The Shadow of Baron Battenberg"John MaidensDominique Maloney3 April 2023 (2023-04-03)
Sam and Ruth pretend to be married having a strained relationship in order to go undercover at a couples retreat. The retreat is run by Marion Grey and Edwin Battenberg. Marion was married to Edwin's brother, Baron Battenberg, a philanderer, who disappeared 5 years ago but sightings of him interest a Times journalist Victor Goodbody who believes he was murdered. Sam and Ruth maintaining their cover seek clues to the whereabouts of the Baron and discover Goodbody dead. Sister Boniface discovers he had been drugged with LSD before being murdered and Sam finds a tooth belonging to Goodbody in a pool. This brings another couple, Ben and Leigh Matthews, under suspicion. Leigh was a beauty contestant winner and Goodbody has written a story about how she won the contest, to the disgust of her jealous husband. Sister Boniface's meal at the retreat is laced with LSD but it gives her insight as to the killer. Sam and Ruth's relationship has developed at the clinic until she reveals a job offer from The Times to replace Goodbody.
133"The It Girl"Ian BarberNeil Irvine11 April 2023 (2023-04-11)
Super model Robin "Birdie" Carter returns reluctantly to her native Great Slaughter ordered by her domineering manager Max Savage. Also in tow are Moses Valentine, the uncredited designer of "Birdies" fashion range, and documentary film maker, Verity Martin with her own agenda to vilify Carter and Savage. They are all staying at Slaughter Manor and in the night Savage is murdered in his locked room. Sister Boniface discovers Carter's blood on the wall, a cigar in the hearth, and partly destroyed film footage. Peggy Button, an old friend of Carter's, is more interested in why she is estranged from her mother Shirley Turner whose second husband, Carter's step-father, had died after she left the village to find fame and fortune.
144"The Book of Shadows"Judith DineDan Muirden11 April 2023 (2023-04-11)
Tom Thomas comes across a coven of white witches in the woods. In the morning the charred remains of a woman are found within a pentagram symbol. Sister Boniface informs Sam she has been stabbed in the neck and among the ashes she finds a ritual dagger and a pentacle inscribed Jackie Rice; one of the members of the coven. The news come to the attention of Reverend Mother Adrian who had previous dealings with the witches she believed had been banished from Great Slaughter when she burnt their book, The Book of Shadows. Sam has the task of uncovering the identities of the witches who live undetected in the village as the suspects to the murder. More importantly Sister Boniface discovers a black witch has infiltrated the coven and the Reverend Mother is to be the next victim.
155"St George's Defence"Merlyn RiceKit Lambert18 April 2023 (2023-04-18)
Sister Boniface's parents, who are atheists that were aghast when their daughter took religious vows, come to Great Slaughter. Her mother, Vivienne, is concerned her husband, Malise, is obsessed that a Russian spy is one of the competitors at the British Open Chess Championships. Sister Boniface, much to her mother's annoyance, agrees her father's suspicions need investigating. Sam is not convinced but agrees Felix and Peggy can help Sister Boniface who enters the competition. When a competitor is murdered Max investigates and an encoded diary is found which contains information about a mind enhancing drug and a clandestine meeting. Sister Boniface after winning her rounds reaches the final and comes up against an opponent who has risen up the ranks of chess masters in the last year.
166"A Tight Squeeze"Judith DineEd Sellek18 April 2023 (2023-04-18)
Filming of a bawdy comedy, Oh Do Behave Constable, in Great Slaughter lands Sister Boniface in hospital with a broken leg. Felix has been on set to advise on correct police procedure. When the director Sexton St. Juste is strangled with a brassiere, suspicion falls on four cast members who all have a motive. Sister Boniface enlists Sister Reginald and Sister Peter, without Reverend Mother Adrian's knowing, to find evidence at the crime scene while Sam and Felix look for the murder weapon. A running film camera at the murder scene pointing at a wall gives Sister Boniface a clue and Felix's discovery of an 8mm home movie entitled The Wedding, lands them with the murderer's motive.
177"Stiff Competition"John MaidensJude Tindall22 April 2023 (2023-04-22)
The fiftieth Great Slaughter Talent Contest with a £500 prize attracts a record entry. The two favourites are magician Tony Smith (the Great Faldini) and 11-year-old Tina Tiny, "the girl with the big voice." The head judge is Chief Constable Hector Lowsley. During the final heat Tony Smith is murdered during his Box of Death trick. Sister Boniface and Felix investigate as Sam absents himself. Smith, determined to win is uncovered as a blackmailer, and suspects include Smith's former partner fellow competitor Leonard Monk (Curly Cuddles), judge Jane Beaufort who was Debra Cadabra (Smith's assistant 10 years ago) and Sylvie Simmons, Tina Tiny's pushy mother. The discovery of a can of hairspray leads Sister Boniface to the murderer and the tragic death of a sister some years ago and the ensuing consequences.
188"Dead Air"Paul GibsonOliver Frampton22 April 2023 (2023-04-22)
Pirate radio station Radio Catherine is operating in the Great Slaughter area, and Peggy is one of its greatest fans. GPO inspector Nigel Graybone enlists Sam's rather reluctant help to track the station down. When lead disc jockey Billy King is murdered, Sister Boniface determines he was electrocuted by someone tampered with his microphone. Sam and Felix investigate King's associates, including technician Arnie Cunningham. who's in love with King's wife Cathy. She resents her husband's philandering. Also suspected are King's co-presenter ex-BBC Light Programme disc jockey Patt Garrett and businessman Gabriel Viegas, who is about to pump a lot of money into the station. Sister Boniface discovers a clue on the recording of King's final show but cannot identify it; then she and Peggy discover a connection between Cathy and Graybone in the local paper.
199"Stage Fright"Paul GibsonKitty Percy29 April 2023 (2023-04-29)
Chief Constable Hector Lowsley is actor, manager, director of the struggling Great Slaughter Amateur Dramatics Society known as G-SADS. The G-SADS are hoping to receive a grant to carry on their work and are performing a play by local author Ambrose Chance, now deceased. When the leading man, Lewis Garner, is murdered, stabbed on stage by a prop knife, Sister Boniface and Sam investigate. Lowsley enlists Felix as a replacement actor. Sister Boniface investigates the significance of the stage backdrop of an actual location, and she and Sam discover the body of a man murdered years ago, that was witnessed by Garner when he was a boy. They come to realise the play is actually a confession of the murder by two men; Chance and another still alive. The Chief Constable insists the show must go on.
2010"The Good Samaritan"Merlyn RiceJude Tindall29 April 2023 (2023-04-29)
A copycat poisoning of Irene Symonds brings into doubt evidence against Myrtle Hunnisweet, aka The Good Samaritan, gathered by Sister Boniface and Max. Instead of prison Hunnisweet, a fan of Agatha Christie, was declared insane and sent to a psychiatric hospital. Another poisoning, of Saul Cropper, leads to Sam's suspension. Suspects include Symonds's husband who knew of his wife's many extra marital affairs, psychiatric nurse Brenda Bristow needing money and sole beneficiary of her grandfather Saul Cropper. A third suspect is author Oswald Blower writing a book to prove Hunnisweet's innocence. Sister Boniface is convinced Hunnisweet is communicating by code with the copycat killer. A painting and hospital magazine in Hunnisweet's room provide a clue and forewarning to Sister Boniface of an attempt to poison Sam and then probably herself.

