Midsomer Murders (1997–…): Season 17, Episode 2 - Murder by Magic - full transcript

(Piano plays)

(Aggressive rock music)

(Gasps of surprise)

Very good.

(Laughter and applause)

This is an ungodly outrage!

Oh, dear.


(Gasps of shock)


(Cries of alarm)

This is lovely.

Two evenings out in one week.


~ You're looking after Betty tomorrow night.
~ Ah, yes.

Your first time in
sole charge. Nervous?


I've got it all planned. We're
going to watch a classic film.


A Thirst For Blood or maybe The
Mummy Rises. Betty can choose.


(Betty gurgles)

~ You looking forward to your wild night out?
~ Can't wait.

(Phone rings)

Yes, Nelson?

Sorry, sir. St Cyprian's
Church, Midsomer Oaks.

I'm afraid it looks like murder.

You ducked out early,
did you, Magnus?


There's been an accident.

Severe cranial trauma from
the impact of the box.

There are also two separate penetrations
in the neck from shards of Perspex.

There was a flash and a
bang before the box fell,

but the audience thought
it was part of the act.

It looked like a terrible
accident, but it wasn't.

This was done with explosives.

What do we know about the victim?

Hannah Altman, owned the village pub.

Tonight was a church fundraiser
and she was playing the piano.

And the magician in the box?

~ Gideon Latimer.
~ Hm?

He's a famous illusionist. This
was one of his signature stunts.

And why was this famous illusionist
performing in a church in Midsomer Oaks?

He owns Melmoth Hall, the big
house outside the village.

So who was meant to die...

the magician or the publican?

They can't keep us here all night.

You've already spoken to
the police, Carole. Just go.

~ What went wrong?
~ I don't know.

We've done that stunt a dozen times.

You're Gideon's manager now. How could
you let an accident like that happen?

I'm sure it wasn't Theo's fault.

DCI Barnaby, Causton CID.

Sir, this is Gideon Latimer.

Mr Barnaby, my son has had a terrible
shock, and he needs to go home.

Not before I've spoken
to him, Mrs Latimer.

But if you've given your
statement, you're free to leave.

Luke! Please!

It's all pre-programmed.

Gideon's performance is timed
down to the last second.

~ Who rigged the equipment?
~ Theo and I did, this afternoon.

~ And you did all your standard safety checks?
~ Yes.

The church was unlocked all afternoon,
while everything was being set up.

Could anyone have had access to
the rig after your final checks?

It's possible.

How many people knew the box would be revealed
while Hannah Altman was playing?

All of us.

Anyone else involved in
organising the concert.

And the Vicar said he'd tell the
pianist, so she wouldn't freak out.

~ How well did you know Hannah Altman?
~ Not at all.

We hadn't met her before tonight.

You never go to the local pub?

We haven't lived in Midsomer
Oaks for long.

Gideon only bought Melmoth Hall a few
months ago and we've been touring.



No, Luke!

How did you get into the box?

You can't expect me to answer that.

Mr Latimer, someone died
here this evening.

LUKE: Where is he?

Where's Gideon?

OFFICER: Sir, please.

This is Luke Altman,
Hannah's husband.

Sorry for your loss.
Shall we talk somewhere?

If anyone's dead because of his
stupid trick, it should be him!

The trick didn't go wrong.

The equipment was sabotaged.

This is murder.

Someone tried to kill me?

A judgment from God.

On you... for polluting his house.

God works in mysterious ways, Andrew.

But are you really suggesting
this tragedy is his doing?

This village has a dark present...
and an even darker past.

If the battle to bring it into the light
requires violence and suffering...

.. then so be it.

I'm sorry.

But I can't carry on working with someone
who worships such a petty, vindictive,

unimaginative God such as yours.

I'm sure there are parishes crying out for
your... rigorous brand of Christianity,

but it has no place in Midsomer Oaks.

I'll speak to the Bishop.

