Robert Forrest's thriller and love story set in the court of the Empress Sadako in 10th-century Japan.


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010120080811Within the palace walls, a series of disturbing crimes throws the court into confusion and unrest.
Sei Shonagon's brilliance and wit is called upon for more than her Empress's amusement.
  • emperor....richard madden
  • empress....laura rees
  • narimasa....John Rowe
  • saisho....caroline martin
  • shonagon....ruth gemmell
  • tadanobu....Benedict Cumberbatch
  • tozammi....Colette O'neil
  • yukinari....Mark Bazeley 
  • 010220080812In the snow-covered palace, the thefts are moving in a slow spiral towards the inner chambers of the Emperor, the Sun God himself.
    010320080813Shonagon has been appointed guide and assistant to Lieutenant Yukinari as he investigates a series of thefts within the palace walls.
    Her lover Tadanobu is uncomfortable about the nature of the contract between the pair.
    010420080814The Demon Shiki is discovered sitting on the throne itself, suggesting that the supernatural is at work within the palace walls.
    Meanwhile, Shonagon and Yukinari continue to search for some human motive behind the escalating crimes.
    0105 LAST20080815The palace criminal is discovered, but exposing him may cost Shonagon and Yukinari their lives.
    020120090608By Robert Forrest.
    Second series inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, the 10th-century Japanese poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Teishi.
    It has been nine months since Lieutenant Yukinari and Lady Shonagon solved the crimes in the palace, and nine months since they parted.
    A chill wind brings ominous news, and a blood-stained letter from Yukinari.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Mark Bazeley
    Tadanobu....Liam Brennan
    Masamitsu....Ralph Riach
    Oshika....Nick Underwood
    Emperor....Simon Ginty.
    A chill wind brings ominous news and a blood-stained letter from Lieutenant Yukinari.
    020220090609By Robert Forrest.
    Second series inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, the 10th-century Japanese poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Teishi.
    Yukinari has been beaten and left for dead in a blacksmith's bothy.
    Someone has been sending him writings which speak of The Day of Fire, and an Incorruptible Lord - a Lord Yukinari believes may now be in the Palace itself.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Mark Bazeley
    Tadanobu....Liam Brennan
    Masamitsu....Ralph Riach.
    Yukinari believes the Incorruptible Lord he has been warned about may be in the Palace.
    020320090610By Robert Forrest.
    Second series inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, the 10th-century Japanese poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Teishi.
    Lieutenant Yukinari is convinced that one of three Lords of the Palace is the leader of a rebellion which threatens the life of Emperor, the Sun God himself.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Mark Bazeley
    Tadanobu....Liam Brennan
    Oshika....Nick Underwood.
    Yukinari is convinced that one of three Lords of the Palace is the leader of the rebellion.
    020420090611By Robert Forrest.
    Second series inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, the 10th-century Japanese poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Teishi.
    An earthquake has shattered the Palace walls.
    Gifts arrive from across Japan, and from the Emperor of China himself.
    But Yukinari fears that the gifts are not as innocent as they seem.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Oshika....Nick Underwood
    Yukinari....Mark Bazeley
    Tadanobu....Liam Brennan
    Masamitsu....Ralph Riach.
    An earthquake has shattered the Palace walls and gifts arrive from across Japan.
    0205 LAST20090612By Robert Forrest.
    Second series inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, the 10th-century Japanese poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Teishi.
    Shonagon and Yukinari find themselves in a damp cellar of the Palace in the middle of the night, face to face with Lord Oshika - a young man of high ideals and convictions, and perhaps deadly intent.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Mark Bazeley
    Oshika....Nick Underwood
    Masamitsu....Ralph Riach
    Emperor....Simon Ginty.
    Shonagon and Yukinari find themselves face to face with Lord Oshika.
    030120101115Shonagon and Yukinari return to investigate a new crime in 10th Century Japan.
    Set in 10th Century Japan, this is the third thriller inspired by the diaries of Sei Shonagon.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to investigate a murder in the Palace of the Sun Goddess.
    A favourite of the Emperor is found drowned in a pool in the Palace Gardens.
    But before Yukinari can investigate, the body is given a ceremonial burial and all trace of the crime washed away by the spring rains.
    By Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari - Mark Bazeley
    Emperor - Simon Ginty
    Empress - Laura Rees
    Gisaku - Robin Laing
    Producer - Lu Kemp 
    030220101116A fan, belonging to one of the court ladies, is found in the dead man's room.
