Midsomer Murders

Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

DCI Tom Barnaby bids an emotional farewell to MIDSOMER MURDERS as he tackles his last case of murder and mayhem in the picturesque but deadly villages. 

“Fit for Murder” is actor John Nettles’ final appearance as he hands in his police badge after over 80 episodes and 14 years in the starring role as British television’s top detective. The two-hour film, made by Bentley Productions, is screened on ITV1. 

More than 250 suspicious deaths have rocked the tranquil surroundings of Midsomer since Barnaby took office. Stabbing and strangulation have been joined by many bizarre murderous methods, including death by poisonous frogs, spontaneous combustion, falling from a doped horse and getting speared by King Neptune’s trident. 

“Fit for Murder” also features the final episode for Jane Wymark, who has played Barnaby’s long-suffering wife Joyce since the series began in 1997, and Laura Howard, who has co-starred regularly as his daughter Cully. 

Some of the top names in British television join John for his final episode. Geraldine James, Lesley Manville, Jason Durr, Ronni Ancona and Shaun Dingwall are among the latest guest stars joining the roll call of almost 1000 famous names who have played killers, victims or red herrings in the drama. 

“Fit for Murder” also features an appearance by Midsomer’s new detective Neil Dudgeon who takes over this year as DCI John Barnaby, a cousin of the original Barnaby who moves to Midsomer to team up with DI Ben Jones, played by established MIDSOMER MURDERS star Jason Hughes. 

Four new episodes of series 14, starring Neil and Jason, have already been filmed, with another four in production during 2011. The new-look MIDSOMER MURDERS team, also featuring Fiona Dolman as Barnaby’s wife Sarah, will make their debut on ITV1 this spring. 

In “Fit for Murder”, Barnaby (John Nettles) reluctantly accompanies Joyce (Jane Wymark) on a spa weekend to upmarket Swavely Manor. But as he attempts to de-stress amid the New Age therapies, a woman is found dead in the floatation chamber.

Abandoning the treatments to investigate, Barnaby uncovers a feud between neighbours, money wrangles and the mystery of a half-written novel. But, despite the distractions of the case, Barnaby has a birthday approaching and a decision to make. His personal worries are never far from the surface. 

John Nettles says: “I wanted to die in noble fashion in the service of my country and then be buried with full military honours in Westminster Abbey. In the event, Tom and his long-suffering wife Joyce will simply retire. It’s always better to leave when people want more. 

“Barnaby has been a great character to play; he’s an island of calm surrounded by death and destruction. I think the hundreds of murders he has solved more than meets the targets of modern policing! 

“It has been a joy to be involved in such a long running series, with so many good actors and great storylines. If Neil has half the good times that I have had on Midsomer then he will be in seventh heaven. I am only worried that he is much younger than I am and a much better actor!” 

Producer Brian True-May adds: “The departure of John Nettles from MIDSOMER MURDERS marks the end of an era, as the series grew from a single, pilot episode to become one of the best-known and most-watched TV dramas in the world. 

“Although we will miss the huge contribution that John has made to the series, the brand of Midsomer is so strong that I am confident of its continuing success. We look forward to our new Barnaby tackling more murder and mayhem in Midsomer. 

“Having said that, Barnaby’s final scene is a very emotional one, and there was scarcely a dry eye when we finished filming. I’m sure it will touch a chord with John’s many fans in the UK and around the world, but it’s a tribute to the brilliant actor and great gentleman that he is, that the handover to Neil Dudgeon is so seamless.” 

Brian reveals that two separate endings were filmed for “Fit for Murder”. 

“We did one version showing Barnaby’s retirement party and another where it is a birthday gathering. So for the first UK transmission, it will be the retirement ending, but for repeat screenings when episodes are shown in different orders and for international use, it will be the birthday version. So in a way, John will always live on in Midsomer!” 