Christmas special (2023) edit

No.
overall
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
21"The Star of the Orient"Ian BarberJude Tindall19 December 2023 (2023-12-19)
Sister Boniface and Inspector Gillespie are on the same train going home for Christmas to their respective families when the train is caught in a snowstorm, and the last four carriages become detached. On board are the Usher family: father Sir Swinton, his son Ranulf, daughter-in-law Abigail, and his secretary Jean Smythe. Sir Swinton is conveying a valuable jewel he is donating to the British Museum. The jewel is believed to be cursed, already causing blindness to Abigail. When the jewel is stolen in what appears to be an impossible crime, Sam questions all the passengers while Sister Boniface remains incognito. An impossible murder of one of the passengers adds to the confusion. Back in Great Slaughter, Felix and Peggy have a problem of their own when a naked man is found frozen to death, and at St Vincent's convent, Reverend Mother Adrian has a fit of conscience and cancels Christmas, to the dismay of Sisters Reginald and Peter. A 16-year-old girl travelling alone and a black lad found hidden in the goods wagon with a donkey stable add to the Christmas theme and bring out the best in the Reverend Mother.

Home media edit

Series Release date
Region 1 DVD Region 2 DVD
(UK)
Region B Blu-ray
(UK)
Region 2 DVD
(Germany)
Series 1 13 September 2022[7] 16 May 2022[8] 16 May 2022[9] 26 January 2024[10]
Series 2 3 October 2023[11] 31 July 2023[12] 31 July 2023[13] TBA
Series 3 TBA 29 July 2024[14] 29 July 2024[15] TBA

References edit

  1. ^ "Sister Boniface Mysteries". Britbox.
  2. ^ Mumm, Patrick (9 September 2021). "UKTV's Drama Channel Acquires UK Rights To 'Father Brown' Spin-Off 'The Sister Boniface Mysteries'". TV Wise.
  3. ^ "BritBox North America recommission BBC Studios Drama Productions' Sister Boniface Mysteries". BritBox North America. 2022. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  4. ^ "Sister Boniface Mysteries Season 3 How to Watch & Stream in the US | Telly Visions". tellyvisions.org. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  5. ^ a b Snyder, Diane (2 February 2022). "'Sister Boniface': Crime-Solving Nun Gets the Spotlight in 'Father Brown' Spinoff". TV Insider.
  6. ^ "Princethorpe Connect". September 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Sister Boniface Mysteries: Season 1 (DVD)(2022)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  8. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series One (DVD)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  9. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series One (Blu-ray)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Sister Boniface Mysteries - Die komplette erste Staffel. - Von den Machern von "Father Brown" [3 DVDs]". amazon.de. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  11. ^ "Sister Boniface Mysteries: Season 2 (DVD)(2023)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  12. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series Two (DVD)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  13. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series Two (Blu-ray)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  14. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series Three (DVD)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
  15. ^ "The Sister Boniface Mysteries: Series Three (Blu-ray)". hmv.com. Retrieved 8 April 2024.

External links edit