I think he'll be more interested
in what I've got to say.

Will he? Will he really?


(Sighs) No, no, no.

Bluster, that's all.

If you're a newcomer to Midsomer
Oaks, why do you think someone
here would want to kill you?

Gideon has hordes of
fans, Sergeant Nelson,

but there are the haters too.

Some of them are quite poisonous.

Obsessives, lunatics who claim
Gideon stole their tricks, religious
fanatics... You name it.

They post things online all the time.

Anything specific since
you came to the village?

Actually, there was a letter.

It said Melmoth Hall was cursed.

Threatened Gideon with hellfire and damnation
if he didn't abandon it and move far away.

~ You didn't tell me about that.
~ Dealing with hate mail is my job.

Still have the letter?

It went into the shredder,
like all the other rubbish.

The fact you've been targeted by someone who
knows where you live is cause for concern.

Tell me everything you can
remember about that letter.

BARNABY: Hannah was playing
a solo at the concert tonight.

Was that a big deal for
her? Was she nervous?

A little, maybe.

But she was used to
playing in the pub.

I'm wondering why you didn't
come along to listen to her.

One of us had to stay and
look after the place.

Will we find anyone prepared to verify
that you were behind the bar all evening?

Magda was there, she
helps us out sometimes.

I was down in the cellar for a bit.

We had a problem with
one of the barrels.

How long is "a bit"?

Er... five, maybe ten minutes.

Hannah was quite young to be
a pub landlady, wasn't she?

She inherited The Green
Man when her dad died.

I think she struggled
at first, but...

.. she was determined
to make it work.

Hannah was the one good thing
that's ever happened to me.

(Toots horn)

(Sighs) I want to walk
back. I need some air.

I'll come with you.

Someone needs to go in the car, since
my mother has bothered to wait.

I'd like some time alone with
my wife, if that's OK, Theo?

~ She'll be cross now.
~ No, she won't.

Not with you, with me.

I'd never have allowed you buy Melmoth Hall
if I'd known she'd be moving in with us.

What was wrong with her old house?
It's not as if she was far away.

She was lonely.

We're hardly short of space.

I know you owe her a lot,
but she's everywhere.

She's my mother.

What do you want me
to do, throw her out?

And I'm your wife, but it takes a murder
to get us ten minutes alone together!

She's just feeling a little
redundant since Theo took over.

Be kind, Annabel.

It'll get easier.

Do you really think someone
was trying to kill you?

It's the most likely
explanation, isn't it?

Maybe we should go away
for a while, just in case.


Because if someone is
trying to kill you...

It'll be OK, darling, I promise.

There were many people in the village
who strongly objected to... to...

to the presence of an enter...

Mr Barnaby, how is Luke?

As you might expect.

Reverend Soane was just telling me that
Luke was supposed to be here tonight,

singing with a local band,
but he didn't turn up.

Yes, he must be feeling
dreadful about that.

Were Luke and Hannah
regular churchgoers?

No, but they were very community-spirited.

Hannah played the piano
with us and so on.

I understand you had some people walk out
during the concert, when Gideon appeared.


My curate, Andrew
Maplin, among others

and one of the
churchwardens... Ailsa Probert.

Andrew strongly disapproves of magic.

He believes it encourages people
to meddle in the dark arts.

Where does he stand on
turning water into wine?

Please don't ask him, unless you're in
the mood for a long and rancorous debate.


The concert was in aid of
the church restoration fund?


We need vital building work done, and
the diocese won't give us a penny.

And if we don't raise the money
in the next couple of weeks,

it will be the end for St Cyprian's.

So he's crouched down at the bottom,

there's a trick of light,
the glass goes black,

the trapdoor opens, he pops up and
suddenly there he is, in the box.

The modern equivalent
of smoke and mirrors?

~ I'm heading back to the lab.
~ Thanks, Kate.

Nelson was just explaining to
me how Gideon's stunt works.