    Set in 10th century Japan, this is the third thriller inspired by the diaries of Sei Shonagon.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to investigate a murder in the Palace of the Sun Goddess.
    A favourite of the Emperor is found drowned in a pool in the Palace Gardens.
    But, before Yukinari can investigate, the body is given a ceremonial burial and all trace of the crime washed away by the spring rains.
    Lady Shonagon is shocked to see Yukinari throw all courtesy aside in his ruthless pursuit of the truth.
    By Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari - Mark Bazeley
    Gisaku - Robin Laing
    Saisho - Vicki Liddelle 
    030320101117Yukinari meets his old adversary Lord Tadanobu, but finds Tadanobu a changed man.
    Set in 10th century Japan, this is the third thriller inspired by the diaries of Sei Shonagon.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to investigate a murder in the Palace of the Sun Goddess.
    A favourite of the Emperor is found drowned in a pool in the Palace Gardens.
    But, before Yukinari can investigate, the body is given a ceremonial burial and all trace of the crime washed away by the spring rains.
    Yukinari meets his old adversary Lord Tadanobu, but finds Tadanobu a changed man, much shaken by recent events within the Palace walls.
    By Robert Forrest
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari - Mark Bazeley
    Emperor - Simon Ginty
    Gisaku - Robin Laing
    Tadanobu - Cal Macaninch
    Producer - Lu Kemp 
    030420101118Shonagon and Yukinari return to uncover another mystery in 10th century Japan.
    Set in 10th Century Japan, this is the third thriller inspired by the diaries of Sei Shonagon.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to investigate a murder in the Palace of the Sun Goddess.
    A favourite of the Emperor is found drowned in a pool in the Palace Gardens.
    But before Yukinari can investigate, the body is given a ceremonial burial and all trace of the crime washed away by the spring rains.
    Yukinari begins to understand the extent of Giasaku's power over the courtiers in the Palace and to imagine the danger that power might have held for some.
    By Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari - Mark Bazeley
    Empress - Laura Rees
    Gisaku - Robin Laing
    Tadanobu - Cal Macaninch
    Producer - Lu Kemp 
    0305 LAST20101119Having uncovered the truth, Yukinari must decide whether to speak for the dead.
    Set in 10th century Japan, this is the third thriller inspired by the diaries of Sei Shonagon.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to investigate a murder in the Palace of the Sun Goddess.
    A favourite of the Emperor is found drowned in a pool in the Palace Gardens.
    But, before Yukinari can investigate, the body is given a ceremonial burial and all trace of the crime washed away by the spring rains.
    The truth behind the crime now uncovered, Yukinari must decide whether to speak for the dead or whether to let the dead stay silent.
    By Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari - Mark Bazeley
    Emperor - Simon Ginty
    Empress - Laura Rees
    Gisaku - Robin Laing
    Producer - Lu Kemp 
    040120111031The Emperor has disappeared into the wilderness beyond the palace walls.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari reunite for a new adventure in 10th century Japan.
    The young Emperor has disappeared from the Palace into the wilds of Japan, to learn the ways of his people.
    Mischievous as ever, he leaves behind him a challenge addressed to his champion and favourite, Lieutenant Yukinari, to find him.
    And, of course, Yukinari must be accompanied by his guide in the ways of palace life, the Lady Shonagon.
    The Emperor makes two conditions: that the couple travel unaccompanied and in disguise, dressed in peasant garb, a prospect that Lady Shonagon - a connoisseur of all the finer luxuries of life - finds both appalling and humiliating.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon - Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Cal Macaninch
    Emperor....Freddie Rayner
    Kei....Brian Ferguson
    Peasant....John Paul Hurley
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    040220111101Lady Shonagon is confronted with a world in which she is unknown and unrecognised.
    Robert Forrest's popular thriller, set in 10th century Japan.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari are reunited in a new adventure.
    The young Emperor has disappeared from the Palace into the wilds of Japan, to learn the ways of his people.
    Mischievous as ever, he has left behind him a challenge addressed to his champion, and favourite, Lieutenant Yukinari to find him.
    And, of course, Yukinari must be accompanied by his guide in the ways of palace life, the Lady Shonagon.
    The Emperor has made two conditions: that the couple travel unaccompanied and in disguise, dressed in peasant garb, a prospect that Lady Shonagon - a connoisseur of all the finer luxuries of life - finds both appalling and humiliating.
    Now on the road, Lady Shonagon is confronted with a world in which she is unknown and unrecognised.
    While the Emperor himself is delighting in his new life as anonymous wanderer.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Cal Macaninch
