Midsomer Murders

Season 2 Episode 1

Death's Shadow

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1999 on ITV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Death's Shadow

Barnaby and Troy are in Badger's Drift again, this time to investigate the murder of an unpopular property developer called Richard Bayly who had been suffering from a brain tumour. Bayly had recently come up with plans to build a new housing estate in the sleepy village, despite determined local opposition, and he was killed with an Indian sword belonging to Stephen Wentworth, the local Vicar.

Another interesting factor is the recent arrival in the village of Simon Fletcher, a theatre director with unhappy childhood memories and perhaps an old grievance.


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  • The village of Badger's Drift is once again the scene of yet another murder, this time of a wealthy and unpopular property developer who had recently been told that he was terminally ill.moreless

    Richard Bayly (Dominic Jephcott) is not a very well liked by the inhabitants of Badger's Drift. He plans to build public housing in the picturesque village in spite of the fact that the locals are vehemently opposed to the idea. Recently, Bayly's doctor had told him that he only had a very short time to live because of a malignant brain tumour but he knows that he certainly won't be missed by the villagers.

    When Bayly is brutally murdered with a weapon reported stolen by Vicar Stephen Wentworth, (Richard Briers) DCI Barnaby (John Nettles) and DS Troy (Daniel Casey) must try and figure out who among the many who had a grievenace could be Bayly's killer.

    The mystery deepens when Simon Fletcher, (Julian Wadham) a highly successful theatre producer/director returns to his home village after an absence of many years. When investigations reveal an incredibly tangled web of lies, secrets, more lies and a decades-long cover-up by influential members of the community, including the dead man, and when there is still more death in the small village, Tom has to try and piece the complicated jigsaw together before more people die. The question is, with so much secrecy and so many untruths, where does he start and how will it all end?

    This is a very good episode and if you have already become a fan of this excellent series by viewing earlier installments, then you won't be disappointed, particularly not when a delicious tale is revealed that will turn the entire village upside down.moreless
  • In Badger's Drift, another spate of murders occur...

    Life in Midsomer continues to descend into madness as 3 men are brutally killed: the first one has his head chopped off, the second is burnt alive and the third is shot in the back with an arrow. The motive stems from the flashback sequence at the begining of the episode...

    Richard Briers can do no wrong, he's a wonderful actor and playing the Reverend Stephen Wentworth, he easily becomes the star of the show.

    Judy Parfitt makes a welcome appearance too as Angela Wentworth - Stephen's wife. Good calibre actress her. Judy's also appeared in Er and The Long Firm.

    Christopher Villiers reprises his role of David Whiteley (from The Killings At Badger's Drift) and is the Second Victim...moreless
Richard Briers

Richard Briers

Stephen Wentworth

Guest Star

Judy Parfitt

Judy Parfitt

Angela Wentworth

Guest Star

Julian Wadham

Julian Wadham

Simon Fletcher

Guest Star

Jane Wymark

Jane Wymark

Joyce Barnaby

Recurring Role

Laura Howard

Laura Howard

Cully Barnaby

Recurring Role

Neil Conrich

Neil Conrich

P.C Angel

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Talking to his wife)
      Inspector Chief Barnaby: How about a Round-the-World Cruise?
      Joyce Barnaby: We can't afford it, can we?
      Inspector Chief Barnaby: Well, we'd probably get as far as Malta... of course, we'd have to row back.

    • (Discussing with his wife)
      Revd. Stephen Wentworth: I'm going to the church.
      Angela Wentworth: Oh, really?
      Revd. Stephen Wentworth: I have a chief inspector coming to see me.
      Angela Wentworth: Don't tell me, Stephen. You've been found with your hand in the steeple found?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Filming Locations:
      - Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
      - Corn Exchange, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, UK (Causton Theatre)
      - Peppard, Oxfordshire, England, UK
      - The Lee, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
      - Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, UK (Causton)

    • The murder victims:

      1. Richard Bailey - beheaded with sword
      2. David Whitley - burnt to death in caravan
      3. Simon Fletcher - shot dead with arrow

      NB - during the episode, a boy called Felix Bryce is accidentally hanged, and the Reverend Stephen Wentworth kills himself by jumping from a church steeple.