I had to threaten to arrest
them before they'd tell me.

They probably guessed that
you had an ulterior motive.

Nelson had one of those magic
sets when he was a kid.

I think he cherished hopes
of turning professional.

The Magic Circle's
loss is CID's gain.

~ I was pretty good, actually.
~ We'll take your word for it.

Goodnight, Kate.

They're taking the cabling
back to the lab,

but preliminary tests for
nitro-glycerine have come up positive.

And we've found fragments of what
looks like possible bomb casing.

No traces of a timing device, though. That
suggests it was activated by remote control.

Which means that our killer wasn't
necessarily in the church at the time.

The Latimers and Theo Bainbridge had by
far the best knowledge and opportunity.

But they say they'd never
met Hannah before.

Do what you can to
see if that's true.

If Gideon was the target, then Theo
and Annabel are prime suspects.

But I can't help thinking that neither
of them would have made a mistake.

If they'd meant to kill
Gideon, he'd be dead.

But he's not, and Hannah Altman is.

(Voices whispering)

(Drum beating, voices chanting)


(Triumphant cheers)

♪ Joy of heaven to earth come down

♪ Fix in us...

That must be Andrew Maplin,
standing next to the Vicar.

He's been busy posting comments
on Gideon's website.

Real fire and brimstone stuff.

We'll talk to him when he's finished
singing about love and mercy.

Let's go and find out why Luke
Altman lied about the concert.

♪ Pure unbounded love thou art

~ Oh!
~ Only me.

I'll do that.

It's no bother. It's
all Gideon's stuff.

Carole, just leave it.

Did Gideon sleep well?


He's not as robust as he appears.

You need to look after him.

"Be kind, Annabel.

It'll get easier."

BARNABY: Did your wife make a will?

Not that I know of, no.

So you'll inherit the pub?

A fat lot of good it'll do me. This
place is mortgaged to the hilt.

Hannah did her best to make
it work but it's a money pit.

Last night you said you'd never
planned to attend the concert.

Would you like to reconsider
that statement?

I was supposed to be there, yeah.

There's a local band, I
sing with them sometimes.

What made you change your mind?

Hannah and me were having
a few... problems.

And yesterday afternoon,
we had a bit of a row.

But it was nothing serious,
we'd have worked it out.

Why didn't you tell
me this last night?

I would have done, but once
you said it was murder...

What was the argument about?

It was nothing to
do with any of this.

But something must have triggered the
row yesterday, something specific?

What was it, Luke?

She'd had a fling.

Who with?

A guy called Rhodri Probert.

His wife used to be Hannah's friend.

You were angry with her, presumably?

Of course I was, yeah.

But that doesn't mean I killed her.

Are you here about Hannah?

Detective Sergeant
Nelson, Causton CID.

This is DCI Barnaby.

~ And you are?
~ Ailsa Probert.

~ I understand you joined
the walkout last night?
~ Yes.

Fakery has no place in God's house.

But I wanted to go back and
speak to Hannah afterwards,

make sure she knew it
wasn't aimed at her.

You were friends?

We hadn't seen much
of each other lately,

as I'm busy with the
children and the church.

We'd like a word with your husband,
actually. Is he with you?

He's at work, the florist
on the green.

Why do you need to speak to him? We told
your officers everything last night.

Just routine.

(Text alert) Thank you, Mrs Probert.

Harry, Flora, come on.

The search team's at the pub
now. Shall I go back over?

After we've talked to the Curate.

Andrew, we should talk.

Before you do anything rash.

I'm afraid I have nothing
left to say to you, Lorna.

But I have plenty to tell Magnus.

I'm sure you do. He is
your vicar, after all.

For a little while longer.

Andrew Maplin? Might
we have a word, please?

I object to the use of so-called "magic" anywhere,
and in a church, it's an abomination.

Gideon's an illusionist.
It's not real magic.

You and I know that, Sergeant,
but there are plenty of gullible
people who think otherwise.

