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Midsomer Murders

Season 9 Episode 1

The House in the Woods

0
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 09, 2005 on ITV
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
39 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The House in the Woods
AIRED:

Caroline and Peter Cave are househunting, and come across an old rundown house, Winyard, in the woods. One morning they are found garroted in their car 200 yards from the house. The murder weapon is a piano wire. The first one on the scene is DC Ben Jones, who is persuaded by Inspector Barnaby to assist him in his investigations, as DS Scott is off sick (and never to return).

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Midsomer now as daft as Jonathan Creek--official

    6.8
    MM has always lived at arm's length from the real world. but with this episode it receives the decree absolute.





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    As soon as you realise that identical twins are involved you know you're in for some class hack murder writing. This episode even managed to top the "twist" (guess what--one twin was mistaken for the other!!!) with a murder that made no sense at all (a la Jonathan Creek).





    ****MORE SPOILING AHEAD















    The crux of the episode is an old house owned by Charlie, who's in prison for a crime committed by evil twin Jack. Jack is trying to sell the house but is being thwarted by a conniving estate agent who's trying to buy the property on the cheap to do up with her evil (well, he puts satellite dishes on old houses) builder lover Gerry (yes, Gerry the builder).



    The murders begin when a house-hunting couple discover the old house after being fobbed off by the conniving estate agent. Jack comes across them, but instead of offering to sell them house, garottes them one by one in their car. Why? Gos knows. And as the police pathologist asks--how did he know they'd return to the car one by one? Why didn't the husband notice his wife had been garotted when he got back into the car? Needless to say, these questions are never answered.



    Meanwhile, Inspector Barnaby's wife has joined a conservation group. The conservation group has never heard of the old house, even though the builder has lodged a planning application to do it up (yes, the builder--apparently the fact that he doesn't own the place is no obstacle for him to apply for planning permission, and even the owner doesn't know). Unfortunately, despite being married to a police inspector, she has not heard of the double murder in the woods and trips off to the old house to photograph it. When Barnaby hears of this, he rushes round with the coppers. Even though the house is right by the murder scene he's previously taken no action to seal or even search it, although he knows a local kid is in the habit of visiting it, it appears to have a mysterious occupant, and the victims were garroted with wire from the piano.



    At some point during all this, Jack murders the estate agent. Somebody had to do it. Charlie is found at the house and reveals that it was Jack who killed a policeman during a robbery, not him. Apparently when faced with identical twin suspect, one of whom is a greengrocer, the other a bit of a jack-the-lad, the police will arrest and convict the one dozens of people will have seen working on his stall while the robbery was committed. Charlie has absconded from prison to prevent his brother selling the house, it never having occurred to him to revoke his power of attorney by writing to his solicitor. Barnaby traps Jack by sending Charlie into the house to be garrotted.



    Why (and how) Jack murdered the very people he should have offered to do a deal with is never explained. But that's evil twins for you.





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  • Dan Scott is off with the flu when two peopled are found garrotted in their car near an old house. DC Ben Jones, a uniformed officer, is asked by Barnaby to assist as he is the first officer on the scene and Scott fades into oblivion.moreless

    7.0
    An old house which appears about to fall down is on the market and a young couple are interested in looking at it. The woman is quite spooked by the place which, to her, has a very eerie feel about it but the husband seems to think she is imagining things. Perhaps she was right as the couple are found dead in their car the next day, having been garrotted by pieces of piano wire.



    When Barnaby arrives, he comes across a young uniformed officer named Ben Jones (played by Jason Hughes.) Dan Scott, it seems, is off with the flu and Barnaby needs some assistance, telling Jones to get himself a suit. From this point on, Dan Scott is never mentioned again so perhaps the flu was fatal or he finally got sick of life in Midsomer and took off back to London?



    This episode is quite creepy all the way through and the old house, Wynyard, looks positively evil in the dark! But, like all good mysteries on the television, there is a perfectly simple explanation for everything, all Barnaby and Jones have to do is find out what it is!moreless
George Baker

George Baker

Charlie / Jack Magwood

Guest Star

Ruth Gemmell

Ruth Gemmell

Anne Merrick

Guest Star

Anita Carey

Anita Carey

Barbara Flux

Guest Star

Jane Wymark

Jane Wymark

Joyce Barnaby

Recurring Role

Barry Jackson

Barry Jackson

Dr Bullard

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The 4 deaths in this episode (one from the past) bring the total in the series to date to 144.

    • This episode was watched by 7.8 million people when it was shown in the UK on October 9, 2005. This constituted an audience share of 33% between 9pm and 11pm, and was a winner in the ratings.

    • This episode introduces Barnaby's new Sergeant - Sergeant Jones, who we first meet when he is a Constable. John Hopkins (Sergeant Scott) decided to leave the series, and his replacement is played by Jason Hughes, probably best known for his role as Warren (the gay guy) in the BBC-series This Life.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • The murder victims:

      1. Peter Cave - Garotted with piano wire
      2. Caroline Cave - Garotted with panio wire
      3. Harriet Davis - Garotted with panio wire

      N/B - An extra historical death is that of PC Colin Armstrong; shot

    • The House in the Woods is based on a thriller by James Herbert. Producer Brian True-May said in 2004 that he wanted to do what he loved doing to audiences - make them exercise their imagination. He knew it wouldn't be easy to film this story, but that it had been in development for six-seven years.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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