Baldi (radio)


A promotional shot of the cast of Baldi
Genre Crime Drama
Running time 45 minutes
Country Northern Ireland
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 4
Starring David Threlfall
Tina Kellegher (series 1–4)
Tara Flynn (series 5)
Created by Barry Devlin
Written by Barry Devlin et al.
Produced by Lawrence Jackson
Recording studio RTÉ studios, Dublin
Air dates since 1 October 2000
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 28
Opening theme Saint Agnes and the Burning Train, The Soul Cages.

Baldi is a BBC Radio 4 murder mystery series whose central character is Paolo Baldi (played by David Threlfall), a Franciscan priest on sabbatical, lecturing on semiotics at a university in contemporary Dublin. After helping the police as a translator for an Italian witness, he turns sleuth. Created by Barry Devlin, it is produced by BBC Northern Ireland.


Father Paolo Baldi (David Threlfall) is a priest torn between his interest in investigation and detective work, and the secluded life of a priest. On sabbatical from the Franciscan Order, he takes up amateur sleuthing and befriends DI Tina Mahon (Tina Kellegher for the first four series, then Tara Flynn), a member of the Gardaí. Both her superior, DS Rynne (Owen Roe), and Baldi's spiritual director, Father Troy (T. P. McKenna), would prefer that he end his sabbatical and return to the Order. Father Baldi has an unfortunate knack of becoming involved in murder enquires, usually by his friendship with one of those involved. His gentle, reassuring behaviour and the Seal of the Confessional encourages participants to open up to him.

Broadcasting Information

Five series have been broadcast, totalling twenty-eight episodes. These have all been first aired in the 45 minute Afternoon Play slot, with frequent repeats of the series on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The regular cast includes David Threlfall, Tina Kellegher, Owen Roe and T. P. McKenna. Guest appearances have included some of Ireland and the UK 's leading actors, including Gerard McSorley, Martin Clunes, Stephen Mangan, Margaret D'Arcy, Niall Buggy, Adrian Dunbar, Michael Maloney, Bill Nighy, Sorcha Cusack, Geraldine James, Niall Toibin, Barry McGovern, Nick Dunning, David Kelly, Stephen Moore, Pauline McLynn, Sara Kestelman, Robert Bathurst, John Kavanagh, Mark Lambert (actor & director) and Victoria Smurfit.

The theme tune is by Sting, and is called "Saint Agnes and the Burning Train".[1]

Episode list

1 1The Prodigal SonBarry DevlinPaolo Baldi, Franciscan priest and philosophy lecturer, accidentally becomes involved in solving a murder at an Italian chip shop.
2Keepers of the FlameSimon Brett Baldi is caught up in solving the murder of a leading academic. He follows a trail leading into the past of one of Ireland's most cherished literary figures
3Miss LonelyheartsBarry DevlinPaolo and Tina investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a nurse at an old people's home and uncover an unlikely case of voyeurism.
4The Emerald StyleSimon BrettPaolo's attempt to wine and dine his spiritual director Father Troy at a leading Dublin hotel is interrupted by a murder.
5Death CapSimon BrettAt a monastic retreat far out in County Cork, a sudden death among the Franciscan brothers causes Paolo to suspect foul play.
6Devil Take the HindmostAnnie CaulfieldPaolo and Tina investigate the death of a student on campus, following the trail to an arrogant clique that dabbled in the occult. Is there a rational explanation, or was the Devil really involved?
2 7Three in OneSimon BrettA trip to the races for Baldi and Mrs Reid proves to have an unexpected link with a contract killing on the mean streets of Dublin's northside.
8Twilight of a GodMark HollowayPaolo and Tina investigate a murder at a celebrity wedding between a country girl and a world-famous opera conductor, in a remote castle off the Irish coast.
9Schecter's KnotMartin MeenanThe death of a talented young maths professor leaves Paolo and Tina to ask whether it was the result of a bad case of professional jealousy.
10Not for LifeSimon BrettWhen told that there is a question mark over the facts surrounding a girl's suicide, Paolo follows the trail into the contrasting worlds of romantic poetry and internet scams.
11Scratching the SurfaceMartin MeenanPaolo and Tina go pot-holing in County Clare and investigate a case of betrayal among a close-knit band of cavers.
12Early RetirementMark HollowayThe murder of a high-ranking officer in the Dublin police force causes Tina to reassess her relationship with a beloved father figure.
3 13Tempus FugitMartin MeenanBaldi finds time waits for no man as he investigates a murder. Mrs Reid leads Paolo and his broken watch to a house of clocks where love, revenge and jealousy make a mockery of time.
14The Book CaseSimon BrettPaolo helps a librarian investigate the link between her young lover's death, a shifty Chicago cop, and an illegal trade in rare books.
15Sick RoseMartin MeenanPaolo and Tina discover that a priceless hybrid plant leads to little peace and serenity in the newly designed Garden of Contemplation.
16Settling ScoresMark HollowayPaolo invites Tina to her first classical music concert and finds a murder gets things off on a wrong note.
17The DigMartin MeenanAn archaeological dig becomes a battlefield involving monks, politicians and developers. Paolo makes some fascinating discoveries.
18Far PavilionsMartin MeenanPaolo discovers that Irish cricket and fair play are not synonymous when he uncovers foul play at an unfriendly charity match.
4 19Cross PurposesSimon BrettPaolo solves crossword-related murders in Dublin literary circles, with Father Troy proving a surprisingly adept ally.
20The Devil's EyeBill MurphyPaolo is confronted with old Gaelic, shipwrecks and a community's mysterious history on a remote island off the Atlantic coast.
21The SmokerAndrew MartinPaolo solves the murder of a politically incorrect, larger-than-life individual in the world of Dublin's pubs and publishing.
22No SinMartin MeenanA death at the local gym leads Paolo to make a connection between the fanatical pursuit of health and mediaeval theology.
23The Empty VesselJohn MurphyThe suspicious death of the leader of the university debating society leads Paolo to investigate the dead youth's close-knit group of friends.
24ShelterFrancis TurnlyThe murder of a homeless man leads Paolo to link a Dublin squat with the history of art.
5 25The Million Dollar QuestionBarry DevlinFranciscan priest Paolo Baldi investigates the mysterious deaths of members of a rockabilly band, exploring patterns of squares and triangles to find the solution.
26A Very Neglected FishJohn MurphyBaIdi investigates a murder set among the competitive world of celebrity chefs.
27A Green MurderAndrew MartinBaldi investigates a murder among a community of Dublin environmentalists.
28Food of the BlueJames McAleaveyWhen Baldi goes on retreat at Cranolly House, a series of unusual events plunges him into a world of ancient traditions struggling to survive in a modern world.

Technical Crew

External links


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