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Series / Rosemary & Thyme

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A 2003–2006 British Cozy Mystery series starring Felicity Kendall and Pam Ferris as Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme, a pair of gardeners who have a tendency to stumble across a lot more violent murders and crimes than you would normally expect of a pair of gardeners. Fortunately, as one is a retired professor of biology and the other is a retired police officer, they also possess more skills in solving crimes than you would expect a pair of gardeners to possess as well.

Rosemary & Thyme provides examples of:

  • All Abusers Are Male: Subverted in the episode "Agua Cadaver."
  • The Alleged Car: Rosemary's Land Rover.
  • Alone with the Psycho: They find an alarming number of murderers this way.
  • Always Murder
  • Amateur Sleuths: Rosemary and Laura are gardeners, though Laura is former cop and has some idea of how to analyze a crime scene (if no jurisdiction whatsoever). She's not shy about scolding active duty cops (especially younger ones) who don't do their job properly.
  • Animal Assassin: In "Racquet Espanol". A man is deathly allergic to insect bites, so his epipen is stolen and an aggressive spider is placed in an open water bottle hidden under a pillow in the hope of making the inevitable bite look like an accident.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Can show up in some of the episodes set outside the UK. Lampshaded in "Agua Cadaver":
    Laura: If they understood that, it'll be a miracle.
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  • Black Widow: One of the murderers in "Orpheus in the Undergrowth".
  • Body Horror: In "And No Birds Sing", one of the characters is suffering from a horrific case of dermatitis caused deliberately by his wife.
  • British Brevity: The show ran for three seasons, totaling 22 episodes. Part of the difficulty was that so much of it had to be filmed outdoors, fairly difficult for England where it rains so often. This is also why numerous episodes were filmed on location in other European countries.
  • Butt-Monkey : Poor Laura often makes some bad decisions for nothing more than laughs, and her figure and fondness for food is derided. Lightly, but still.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In "A Simple Plot", Tiberius the guide dog is very good at retrieving dropped keys. This skill saves Rosemary's life in the episode's climax when she's locked in an elevator shaft while said elevator is descending.
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  • Close-Knit Community: Several episodes involve the duo being hired to do work on the gardens of a beautiful country manor, and being forced deal with this trope in the surrounding village when a body turns up.
  • Cop and Scientist: Laura was a police officer until her marriage to a Detective Inspector (who made her quit). Rosemary is a plant biologist and university lecturer in horticulture at University of Malmesbury (or was, until she was sacked for rather underhanded reasons).
    • In the first two episodes Laura reveals she does have some background with plants, as her father was a farmer. She and Rosemary occasionally butt heads on the proper way to do certain tasks which are a bit different in farming.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: They get one in "In a Monastery Garden", which they initially mistake for a parking ticket. It warns them to "stay away from the herb garden or you die."
    Rosemary: That's not very nice.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both girls, many times. When a snooty police detective (one of several who thinks they're a couple) questions Laura in "The Language of Flowers," she tells him she'd been a housewife, before that, a policewoman. (Her husband made her quit when they married.)
    Detective Inspector Taylor: Why'd you quit?
    Laura: I was stupid enough to marry a D.I.
  • Dude Magnet: Harriet in "The Tree of Death". Prompting one of her suitors to try to thin out the competition a little.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The opening credits. Slow-motion flower porn.
  • Dog Got Sent to a Farm: With a twist... the farm is real! It's a kind of retirement community for elderly dogs.note  Laura is strongly tempted to keep Tiberius, the Black Lab who saved Rosemary's life after his blind owner was murdered, but instead she entrusts him to a sanctuary. The woman who runs it literally assures them that he will have "comfortable kennels, open fields to roam, as much food as he can eat, he'll have the life of Riley." Laura says she wishes she could go too.
  • Epunymous Title: An especially contrived example, leading to much snark (including a tacit Take That! in the Doctor Who episode "Blink").
  • Exotic Backdrop Setting: Some of the episodes set on the continent have shades of this, given how many of the characters are British expats who rarely interact with the locals.
  • Foreshadowing: In "The Memory of Water", when Rosemary and Laura are talking to Martin Frazer about their encounters with his eccentric cousin Jim, Martin says of his cousin "The man you met is a stranger to me.". As it happens, he really is (although Martin doesn't know it), as the man that they met was someone pretending to be Jim.
    • In the beginning same episode there is constant mention of a handyman who is shirking his duties. He's later revealed to be the man who's been masquerading as 'Cousin Jim'.
    • In "A Simple Plot" Rosemary jokingly mentions her terrible track record with men...while on a date with the man who turns out to be the murderer.
  • Friend on the Force: Laura's police officer son. This is lampshaded in "Racquet Espanol", where he's rather peeved that he's forced to act as an officer on what is supposed to be his holiday.
  • Grail in the Garbage: This is how they find out what happened to the legendary botanist's rare seeds in "Seeds of Time". If it hadn't rained, they still wouldn't know.
  • Greed: This motive is massive red herring in "The Language of Flowers". The victim was killed after she decided to update her include the illegitimate daughter of her husband. However said daughter didn't care about the money at all, and just wanted the victim dead to avenge her mother. It is the actual motive in "A Simple Plot".
  • He Knows Too Much: The first victim in "The Cup of Silence" is killed because he'd just discovered that the owners of a fancy winery were ripping their customers off by passing off cheap wine as legitimate vintages.