MIDSOMER MURDERS attracts top viewing figures on ITV1 and is one of the UK’s best programming exports with sales to 230 territories, from Afghanistan to Zambia. 

“Fit for Murder” is written by Andrew Payne, directed by Renny Rye and produced by Brian True-May. The drama is made by Bentley Productions, part of the All3Media Group, for ITV1. 

 

Fit for Murder SYNOPSIS 

Barnaby reluctantly accompanies Joyce on a spa weekend to Swavely Manor. But as he attempts to de-stress, a woman is found dead in the floatation chamber. Abandoning the treatments to investigate, Barnaby uncovers a feud between neighbours, money wrangles and the mystery of a half-written novel. Then there’s another death. But his personal worries are never far from the surface. 

Barnaby reluctantly accompanies Joyce on a spa weekend to upmarket Swavely Manor, a country house offering treatments to soothe the body and spirit. His birthday is approaching but the detective is anything but relaxed – as well as his mistrust of New Age treatments and therapies, Barnaby has something on his mind. 

The atmosphere at the picturesque manor house is far from tranquil, too, as owner Phoebe Archbold has fallen out with her old friend and neighbour Miranda Bedford, a wannabe novelist. Miranda saved Swavely from ruin in the past, but now Phoebe’s husband Luke wants to end her right of way over the land. 

Highly-strung spa enthusiast Kitty Pottinger collapses when she finds the ‘garden of contemplation’ full of sheep and Phoebe blames Miranda’s friend Carter Smith for stirring up trouble. As Barnaby is sent for a hot stones massage, Joyce tries out the floatation chamber – only to find Kitty’s dead body floating beside her. 

Jones arrives and Barnaby puts him in charge of the investigation. It appears that Kitty argued with her husband Kenny before taking tranquilizers, while Kenny fled in the night. Luke is angry – he hoped Kitty would rescue the spa from its latest financial crisis. And fitness trainer Julian has a black eye following a tussle with Carter. 

Barnaby seeks refuge at the village pub where he learns Phoebe married Luke after the sudden death of her first husband. Carter reveals he is helping Miranda with her novel although his wife Janet – like many others – is convinced the book doesn’t really exist. 

Back at the spa, Luke is crushed to death by a training machine as he works out. Carter had threatened him and Barnaby is convinced there is more going on than the land feud. Bullard suggests both deaths could be murder, while spa guest Natasha Fox seems badly distressed at Luke’s demise. 

A therapist named Cloud reads Barnaby’s aura – to his amazement she knows he is worried about dying at the same age his father was. He goes home to find Cully there. 

The police search Miranda’s house and find the completed novel in a safe. Then they discover a vital piece of the gym machine that crushed Luke in Carter’s truck and a set of keys to the spa. Miranda claims they are being framed. 

Natasha admits she is Luke’s ex-wife – and she witnessed some strange events on the night of Kitty’s death. Barnaby makes a gruesome discovery in his search for Kenny and the truth gradually emerges. With the killer apprehended, all Barnaby has to worry about is his birthday party … and making a big decision about his future.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Joyce Barnaby drives her car into a ditch, believing she has hit someone, but no-one is found hurt and husband DCI Tom Barnaby thinks she has imagined it. Then historian Ian Kent discovers the body of librarian Gerald Ebbs lying on a grave in March Magna cemetery. Joyce is convinced she is to blame for his death.

Gerald was clerk of the Parish Council and had few friends. He was obsessed with the cemetery, where people from all over the country who travelled to Midsomer in the 19th century to be treated for TB at the nearby sanatorium are buried. Meanwhile, Gerald’s colleague at the library, Sarah Sharp, can barely conceal her joy at his demise.

Landlord Vic Bishop and his wife Mary tell Jones and Stephens that local ghost-walk organiser Jeff Bowmaker, who was in the cemetery on the night of Gerald’s death, is a fake. Bowmaker claims the March Magna Inn where the Bishops work is haunted, because a former landlord slaughtered his family there before killing himself.