    Emperor....Freddie Rayner
    Kei....Brian Ferguson
    Dosser....John Paul Hurley
    Isuzu....Meg Fraser
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    040320111102The Emperor begins to learn lessons - in fence building and facing his nemesis, Inokichi.
    Episode three in a new series of Robert Forrest's popular thriller, set in 10th century Japan.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari are reunited for another adventure, this time beyond the safety of the Palace walls.
    The young Emperor has disappeared from the Palace into the wilds of Japan, to learn the ways of his people.
    Mischievous as ever, he has left behind him a challenge addressed to his champion Lieutenant Yukinari, and the detective's associate the Lady Shonagon, to find him.
    As the couple travel anonymously through Japan on the trail of the young royal, the Emperor himself is beginning to learn lessons - in fence building and facing his nemesis, the Bandit king, Inokichi.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Cal Macaninch
    Emperor....Freddie Rayner
    Kei....Brian Ferguson
    Isuzu....Meg Fraser
    Inokichi....Gary Lewis
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    040420111103The young Emperor has been kidnapped by his nemesis, the bandit king Inokichi.
    Episode four in a new series of Robert Forrest's popular thriller, set in 10th century Japan.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari are reunited for another adventure, this time beyond the safety of the Palace walls.
    The young Emperor has disappeared from the Palace into the wilds of Japan, to learn the ways of his people.
    Mischievous as ever, he has left behind him a challenge addressed to his champion Lieutenant Yukinari, and the detective's associate the Lady Shonagon, to find him.
    As the couple travel anonymously through Japan on the trail of the young Emperor, the boy has been kidnapped by his nemesis, the Bandit king, Inokichi.
    Meanwhile, Lieutenant Yukinari and Lady Shonagon find themselves, and each other, in a secret rose garden.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Cal Macaninch
    Emperor....Freddie Rayner
    Inokichi....Gary Lewis
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    0405 LAST20111104Lady Shonagon and Yukinari finally find the Emperor, but the bandit king has captured him.
    The concluding episode in a new series of Robert Forrest's popular thriller set in 10th century Japan.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari have been reunited for another adventure, this time beyond the safety of the Palace walls.
    The young Emperor has disappeared from the Palace into the wilds of Japan, to learn the ways of his people.
    Mischievous as ever, he has left behind him a challenge addressed to his champion Lieutenant Yukinari, and Yukinari's associate the Lady Shonagon, to find him.
    But a bandit king, Inokichi, is abroad in Japan.
    He knows everything that happens in the land that he terrorizes and has taken the young man, the Lieutenant and the Lady captive.
    Yukinari knows Inokichi of old, they were boys together, and this meeting has been a long time coming for both of them.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Shonagon....Ruth Gemmell
    Yukinari....Cal Macaninch
    Emperor....Freddie Rayner
    Inokichi....Gary Lewis
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    050120121022Yukinari returns to the palace to find the Lady Shonagon's affections have strayed.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari reunite for a new mystery in 10th century Japan.
    Yukinari returns to the palace to find that the Lady Shonagon's affections are no longer his, and furthermore his lover is not pleased to see him. Instead she is focused on unravelling a mystery that Yukinari cannot understand: the mystery of her friend's marriage - a passionate affair between a woman of royal blood and a young low-born poet that seems to be moving towards an increasingly dark place.
    Meanwhile, the entire palace is captivated by the Emperor's new pet - a tiger sent all the way from India.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    050220121023Yukinari finds his presence in the palace is not welcomed and Shonagon's mind diverted.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari reunite for a new mystery in 10th century Japan.
    Yukinari has returned to the palace to ask the Lady Shonagon to be his wife, only to discover that his lover is already married. Furthermore, Shonagon is obsessed by a new mystery, one that Yukinari cannot understand: the mystery of her friend's marriage - a passionate affair between a woman of royal blood and a young low-born poet that seems to be moving towards an increasingly dark place.
    Meanwhile, the entire palace is captivated by the Emperor's new pet - a tiger sent all the way from India.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    050320121024As Shonagon feared, the passion between young lovers Komatsu and Zushio explodes.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari reunite for a new mystery in 10th century Japan.