Even the pretence of sorcery
is dangerous as well as wrong.

If you think that, why not simply boycott
the performance, instead of walking out?

That would have been cowardly.

And less dramatic.

And you're rather fond
of drama, aren't you?

I'm thinking of the message you
posted on Gideon Latimer's website

accusing him of being
the son of the devil.

I was quoting the Bible, Inspector.

Was it you who wrote the letter
threatening Gideon with hellfire

if he remained at Melmoth Hall?

I'm not sure those were my
precise words, but I urged him

to leave that house of
sin and darkness, yes.

You feel very strongly
about this, don't you?


Strongly enough to attempt to
bring Gideon down in public?

What are you suggesting?

That someone made sure the stunt
went wrong, possibly intending
to humiliate or harm Gideon.

But not necessarily
intending to kill anyone.

That's an outrageous accusation!

Even though, "A man that is a wizard,
shall surely be put to death"?

I was referring to spiritual death.

Evil didn't arrive in Midsomer Oaks
with Gideon Latimer, Inspector.

He made himself heir to a
very old and dark legacy.

It's my job to root it out and
that's what I intend to do.

An affair with Hannah? Where
did you get that idea?

From her husband.

Look, Luke's always
been a bit paranoid.

I heard him and Hannah
were having a rough patch.

But there was nothing between us.

Are you sure about that, Mr Probert?

This is a murder investigation.

Look... it was a one-off thing.

You know how it is.

A one-off?

OK, a few times, then.

~ And this was when?
~ A couple of months ago.

It was a bit of fun.

Like I said, Luke and Hannah were having
difficulties, and Ailsa had just found God.

Seemed to prefer him to me.

Whose decision was it
to end the relationship?

It was mutual. No hard feelings.

I assume your wife knows
nothing about any of this?


You won't tell her, will you?

NELSON: And he left the parish when?

OK, thank you.


Err... would you...

No, thank you.

What did you say about
me to that detective?

Nothing but the truth.

That you strongly objected to Gideon's
participation in the concert.

Before you try to cast blame on others,
perhaps you should look closer to home.

What on earth are you talking about?

I've suspected for a long time.

And now I have proof.

You said the business was struggling.

That's what Hannah told me.

So where did this come from?

I don't know.

(Keypad bleeps) Thank you.

Hello, sweetheart.

Everything all right?

~ Where's the kids?
~ Playing next door.

What did the police ask you?

They wanted to know if we supplied
flowers for the church last night.

Nothing about Hannah?

How well I knew her,
that kind of thing.

And did you tell them?


Luke claimed he had no
idea where it came from.

He was right about one thing, though.

The pub is in dire straits.

The mortgage is massively in arrears and
the bank is threatening to repossess.

Find out if there are any rumours
of dodgy dealings at The Green Man.

Drugs, you mean?

Or stolen goods.

One other thing. We found Hannah's passport,
but Luke said he doesn't have one.

I've just checked and he never has.

Could be he just never
fancied going abroad.

On the other hand, you should
do a full identity check.

~ I've already set the ball rolling.
~ Good.

Rhodri Probert says his relationship
with Hannah was long over,

but we only have his word for that.

Nor can we be sure his
wife didn't know about it.

Anything else?

Andrew Maplin has worked in four
parishes in the last five years.

Seems like a lot.

I can't say I'm surprised.

But he's not mad,
and he's not stupid.

When he says there's an ancient
evil at work in Midsomer Oaks,
he means something specific.

But what?

(Gideon mutters)

It's perfectly simple...

I asked you to think of something...


The Curate's on the
front lawn, praying.

He seems to be performing
some sort of exorcism.


Don't worry. I'll come
and sort him out.

Drive the spirits of evil out of
this house of shadow and pain.

~ You're on private property.
~ The faithful of Midsomer
Oaks may be freed...

I'm calling the police.

.. give me the strength to carry
out your work here today.