Barnaby learns from widowed florist Adam Peach and his daughter Jessica that Gerald regularly bought flowers to put on a girl’s grave. It belongs to a young woman from Derbyshire who died in the 1870s. Meanwhile, Peach’s son Liam steals flowers to give to Sarah Sharp.

Dr Bullard tells a relieved Barnaby that Gerald was killed by a piece of ornamental gravestone, not a car. But Joyce is still convinced that someone walked out in front of her, looking like a nun or a nurse.

In the graveyard, Bowmaker has a passionate encounter with Faith Kent, Ian’s wife. The next day he goes to bed with Alice Carver, landlady of the B&B where he lives.

Barnaby and Jones visit the old sanatorium, now derelict. Faith, herself a local historian, reveals that a patient jumped to her death from the staircase, and since then the hospital was thought to be cursed. The dead girl was Caroline Roberts ��” whose grave was the subject of Gerald’s devotion.

Joyce goes on a ghost-walk in a bid to find some answers, while Liam and Sarah head to the hospital to liven up Bowmaker’s tour. Faith tells Bowmaker to be careful as Ian has hit her. But as the tour reaches the ‘staircase of the damned’, someone else falls to their death. Can Barnaby and Jones find out who is killing in March Magna ��” and why?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Blood on the Saddle

The danger of the Wild West comes to Midsomer as a feud over land escalates during a cowboy fair. Farmers Jack Fincher and Silas Burbage both claim to own wasteland called the Swamp, and travellers’ leader Dan Malko wants to buy it. But the Wild West shoot-outs become terrifyingly real when the Fincher clan start being gunned down.

In the village of Ford Florey, farmer Jack Fincher runs the Wild West Society, organising an annual cowboy fair. He also claims to own a patch of wasteland, known as the Swamp, which Dan Malko wants to buy to create a travellers’ site.

Silas Burbage, a debt-ridden farmer, also claims to own the land. Jack’s solicitor, Fergal Jenner, is searching for the deeds, while local artist Jude Langham, who hates the Finchers for evicting his family, is reluctant to give information without payment.

Barnaby and Joyce watch a shootout at the Wild West Fayre with Jack’s wife Susan. Over at a stall, a woman dressed as a witch is dropped into a water tank. The water turns blood red ��” it’s Faye Lennox, Jack’s farm manager and she’s been shot.

Barnaby and Jones discover that another villager, Mary Morgan, was due to be on the ducking stool. She claims Jack shot her dog dead and that Faye was Jack’s lover.

Malko and Leo fight and Jones questions Malko, who claims the travellers’ have saved enough money to buy the land. Meanwhile, Silas erects a fence around the Swamp. Jack gets drunk and takes a sledgehammer to the new fence, but he is lassoed by someone on horseback and dragged to his death.

Silas and Malko meet ��” the Swamp deal is almost done, but Silas wants to put the price up. Jude disturbs an intruder in his workshop ��” he’s attacked and collapses at the feet of Mary Morgan, whispering a cryptic message about a chimney.

There’s nothing up Jude’s chimney but police find a gold chain and Dr Bullard reports that an American bullet killed Faye. Silas’s son Adam, an optician, tells police the Wild West Society don’t have any such weapons. Jenner propositions a reluctant Susan in return for a share of the land if he can prove she owns it. Susan says the chain is Leo’s.

Jones visits Jude in hospital and realises the ‘chimney’ is a picture of Chimney Rock hanging in Jude’s living room. He finds a document dating from 1921 behind it.

The violence escalates as Leo’s dead body is carried down Ford Florey high street on horseback, then Jenner is stabbed, just as he finds something in an ancient ledger. Barnaby is sent a bullet in the post, claiming Susan will be next. He and Jones rush to her house just as the killer arrives ��” and they are caught up in a Wild West shoot-out.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

The Made to Measure Murders

The residents of Milton Cross ��” a feudal estate with a church, farms, houses and acres of land ��” depend on lord of the manor Edward Milton for their livelihoods. When Sonia Woodley is stabbed two years after the death of her abusive husband Gerald, Barnaby and Jones investigate ��” and the village starts to reveal its secrets.

