For other uses, see Cluny's Clowns (disambiguation).
"Cluny's Clowns"

Production #
Original U.S. Airdate
April 15, 2001
Original Canadian Airdate
Running time
Written by
Toby Roberts
Directed by
Raymond Jafelice


Cornflower, Basil Stag Hare, and Constance are gathered at Brother Methuselah's bedside, whose head injury inflicted by Chickenhound is finally taking its toll. They decide not to tell Matthias that his friend is dying so as not to upset him.

Meanwhile, in Mossflower Woods, two moles encounter a traveling circus that is going to Redwall Abbey. As the circus passes, Redtooth and Fangburn leap from the bushes and steal a trunk from the back of the last wagon.

At the Abbey, Matthias and Basil are constructing a catapult on top of the wall. Cornflower and Constance come to bring them food, and Cornflower notes that her headband, which Matthias normally wears on his arm, is draped over the battlements. After she leaves, Matthias takes a nap in the warm sun, and dreams about knives flying through the air at him.

Matthias awakens and shares the details of his dream with Basil. Suddenly, they hear music playing outside Redwall, and go to investigate. They find the circus setting up camp just outside the gates. As they watch, a gust of wind blows Cornflower's headband off the battlement. While it flutters to the ground, it is pinned to the Abbey gate in mid-fall by the expert knifethrower Wild Ivy. Basil lowers Matthias down in a basket, and he retrieves the cloth. Matthias recognizes the knife as being one of the ones from his dream.

Matthias talks to Wild Ivy, who is curious about Redwall, and strangely insistent that Matthias lets her inside. When Matthias mentions his name, she reveals she recently had a dream about someone named Matthias, and that she is supposedly psychic. Soon after they discover that their trunk is missing. Matthias realizes Cluny the Scourge is likely involved, and brings the circus inside the Abbey.

Meanwhile, Redtooth and Fangburn have brought their "treasure" to the camp at Saint Ninian's Church. They give Cluny the honor of opening the chest. The rat warlord takes one look at the contents, which are an assortment of clown costumes, orders Redtooth and Fangburn to infiltrate Redwall as part of the circus, and open the gates from inside.

Inside Redwall, Matthias introduces Wild Ivy to Constance, Basil, and Abbot Mortimer, who are examining a detailed diagram of Redwall's defenses. After treating them to a brief demonstration of her skills, Wild Ivy also picks up and examines the plans. Constance whispers her concerns to Basil about letting a total stranger see the defense plan.

Later, while Matthias and Wild Ivy are inside Great Hall, looking at the place where the Redwall Tapestry once hung, Matthias remarks how it appears to be his fate to find the Sword of Martin. Ivy says that she is also a fortune-teller, and begins to read Matthias' paw. She decides that she had better give him knife-throwing lessons, because someone is going to die.

While Wild Ivy tries to teach Matthias some basic knife-throwing skills, Cornflower, Basil, and Constance debate whether or not she can be trusted. Matthias finds that while he can easily hit the center of the target, he cannot get the knives to strike blade first. Several woodlanders arrive to watch the circus perform, among them Redtooth and Fangburn.

Later during the performance, Wild Ivy instructs Matthias to stand against a vertical board. She walks several paces away, puts on a blindfold, and throws five knives simultaneously at him. Some of the knives pin his habit to the board, but he is unhurt. Wild Ivy exits the room, and Redtooth enters. The rat draws a dagger and puts it to Matthias' throat. Fangburn opens the main gate, and Cluny's horde charges. Basil knocks Redtooth unconscious with a thrown torch, and Wild Ivy returns just in time to congratulate Basil for his shot. Basil then slams the gates in the faces of Cluny's soldiers.

After the circus when Cornflower and her kitchen helper, Saffron, are taking food to the prisoners, they find that Redtooth and Fangburn have just escaped from their cell. The rats seize the mousemaids and flee.

Meanwhile, Matthias and Wild Ivy are walking together around the walls. Ivy is complaining that everyone suspects her of helping Cluny. They run into the escaped rats with their captives. Redtooth dangles the mousemaids over the wall, and threatens to drop them unless the gates are opened. Matthias orders the gates to be opened, and Wild Ivy leads her circus away, past Cluny's army, which allows them to pass unharmed, and then advances into Redwall.

Up on the wall, Fangburn is having difficulty killing the unarmed Matthias with a sword. Matthias dodges past Fangburn, but Redtooth drops Cornflower and Saffron over the edge. Suddenly a volley of fire arrows strikes the parapets, and the circus performers attack Cluny's army from the rear. The falling mousemaids are saved by two squirrels and a net, while the rest of the performers quickly rout Cluny's horde. Redtooth is pushed into the catapult and launched by Matthias. Fangburn tries to fight, but Matthias throws one of Ivy's knives, and stuns him. He is going to kill him, but decides to let him go. Cornflower apologizes to Wild Ivy for not trusting her, and Ivy gives Cornflower her coat.

Afterwards, Abbot Mortimer tells Matthias that Methuselah is dying. Methuselah gives Matthias some final advice, and then passes away.

Official Synopsis

A traveling circus comes to Redwall and Cluny uses it to try and infiltrate the Abbey with his lieutenants, dressed as clowns. The mysterious circus star, Wild Ivy the Knifethrower, seemingly mesmerizes Matthias. But she is, in fact, an ally and as Cornflower is threatened with death by Cluny, Ivy turns the circus against the rats in an acrobatic battle of fire-eaters versus fur! And we see what Wild Ivy has seen-- that Matthias and Cornflower are destined to be together-- if Redwall survives.

Differences from Redwall

  • The events of this entire episode, as well as the characters of Wild Ivy and Mighty Clodd, were created by Nelvana and not present in the book.
  • In the book, Methuselah died instantly after he had been struck by Chickenhound. It did not take days for him to succumb to his head injury.


Segments include:

Redwall TV Featurette Cluny's Clowns04:43

Redwall TV Featurette Cluny's Clowns

The Redwall TV Series, Season 1

01 Cluny the Scourge - part I | 02 Cluny the Scourge - part II | 03 Treachery | 04 Sparra's Kingdom | 05 Cluny's Clowns | 06 High Standards | 07 Captain Snow (Redwall Season 1) | 08 Battle Plans | 09 The Visitor | 10 A Favour Returned | 11 Asmodeus (Redwall Season 1) | 12 Underground | 13 The Final Conflict

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