~ Grant us the strength...
~ Reverend Maplin, isn't it?

How kind of you to call.

Has anyone offered you tea?

Surely even you must realise
the time for mockery is past?

You didn't heed my warnings
and now a woman is dead.

~ What a wicked thing to say!
~ I'm just being honest, Mrs Latimer.

Others may stand by and watch
while your son pollutes this village
by invoking its foul past,

but I will not.

May I ask how you propose to stop me?

By exposing your purpose
in coming to Midsomer Oaks,

and showing the world
what you really are.

All of you.

"Murderers, fornicators, sorcerers,
idolaters, and all liars,

shall have their lot in the lake...

.. which burns with
fire and sulphur...

.. which is the second death."

You're insane.


Go in peace.

You may have turned your back
on God, Gideon Latimer...

.. but you will not escape
the fury of his wrath.

It's OK.

Come on.

I'm not too sure what
your problem is.


TV: Silence, child!

It's your father who's to blame.

So, how did you get on?

Betty finished her bottle
and Sykes enjoyed his bone.

Or was it the other way round?

~ How was your evening?
~ Splendid.

Three hours of drink and debauchery.

I'd expect nothing less from the quarterly
meeting of the Midsomer Historical Society.

It was very interesting, actually.
A local historian gave a talk.


Don't mock.

Some of the grislier episodes
in the past make your schlocky
old horror movies look tame!

Don't say any more. Sykes has already
spent half the evening behind the sofa.

That's not cos you're
scared, is it Sykesie?

He just prefers rom-coms.


(Woman screams)

(Bird trills)

I'm here.

Where are you?


~ Here.
~ Oh, thanks.

Do you want to see a trick?

Is it too much to ask to just
have my coffee in peace?

No, no, no. Come on, watch.

I'm gonna make a coin pass through a
pack of cards and drop into that glass.

Behold, a shiny coin.

Watch it pass through
a solid pack of cards.

One, two, three...

There are two coins.

One is in your hand, the other was concealed
under the deck of cards from the start.



(Phone rings)


Andrew Maplin, curate of this parish.

He was wearing this when he was found.
It's made out of oak leaves.

Looks a bit like a ceremonial mask.

Perhaps some kind of sacrifice?

Ashes are cold.

So that fire wasn't lit last night.

It looks as if he fell over here...

.. and was dragged to the
big stone in the middle.

There was a clunky old
mobile phone found here.

It's being dusted for prints
now, then you can take a look.

Chances are, it was the victim's.

Because we wouldn't be lucky enough to
find the murderer's phone at the scene?


All this swaddling is gonna to make
it tricky to pin down time of death.

I'd like to take him back to
the table as soon as possible.

It'd be good to know
what we're dealing with.

Nelson, come and look at this.

Let's get him back to the lab.

"Sir Hugo Melmoth.

Born 23rd January, 1758.

Died June 23rd, 1802.

E Flammis Vito."

"Vita" is life, isn't
it? In Italian, anyway.

"Out of the flames comes life".

And yet this place
feels full of death.

Always follow the same
route when you run?

No, but I've been that
way a few times.

Had you ever met Andrew Maplin?

He came here yesterday evening.

~ What did he want?
~ An audience he could rant at.

After Andrew Maplin left, what did
you do for the rest of the evening?

We had supper, cleared
up... nothing special.

You were all here, the whole evening,

the two of you, Mr Latimer's
mother, Mr Bainbridge?


We all went to bed quite early.

We were a bit shaken by that
scene on the lawn, to be honest.

The mask on the body. Had you ever
seen anything like that before?

~ No.
~ Mr Latimer?

I didn't see it, obviously, but no.

Annabel's description
didn't ring any bells.

You didn't go and look, after
your wife came back here?

Of course not.

Annabel needed me.

What's happening?

The track to the temple's
lined with police cars.

The Curate's dead -

the one who came to
the house last night.


Your daughter-in-law found his body.