It’s two years since Gerald Woodley, a bespoke tailor, suffered a fatal heart attack while tending his vegetable patch in the estate village of Milton Cross. At the village church, Rev Moreland offers Gerald’s anxious widow Sonia the chance to come to confession.

Joyce calls at Woodley & Woodley’s shop where Gerald’s brother Matthew tells her their lease is running out. Self-made man Morris Bingham implores estate owner Edward Milton not to boot them out. He’s the only villager whose livelihood doesn’t depend on Milton. Wayward teenager Gary Soper is caught about to steal some trainers but Milton, an avid church-goer, suggests strongly that the Woodleys give him a second chance.

Sonia visits Wendy Minchin and shows her a mysterious letter. Wendy is shocked at the contents. Meanwhile Gary’s mum Katie Soper drives to a deserted ice house in the middle of the woods, dressed to the nines.

Sonia returns to church the next evening, eager to ease her conscience. But she’s hit on the head and stabbed to death in the churchyard. Barnaby and Jones soon discover the power Milton holds over his village ��” and that Gerald was a monster. Matthew and Luke Woodley, Sonia’s grieving son, are worried that Sonia said too much.

Wendy tells Barnaby the ambulance took an hour and a half to arrive on the day Gerald died, convincing Jones that the Woodleys are guilty. Milton warns the police not to listen to gossip about Gerald ��” he left his widow a six figure sum that Luke and Matthew will now inherit.

Morris goes to confession and gives Rev Moreland an anonymous letter. Later that night someone violently slashes the vicar’s throat and ransacks his office. Morris reveals that it was Sonia who gave him the note.

Matthew admits he waited for Gerald to die before calling the ambulance and Sonia found the guilt impossible to bear. Meanwhile, Bullard discovers both victims were killed with tailor’s shears ��” and Gerald’s have vanished from the shop. But hidden in a secret pocket in the vicar’s new vestments is the letter. It seems to have been sent by an illicit rejected lover.

With Joyce’s help, Barnaby realises who took the shears and Wendy tells them who wrote the letter. The detectives head for the ice house to confront the murderer.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010, 8:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Talking to the Dead

Two couples vanish in the tiny village of Monks Barton, amid rumours of witchcraft and haunted woods. Flamboyant psychic Cyrus LeVanu clashes with pompous cleric Wallace Stone as a body is found, while other villagers seem to be caught up in a stolen antiques racket. Can Barnaby and Jones discover the secret of Barton Woods and find the killer?

***

Two couples disappear from the tiny village of Monks Barton, leaving their half-eaten breakfasts on the table. Barton Woods is said to be haunted and Peter, son of one of the couples Molly and Colin Thomas, died after getting lost there.

Pompous cleric Rev Wallace Stone tells Barnaby that the monastery was destroyed in the 16th century. According to legend, the cries of the slaughtered monks can still be heard.

The other couple, Stanley and Nesta Goodfellow, are caretakers of The Priory, owned by Lynton Pargeter. At the imposing house, Barnaby inadvertently traps Jones in an iron maiden ��” a medieval instrument of torture. Later, psychic Cyrus LeVanu conducts spiritual healing in the woods. To his horror, he unearths a man’s body.

Postman Sam Nelms is having an affair with Sarah Stone, wife of the clergyman. He’s also taken a Japanese miniature destined for one of the cottages instead of posting it. Barnaby suspects it was originally stolen from The Priory.

Cyrus is burning ceremonial fires in the woods as Pargeter finds Molly Thomas in her cottage, lying in a pool of blood. She was shot in the back. Jones and Barnaby try to follow a car through the trees. Instead they find a deranged man wailing in a shack ��” it’s Stanley Goodfellow. Doctors say he has experienced something so terrifying that his mind has closed down.