    Yukinari has returned to the palace to ask the Lady Shonagon's to be his wife, only to discover his lover is already married. And the Lady Shonagon is obsessed by a new mystery, one that Yukinari cannot understand: the mystery of her friend's marriage - a passionate affair between a woman of royal blood and a young low-born poet that seems to be moving towards an increasingly dark and tempestuous place.
    Meanwhile, the entire palace is captivated by the Emperor's new pet - a tiger sent all the way from India.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp 
    050420121025A tragedy has happened, and Shonagon is determined to unravel the mystery.
    Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari reunite for a new mystery in 10th century Japan.
    Yukinari has returned to the palace to ask the Lady Shonagon's to be his wife, only to discover his lover is already married. Furthermore, the Lady Shonagon has become obsessed by a new mystery, one that Yukinari cannot understand: the mystery of her friend's marriage - a passionate affair between a woman of royal blood and a young low-born poet. That mystery has now met a tragic end, but Shonagon is sure that the explanation everyone else seems so prepared to accept is far from being the whole truth.
    Meanwhile, the Emperor's new pet, a tiger sent all the way from India, paces in its cage in the palace grounds.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    0505 LAST20121026At her own risk, Shongon continues to investigate a mystery that Yukinari considers solved
    The concluding episode in a new series of Robert Forrest's popular thriller set in 10th century Japan.
    Yukinari has returned to the palace to discover that his lover, the Lady Shonagon, is married. Shonagon claims to want peace and tranquillity and yet her determination to unravel the mystery of a crime committed on the Palace grounds threatens her favoured position in the palace. Shonagon is asking questions, and looking into dark corners, and Yukinari fears for her safety while he struggles to understand why she will not let this mystery lie.
    Meanwhile the Emperor's new pet, a tiger all the way from India, roars inside its cage in the palace grounds.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    15MD0120140929Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return for a seventh series of the popular mystery series the Pillow Book, set in 10th Century Japan.
    Yukinari has taken the Emperor to see a natural wonder - an underground cave sparkling with a thousand diamonds. But these are not diamonds, they crumble at the touch, and these caves are patrolled by a pack of wolves. A pack of wolves and their strange, un-wolf-like leader.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    A BBC Scotland Production for Radio 4.
    15MD0220140930Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return!
    The Emperor has become fascinated with a young woman he and Yukinari discovered living among wolves. The girl has been bought back to the palace for cleansing and examination. But what the Emperor sees in this strange, wild girl is a mystery to those who love and serve him.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    A BBC Scotland Production for Radio 4.
    15MD0320141001Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return!
    The feral girl is sheltered and housed within the Palace walls, given Lady Shonagon as her tutor, and allowed to frequent the company of the Emperor and Empress. The Emperor insists that the girl has something to teach them, and that he for one intends to listen.
    Meanwhile, there is trouble abroad beyond the palace walls - forest fires, earthquakes and wolves coming out of the hills and down into the towns. The people of the palace are beginning to wonder whether the girl wields an uncanny power over it all.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    A BBC Scotland Production for Radio 4.
    15MD0420141002Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to solve a new mystery in 10th Century Japan.
    The Emperor is sickening, a disturbance of his mind has become a fever and the feral girl is appearing to him in dreams. The Empress attends to him, for once without her ladies. She is determined to return her husband to health herself, regardless of palace etiquette. And she will go to any lengths necessary to do so.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    A BBC Scotland Production for Radio 4.
    15MD05 LAST20141003Lady Shonagon and Lieutenant Yukinari return to solve a new mystery in 10th Century Japan.
    Trouble abroad. Wolves in the town, forest fires, storms and earthquakes. The Emperor is sick, and his fever grows worse. A feral girl, sometimes woman sometimes wolf, roams the palace. But the Empress has taken matters into her own hands, and like a Kambai warrior will restore the Palace and her Emperor to health.
    Inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court.
    Written by Robert Forrest.
    Directed by Lu Kemp.
    A BBC Scotland Production for Radio 4.

    Duration

    • 15 Minutes

    Genre

    • Genre: Classic & Period, Drama, Crime, Drama
    • Genre: Drama

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    Series

    Trivia

    • Series two had a subtitle - Fire

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