Midsomer Murders

Season 7 Episode 6

The Straw Woman

1
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 29, 2004 on ITV
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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The Straw Woman
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When a traditional festival is revived at Midsomer Parva, it goes disastrously wrong, with the curate (or assistant priest) being burnt alive inside a straw effigy of a woman. Local property owner Alan Clifford holds an orgy at the Manor House, and it seems he has secrets... And then, just after finding a pig's head on the altar of the parish church, the dead curate's gay lover, the Reverend Jim Hale, dies too, seemingly of 'spontaneous combustion' - that is, he bursts into flames without any normal explanation. Barnaby refuses to believe in rumours of witchcraft and is vindicated when it proves that Hale's clothes had been sprinkled with phosphorus. Then, with Barnaby hot on the killer's trail, Liz Francis is knocked out with a candlestick and becomes the third villager to be burnt alive.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A local festival goes disasterously wrong when murders begin occurring and Barnaby and Scott must fight ridiculous rumours of witchcraft while trying to catch a killer.

    9.0
    A traditional festival at Midsomer Parva where legends of witchcraft and burnings abound brings about a nasty case of murder when a local preacher is burned alive inside a straw effigy of a woman which was to be one of the main focuses of the festival. It's obviously a clear case of murder, after all, he couldn't have put himself inside the effigy!



    Things literally heat up when another preacher, this time the gay lover of the first victim is also burned alive, but supposedly of spontaneous combustion which George Bullard very quickly denounces as being totally ridiculous.



    When there is a third victim, the young local school teacher, Barnaby has to work very fast before she is followed by more.



    Watch this one and see if you can work out who the killer is before the school teacher dies.moreless
  • A fairly average episode with some relatively interesting twists and turns.

    7.9
    Susana Wise is credible as the teacher(Liz Francis) trying to explain the plight of witches, and love interest for Detective Sgt. Dan Scott. The character of Jed Fox was fairly stereotyped but Martin Herdman did a good job in trying to incite the community to mob action. Richard Cordery(Dr. John Cole) performs well as a good Christian and hypocrite as does Richenda Carey playing his lover Margaret Hopkins. Keith Barron is excellent as Alan Clifford, dying owner of the Playboy-like Manor and ably administered to by Agnes Waterhouse(Maggie O'Neill). Jemima Rooper was convincing as the young daughter Jo Clifford. Spontaneous combustion provides some spark to the story with Dr. Bullard(Barry Jackson) giving us a scientific explanation and a bit of humour. It would seem that given the number of murders there, security cameras at the church would be a good idea.moreless
Keith Barron

Keith Barron

Alan Clifford

Guest Star

Maggie O'Neill

Maggie O'Neill

Agnes Waterhouse

Guest Star

Kelly Hunter

Kelly Hunter

Kate Malpas

Guest Star

Jane Wymark

Jane Wymark

Joyce Barnaby

Recurring Role

Laura Howard

Laura Howard

Cully Barnaby

Recurring Role

Barry Jackson

Barry Jackson

Dr Bullard

Recurring Role

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