The mystery victim was a member of a London gang involved in antique theft. Was he connected to Pargeter? Meanwhile Rev Stone goes to exorcise the woods and finds Colin Thomas’s head sticking out of the ground.

Jones discovers Nesta was planning to leave Stanley as LeVanu goes into a psychic trance, claiming the missing woman is in a dark place. Pargeter is seen loading furniture from The Priory into a car.

Barnaby discovers the source of the eerie cries and blames LeVanu while Jones finds that Pargeter was fencing stolen antiques. Then Stanley disappears again. Believing Pargeter is involved, they rush to The Priory where they find him dead, impaled inside the iron maiden. Can the detectives make the link between the missing couples and the stolen antiques and find Nesta before it’s too late?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010, 8:00PM

Schoolteacher Connie Bishop keeps waking in the night, convinced she has an intruder. Just days later a local councillor, said to be obsessed with her, is found murdered in her garden. Is Connie the innocent victim she seems? Barnaby and Jones uncover jealous rivals, ruthless social climbers and a cottage with secrets as they search for the killer in Badger’s Drift.

The peace of Badger’s Drift is disturbed when schoolteacher Connie Bishop screams in fright that she has an intruder. Most of the villagers dismiss her fears as an overactive imagination, although matriarch Mrs Stroud claimed a man was seen lurking in the area.

Trophy wife Zukie Richardson wants Connie removed as chair of the Frobisher Night Committee – a fundraising dinner-dance. Zukie wants to make the event grander and persuades her rich husband Howard to pay for a marquee. Connie is reduced to tears at the meeting and Councillor Jim Hanley is angry because he wants all the money to go the local school.

Connie wakes in the night, hearing a creaking floorboard. She arms herself with a knife and calls the police. Stephens arrives to find the body of Jim Hanley in the garden while Connie has a shower.

Zukie claims Jim was obsessed with Connie. She wants to extend her cottage, and Jim was on the planning committee. Connie has other admirers – from shy sculptor Justin Hooper to slimy womaniser Laurence Mann. Laurence offers to change Connie’s locks and muck-rakes Justin’s reputation, accusing him of wanting to bed Connie to get his old cottage back. The next day, Connie freezes out Justin.

After fixing the lock, Laurence shares a bottle or two of wine with Connie. She wakes in the night to find him in the summerhouse, with his throat cut. She tells Barnaby and Jones that Laurence claimed to know the identity of Jim’s murderer.

Mrs Stroud and her daughter Imogen tell Connie that Justin loves her. She apologies and invites him to supper. Jones searches for Justin’s ex-girlfriend – she disappeared suddenly, forcing him to sell the cottage.

Connie asks Justin to stay in her spare room – but he awakes to find her sleepwalking and trying to kiss him. When the police arrive, Connie confesses she may have committed the murders in her sleep, saying she heard voices saying ‘kill him’. Is she bluffing?

The detectives discover the cottage is bugged, and sound effects are being generated remotely. A webcam leads them to the Frobisher Night marquee – where Howard is about to make his speech…

Wednesday, 14 April 2010, 8:00PM

Schoolteacher Connie Bishop keeps waking in the night, convinced she has an intruder. Just days later a local councillor, said to be obsessed with her, is found murdered in her garden. Is Connie the innocent victim she seems? Barnaby and Jones uncover jealous rivals, ruthless social climbers and a cottage with secrets as they search for the killer in Badger’s Drift.

The peace of Badger’s Drift is disturbed when schoolteacher Connie Bishop screams in fright that she has an intruder. Most of the villagers dismiss her fears as an overactive imagination, although matriarch Mrs Stroud claimed a man was seen lurking in the area.