On the altar stone.

Oh, no! You poor girl!

Tell me about the site. You
called it "the temple"?

The pagan temple. That's
what the locals call it.

There are all sorts of stories
about what used to go on there.

I saw Sir Hugo Melmoth's gravestone.

I take it Melmoth Hall
once belonged to him?

Yes, he was the last of
the family, I believe.

Darling, this doesn't mean we're going
to have to cancel tonight, does it?

~ Why should it?
~ Tonight?

Another fundraiser for St Cyprian's.

No big stunts, I promise.

Just a few card tricks and a bit
of mind-reading in the drawing room.

People have paid a fortune for the chance
to meet Gideon. We can't let them down.

As long as no one goes
near the temple.

I'll send along a couple of Uniform officers
to keep an eye on things here.

There's really no need.

It's for your own safety, Mr Latimer.

Thank you, Mr Barnaby.

It's good of you to do so much for the church,
given that you're new to Midsomer Oaks.

I grew up not far from
here - Midsomer Mere.

My mother's keen for us to
get involved in the community.

And Lorna Soane can
be very persuasive.

I wonder, are there any books about
the temple in the library here?

There isn't a library.

The last owner sold off the books and
converted the room into a home cinema.

Luckily, I'm not really
interested in the past.

I've been looking for information
on this place. There's the usual
stuff about architecture.

Any mention of a pagan temple?

Not so far.

Andrew Maplin visited here last night, to
warn Gideon Latimer to mend his evil ways.

He left around 8:30, allegedly.

He received a call at 9:23, made
from an unidentified mobile.

We're trying to trace it, but I'm sure
it'll turn out to be a prepaid job.

Anything else of interest?

Andrew called the Bishop at two o'clock
yesterday, to ask for a meeting.

He insisted it had to be today but
he wouldn't say what it was about.

Get a couple of PCs up
here tonight, will you?

No one could accuse Andrew
Maplin of living in luxury.

Andrew was no hypocrite...

whatever his faults.

Did you know he was seeing
the Bishop this morning?

No, but he told me yesterday
that he was going to demand a
meeting as a matter of urgency.

What about?

My many deficiencies, personal
and professional.

Most of them alcohol-related.

You know where his body was found?

Yes. Everyone in the village knew
by eight o'clock this morning.

No one at Melmoth Hall could
tell me about the site,

except that it was called
"the pagan temple".

It was built in the 18th
century by Sir Hugo Melmoth,

though Midsomer Oaks is believed to have
been a centre for pre-Christian worship.

Sir Hugo was very interested in
what he called "the old ways".

Pagan rituals, you mean? Did
they still exist in his day?

If they didn't, he probably
invented them.

Are there pagans active
in Midsomer Oaks now?

I understand they still mark the seasonal
festivals in a purely symbolic way.

~ Do you participate?
~ No, but I don't object.

~ Your curate did, though.
~ Yes.

And what about the Bishop?

If it were brought to his attention,
he'd feel obliged to take a dim view.

Would you mind telling me where
you were last night, say, from
8:30 to 7:00 this morning?

At home.

With my wife.

Thank you.

Slim pickings from the laptop.

Records of parish council meetings,

a draft thesis on St Jerome.

Not much internet activity, except
recently, on Gideon's site.

And no photographs or film, which
is odd, because I found this.

It's quite new, but it looks like it's
been in the wars. I can't turn it on.

Can you salvage the memory card?

Yeah, probably.

(Text alert)

Kate wants us back.

Bring the camera with you.

Are you busy?

Yes, of course I am. Why?

Nelson's done his best but I think
I need a historian's input.

I'm interested in late-18th century
paganism in Midsomer Oaks.

OK, I wasn't expecting that.

Am I allowed to know why?

Are you OK?

Kind of.

You were supposed to come
with me this morning.

I overslept.

Gideon's not gonna carry on with
this stupid pagan stuff now, is he?

