Midsomer Murders

Season 9 Episode 1

The House in the Woods

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 09, 2005 on ITV

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Midsomer now as daft as Jonathan Creek--official

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


    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).


    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.

  • 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.

    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!