  • His Name Is...: In "Seeds of Time", Laura is reading an old diary late at night and discovers a possible clue. Waking Rosemary, she says "I've just found the answer to the whole thing! It's a—" "AAAAARGGH!", glass breaks, and the girls open the window to find yet another dead person.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • What kicks off the murder plot in "Arabica and the Early Spider". The victim is working late and sees some suspicious figures digging up his lawn. Instead of doing the smart thing of retreating inside and calling the police he chooses to confront them and gets shot for his troubles. Rosemary also gets hit with this in the same episode, as after being shot at through her window she stands up instead of ducking under the desk, and a moment later chooses to open the door and yell at the shooters. Both instances are heavily lampshaded by the more level headed characters.
    • The title characters run the length of the field with this in "The Gooseberry Bush". After finding an abandoned baby you'd assume they would turn it in to the police. Instead, deeming the 20-mile distance to the nearest police station too much of a bother, they keep it - even refusing to tell the police when they are on site after finding a body. Turned up to eleven when they decide to stash a gun next to the baby - even pointing the barrel at him while concealing it.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Adam in "Enter Two Gardeners" investigates the misfiring of the prop gun by looking down the barrel and trying to fire it again. He shoots himself in the face.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: The murderer in "The Tree of Death" is caught after boasting during The Summation that they knew that the arrow which killed the victim was shot from the side door of the church...when that fact was a secret to everyone but Rosemary and Laura.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Frequently in the episodes. Examples include "And No Birds Sing" (Keats) and "Swords Into Ploughshares" (The Bible). Also the title of the show itself.
  • Little Old Lady Investigates: Although Rosemary and Laura are more middle-aged than elderly.
  • Lying Finger Cross: In one episode, Rosemary and Laura are working at a school where two of the teachers end up murdered. The headmaster tries to persuade them not to get entangled in the investigation, and they promise not to get involved. But the moment he walks away:
    Laura: I had my fingers crossed behind my back when I said that.
    Rosemary: So did I. (reveals her crossed fingers)
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The murder in "A Simple Plot".
  • Mistaken for Gay: In "Arabica and the Early Spider", Det. Inspector Trelawney is convinced that Rosemary and Laura are a lesbian couple. This happens in a few following episodes.
  • Murder by Mistake: In "Three Legs Good". All the murderer knows about their intended victim is that they are a man who owns a three-legged dog. This causes them to kill an innocent man who was unlucky enough to be walking said dog.
  • Mystery Magnets: Rosemary and Laura encounter a surprising amount of violent crime while gardening.
  • Never Suicide: The death in "The Memory of Water" appears at first glance to be suicide, until Rosemary spies the man she saw go into the river (and whose body was found earlier on that day) walking around the market.
    • The second death in "Sweet Angelica" appears to be suicide, until the duo find out that the victim was a devout Catholic and so was very unlikely to have jumped.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: or with the whole language. In the episode "Sweet Angelica," students from Poland are played by British youths who are reading out their lines in Polish really, really badly, the effect not even resembling Polish speech. Would have been easier to just go with translation convention.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You: In "Swords Into Ploughshares," Laura sees a news report that Rosemary has been murdered.note  When she and a client try to tell Rosemary's mother, the old lady laughs gaily and calls out to her daughter.
    Mother. Rosemary is here.
    Laura. Yes, I know what you mean, it's as if she's just stepped into the next room.
    (Rosemary enters, having just had a bath. Laura & client are stunned.)
    Mother. Now shall I put the kettle on?''
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: The gun used in the play in "Enter Two Gardeners" turns out to be loaded. See I Just Shot Marvin in the Face above.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: A form of this brings about the death of George Hamilton Teed, the editor of the local paper in "The Memory of Water". Having read Jim Frazer's latest gossipy letter, he leaves a message on the Frazers' answering machine warning about "an important affair that could affect the whole village". Suzanne Frazer hears the message and mistakenly assumes it's about the affair she's having with the handyman, over which she has already murdered Jim Frazer, so she murders Hamilton Teed to "silence" him. The message is really about the village's war memorial.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: As the title suggests, the show's theme song is "Scarborough Fair". Also, the episode "They Understand Me In Paris", set in France, uses an arrangement of "Frère Jacques" as background music.
  • Really Gets Around: The handyman from "Agua Cadaver" and the painter from "Gooseberry Bush." Bonus points to the painter for his age.
  • Scenery Porn: The entire series is filled with lush gardens and beautiful houses, from snug little cottages to lavish mansions. The cinematography features a palette that draws the viewer right in, from gentle pastels (especially in clothing) to warm rich interiors and delightful bright hues for the gardens.
  • Shown Their Work: Created to entertain an actual gardener, the show contains accurate horticultural knowledge, some of it quite obscure.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Rosemary and Laura have this dynamic in their gardening. Rosemary is the technician, a scientist who gets her expertise from many years of botanical research. Laura is the performer, a farmer's daughter who tends to be more hands-on and takes to gardening because she enjoys it. While they do disagree now and then over methods, this is actually what makes them such a great team.
  • Vacation Episode: Practically an entire series of these, given how many episodes were filmed at country houses or in the Mediterranean.
  • You Killed My Father: The motive in "The Language of Flowers" where the victim is killed by the child of a woman she drove to suicide years before. More literally in "Three Legs Good" - the murderer's father was Driven to Suicide after the mother was killed in a car crash; the man she was having an affair with was driving, so the daughter is out to kill him.