He's obsessed with it,

thinks it's gonna help the act.

A little thing like murder's
not gonna stand in his way.

I just keep seeing
the body lying there.

Oh, come on. Come here.

It'll be OK. It'll be OK.

He was already dead when
he was wrapped up.

The knife entered the heart and
penetrated the right ventricle.

So whoever shrouded him afterwards
had to work around the knife?

No, that's the interesting thing.

There are two wounds, almost certainly
made by the same weapon -

the first before he was swaddled,
and the second, after.

It must have been obvious that he was
dead, so the second one was for show.

Could we borrow your computer
for a few minutes, Kate?


Nelson worked his magic on a broken
camcorder while we were driving here.

He prised it open with a penknife.

That's as close as Charlie
gets to sleight of hand.

~ You can mock.
~ Oh, we will.

In the meantime...

look at this.

He filmed his own murder?

NELSON: No, look at the date.

This footage was shot when Andrew
Maplin was still very much alive.


(Voice in prayer)

'Drive the spirits of evil out
of this house of shadow and pain.'

'What the hell do you
think you're doing?'

'What the hell do you
think you're doing?'

Luke Altman.

LUKE: It wasn't an attack.

I didn't touch the man.

I grabbed his camera and
threw it on the ground.


He was spying on something... sacred.

Pagan rituals?

We just celebrate
the natural world...

the sun and the seasons.

Yesterday morning, we were welcoming
in the summer solstice.

That all sounds very innocent.

And not at all like what
Andrew Maplin filmed -

the knife, the fire, the
body on the altar stone.

That wasn't a body,
it was a straw man.

He symbolises winter

and we kill him every year
to mark the return of summer.

It's no sillier than
what happens in church.

Who's the person wearing
the crown, your leader?

The High Priest of Sulis.


A Celtic sun goddess, apparently.

And who is the High Priest?

The inner circle holds a secret vote.

I am not part of the inner circle.

As far as I'm concerned, paganism's
not about worshipping gods,

and having priests and hierarchies.

A man known for his hard-line Christian
beliefs was murdered at your pagan temple,

in a way which mimics the
very ceremony he filmed.

And you think one of us did it?

That would be really clever but...

You can buy these masks off the
internet. That's where I got mine.

Anybody could have killed Andrew
and tried to put the blame on us.

No, no. Not there.

Over there, please.

So, as the guests arrive, Annabel,
Carole and I will circulate.

You make your entrance, you work this side
of the room, a few one-on-one tricks,

before you make your
way to the centre...

Theo, this is my show.

I'll take the creative decisions.
You just do the job I pay you for.

You don't pay me to
lie to the police.

I pay for your loyalty, which
is a word you don't...

It's only me! The door was open.

Just came to see how poor Annabel was
feeling after her dreadful shock.

~ I'm fine, thank you, Mrs Soane.
~ Oh, well...

I see everything is in train
for tonight. Jolly good.


So, tell me what you have planned.

And give away our secrets?

~ You can trust me, you know that.
~ Can we?

Of course we trust you, Mrs Soane.

But we don't share the tricks
of our trade with anyone.


I'm disappointed, Gideon.

I thought your magic was real.

I'm not sure about tomorrow
night, not after...

We must.

Lorna, the place is
crawling with police.

~ You're playing with fire.
~ That's the idea, isn't it?

(Low conversation)

Mrs Soane?

Please leave Gideon alone.

We'll go through with tonight, but don't
ask him to do any more. It's too dangerous.

He's not doing any of this for me.
He's doing it for St Cyprian's.

Gideon couldn't give
a toss for St Cyprian's.

And I don't believe you do either!

You had a nasty shock this morning.

Why don't you go and lie down, hm?

Aren't you done yet?

Nearly, Mrs Latimer.

I've sent the footage to the tech
department and asked them to blow
up shots of individuals.

The leaves on Luke's mask
were made of leather.

The ones on Andrew's were real.

