Rosemary & Thyme (2003–2006)
3 user

Arabica and the Early Spider 

Work on restoring the gardens at a country home is interrupted when two skeletons are dug up in the process.


Tom Clegg


Clive Exton


Episode complete credited cast:
Felicity Kendal ... Rosemary Boxer
Pam Ferris ... Laura Thyme
Abigail Cruttenden Abigail Cruttenden ... Patsy Connolly
Tilly Blackwood ... Fiona Georgeson
Joe Tucker ... Harry Georgeson
Murray Head ... Nev Connolly
Niall Refoy Niall Refoy ... Tommy Matthews
Sara Stephens Sara Stephens ... Samantha Matthews
Eamon Boland Eamon Boland ... Dennis Belfrage
Zena Walker ... Mrs Deeping
Philip Martin Brown ... D.I. Trelawney
David Baukham David Baukham ... Doctor Pattison (as David Bauckham)
Kell Ward Kell Ward ... Frank
Glen Davies Glen Davies ... Workman
Dean Abrahams Dean Abrahams ... Stable lad


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Rosemary and Laura are working on restoring the gardens in an estate that has seen better days, but is being brought back to life by a musician and his wife. When the skeleton of a horse is dug up, the theory is that it belongs to a missing race horse (Arabica). When someone is shot and killed at the house, and a woman's skeleton turns up buried on the grounds, gardening takes a back seat to detecting as Rosemary and Laura piece together clues they have dug up. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Final on-screen performance by Tony Award-winning actress Zena Walker. See more »


When Harry accosts Tommy after the stained glass window breaks, the direction that Rosemary is looking changes between shots. See more »


Laura Thyme: [engine turns over and gears grate] Ooo! Oh. God! I really don't see why we can't have a proper car!
Rosemary Boxer: Why? Why? We need this one for work.
Laura Thyme: Well, a newer model at least!
Rosemary Boxer: Well, no, no. After this one they put in girly things like comfortable seats and power steering and... rubbish like that.
See more »

User Reviews

A story of two skeletons
7 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always adored detective dramas/mystery series. This has been apparent from an early age, half my life even, when getting into Agatha Christie through Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot and into 'Inspector Morse'.

Whether it's the more complex ones like 'Inspector Morse' (and its prequel series 'Endeavour') and anything Agatha Christie. Whether it's the grittier ones like 'A Touch of Frost' (though that is balanced brilliantly with comedy too) and particularly 'Taggart'. And whether it's the light-hearted ones like 'Murder She Wrote'. 'Rosemary and Thyme' is an example of a light-hearted detective mystery series and always gives me a lot of pleasures and banishes the blues when watching. It is a shame that it didn't last longer because it deserved to.

"Arabica and the Early Spider" is another wonderful episode and even better than the very promising start "And No Birds Sing".

Visually, "Arabica and the Early Spider" looks wonderful, beautifully photographed, vibrant in colour and as always with the show with a stunning setting, have always been envious of the gardens seen on the show. The music has a lot of charm with a main theme tune that is soothingly folksy that matches the whimsy of the setting appropriately.

The writing is engaging and suitably light-hearted without being frothy. Some of the dialogue for Laura and especially Rosemary is very funny. The story is suitably twisty, didn't predict the ending which was a surprise, without being convoluted, and is entertaining and with a relaxing vibe without being simplistic.

Similarly the characters engage, with Rosemary and Laura already being interesting and distinct in personality, and the chemistry between the two sparkles. Felicity Kendall and Pam Ferris are simply great, individually and as a sparkling double act, love Kendall's fire and feistiness and Ferris' more restrained and thoughtful approach.

Overall, wonderful and sees the show hit its stride. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

5 September 2003 (UK) See more »

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