Trophy wife Zukie Richardson wants Connie removed as chair of the Frobisher Night Committee – a fundraising dinner-dance. Zukie wants to make the event grander and persuades her rich husband Howard to pay for a marquee. Connie is reduced to tears at the meeting and Councillor Jim Hanley is angry because he wants all the money to go the local school.

Connie wakes in the night, hearing a creaking floorboard. She arms herself with a knife and calls the police. Stephens arrives to find the body of Jim Hanley in the garden while Connie has a shower.

Zukie claims Jim was obsessed with Connie. She wants to extend her cottage, and Jim was on the planning committee. Connie has other admirers – from shy sculptor Justin Hooper to slimy womaniser Laurence Mann. Laurence offers to change Connie’s locks and muck-rakes Justin’s reputation, accusing him of wanting to bed Connie to get his old cottage back. The next day, Connie freezes out Justin.

After fixing the lock, Laurence shares a bottle or two of wine with Connie. She wakes in the night to find him in the summerhouse, with his throat cut. She tells Barnaby and Jones that Laurence claimed to know the identity of Jim’s murderer.

Mrs Stroud and her daughter Imogen tell Connie that Justin loves her. She apologies and invites him to supper. Jones searches for Justin’s ex-girlfriend – she disappeared suddenly, forcing him to sell the cottage.

Connie asks Justin to stay in her spare room – but he awakes to find her sleepwalking and trying to kiss him. When the police arrive, Connie confesses she may have committed the murders in her sleep, saying she heard voices saying ‘kill him’. Is she bluffing?

The detectives discover the cottage is bugged, and sound effects are being generated remotely. A webcam leads them to the Frobisher Night marquee – where Howard is about to make his speech…

Wednesday, 28 October 2009, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

The sleepy hamlet of Little Worthy is shaken when a man’s body is found tied down in the model village, just like Gulliver in Lilliput. Sisters Harriet and Hilary Compton, who own the miniature village, are stunned, but caretaker Bob Moss seems more upset about the blood on his figurines from the violent stabbing.

Victim Richard Tanner was a man who didn’t want Little Worthy to move with the times. His sister Jackie reveals he recently jilted his lover, schoolteacher Rebecca Rix, and Barnaby finds her classroom is full of children’s paintings about Gulliver’s Travels.

The local hotel, Franklins, is run by Edward Palfrey and his simple girlfriend Bernice. Edward’s rebellious teenage daughter Christa is devastated at news of Tanner’s death.

Rebecca tells Barnaby and Jones that Edward suggested the school’s Gulliver theme. Meanwhile, Mike Johnson from the gift shop and Kate Dove from the tea room are having a secret affair. Mike begs Barnaby to let the annual fancy dress craft race along the river go ahead as planned.

Bullard reveals Tanner was struck with a single blow. Christa was the last to see him alive but has locked herself in her room. And the Compton sisters are disturbed when the figure of a policeman is put through their letterbox. Harriet threatens to sack Moss.

On race day, Christa admits that she and Tanner were lovers. They broke into the model village for a romantic liaison before he died. Stephens finds an eight-inch bodkin among the miniatures, just like the ones in Jackie’s craft shop. Could it be the murder weapon?

While straight-laced Harriet stays at home, villagers flock to the race with crazy costumes and bizarre boats. Amid the collisions and splashes, Christa’s craft goes off course. Joyce drags Jones to meet it but everyone has gone – except Christa who is lying dead, the trident from Mike Johnson’s Neptune costume driven through her heart. Mike protests his innocence, although Jackie says he asked her to make the trident with sharp points.

Barnaby is questioning Edward and Bernice when there’s news of another murder – Harriet is found battered to death in the chapel and some small graves at the sisters’ house are desecrated. Moss confesses to the murders but Barnaby doesn’t believe him – can he persuade the caretaker to reveal the truth about the residents of Little Worthy?

Some shows seem to have been on TV for years with barely anyone noticing. Midsomer Murders (ITV1) is such a show. It continually gets healthy ratings, yet, before yesterday night, I couldn’t tell you a thing about it apart from two things:

1. It stars Bergerac and, 2. People continually make the joke of ‘Ho! Ho! Don’t move to Midsomer, what with the number of murders they have! Ha! Ha! Ha!’

It was time I sat down and watched the thing, right?

What strikes me today is just how long the bloody thing is. 2 hours. 2 whole hours. Asking for 2 hours of a TV viewers time is a big ask and a show better be as rich and involving as Inspector Morse to keep me sat still for that length of time.

Like Morse, Midsomer Murders is effectively a gentle romp through a pastoral idyll with a seedy underbelly. However, one key difference is that it doesn’t brood like Morse does.

The fact is, John Nettles isn’t John Thaw. Whilst Thaw was a boozy crank of a man, Nettles is… well… a bit rubbish. One scene yesterday saw our man driving through a bicycle race. Seriously. And, oddly, he seemed out of breath by the whole thing.

The drama that unfolded surrounded some nasty type chucking red paint over people and some got killed, others got a bump on the head and to my surprise, the killer was Bishop Len Brennan from Father Ted. Sadly, no-one kicked him up the arse.

Aside from those facts, I don’t think I could tell you a single other event from the whole show. Which is odd really seeing as I spent 2 whole hours in the company of it.

I’m not quite sure what the appeal of the show is. I’m aware that ladies of a certain vintage fancy the bag off John Nettles, but surely, there must be more appeal to it than that? I’m guessing the joy of watching it is that it’s a thoroughly old-fashioned crime thriller which doesn’t get too gory and doesn’t have any swear words in it.

I imagine Daily Mail readers enjoy it or the assumed folks of Middle England. It’s mildly tense, but not so much that you’d spill your Horlicks into the scone saucer. Whilst I don’t think I’ll intentionally watch the show ever again, it certainly did nothing to offend me as such. I’m sure that’s not the greatest compliment a show can get…

Wednesday, 23 September 2009, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

John Nettles and Jason Hughes are back investigating mystery, murder and mayhem in a brand new episode of the top-rating ITV1 drama MIDSOMER MURDERS, from Bentley Productions.

State-of-the-art software and cycling in the countryside crash head-on as detectives DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Ben Jones tackle deadly deeds and gruesome goings-on amid the peaceful and picturesque surroundings of the Midsomer villages.

“The Glitch” is the 70th episode of the popular drama, now in its 12th year. A 13th series is already in production, as John Nettles prepares to hand over responsibility for the murder capital of the Home Counties to a new detective.

Guest stars in the film include Joanna Roth, Philip Jackson, David Haig and Jim Norton, with Jane Wymark as Barnaby’s long-suffering wife Joyce, Barry Jackson as pathologist Dr Bullard, Kirsty Dillon as DC Gail Stephens and Laura Howard as Cully Barnaby.

In “The Glitch”, Midsomer University clashes with big business when science fellow George Jeffers (David Haig) threatens to reveal he has a problem with his invention, Kernel Logic. American software boss Clinton Finn (Nigel Whitmey) fears he will lose millions if the truth comes out. When a schoolteacher is killed by a hit-and-run driver, Barnaby wonders if Jeffers was the real target.

Producer Brian True-May says: “We are delighted to have reached another milestone – our 70th episode. We are lucky to have a great production team who are committed to making films of the highest quality and finding ways of making our brand even stronger.

“We are looking ahead with confidence to a new chapter for MIDSOMER MURDERS while enjoying John Nettles’ contribution as DCI Barnaby for a long time to come.”

MIDSOMER MURDERS attracts top viewing figures on ITV1 and is one of the UK’s best programming exports with sales to 230 territories from Afghanistan to Zambia.

“The Glitch” is written by Michael Russell and directed by Richard Holthouse. The executive producer of MIDSOMER MURDERS is Brian True-May and the series is made by Bentley Productions, part of the All3Media Group, for ITV1.

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