There was another difference
too. Did you notice?

Andrew's mask didn't have
an opening for the mouth.

And now he's been silenced.


THEO: I think Gideon knows about us.

Let's leave today.

ANNABEL: Now? I can't leave now.

You've chosen him instead of me.

No! I still want to be with you.
But I don't want to hurt him.

He's hurt you often enough!

That's not fair. I can't leave Gideon while
someone might be trying to kill him.

~ Look, I better go.
~ No, wait.

Early supper?

It'll only be posh nibbles
up at Melmoth Hall.

You're going to need something
to soak up the booze.

I can't go to a party.

Why not?

I just think it would be better
if we both stayed at home tonight.

Magnus, you can't give up on this.

Two people, one of them my curate, have died
in the most horrible of circumstances.

And I'm very sorry.

But somebody has to try
and save St Cyprian's.

It's what Andrew would have wanted.

If we lose this church, you'll
be sent to a different parish.

And I won't be going with you.

I'm not ready to leave Midsomer Oaks.

(Low conversation)

GIDEON: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
May I have you attention, please?

No, over here.

Not there.


Welcome to Melmoth Hall!

Tonight, I'm going to make
all your money disappear...

.. and re-appear in the
Save St Cyprian's fund!


Thank you.

Thank you.

How does he do that?

OK, thanks.

Luke and Hannah's personal
finances check out.

They weren't siphoning any
money from the business,

and there's no sign of any
other source of income.

Tech have just sent over a file, but
they say the quality's not great.

Zoom in on that, Nelson.

I've seen that ring before.

Rhodri Probert wears one.

Good evening, Mr Probert.

Why didn't you tell
us about this before?

You didn't ask.

I'm sure you heard about the circumstances
in which Andrew Maplin's body was found.

Why didn't you come forward then?

Mr Probert...

you were present when your
former lover was killed,

and now a man caught filming your solstice
ceremony has also been murdered.

I suggest you start talking,
either here or at the station.

You can begin by telling us about
the High Priest of Sulis.

Hannah wanted it, see...

the High Priesthood.

So did I.

~ If you'd like to shuffle the deck.
~ Oh, erm...

Not something I'm terribly
accomplished at.

It's fine, I understand.

~ There we are.
~ Thank you.

Now, what were the two cards
you were thinking of?

Oh, the um...

The Jack of Spades and
the four of Diamonds.

The Jack of Spades and
the four of diamonds.

How do you do that?

It's simple, I deal in thoughts.
You could think of anything.

Now, a few moments ago, I asked you to
think of something you like to wear.

Think of it now.

I'm sensing something
beginning with... J...

no... G.

Something green...

.. something that goes on your head.

A hat?

~ A green hat?
~ (Laughter)

His old green fishing hat.
It's quite revolting.


Now, I asked you to think
of something that you fear.

Think of it now.

I'm not getting anything.

There was something you
feared, wasn't there...

.. until very recently...

.. but you don't any more?


Don't worry, Mrs Soane, I'm not
going to try to read your mind.

~ Believe me, I wouldn't dare!
~ (Laughter)

Luke and some of the
others didn't approve.

Hannah was excited by the idea
and so was I, to be honest.

But I... I changed my
mind, a few days before.

Why was that?

Hannah said if I didn't stand down
and vote for her, she'd tell Ailsa
what happened between us.

She was blackmailing you, in effect?

How did you react?

Well, I wasn't thrilled, obviously.

Did you think she'd
carry out her threat?

You could never tell with Hannah.

I wasn't about to lose everything
over a stupid title.

12 magicians have lost their
lives performing this next feat.

(Astonished gasps)

Put a mark on the top
of the bullet, please.

Your initials, if you like, but any mark
will do, as long as it's distinctive.

Are you a good shot, Lorna?

~ Better than average.
~ (Laughter)

That's a relief.


Forget about the glass.

Aim at my mouth.

I'm going to catch the
bullet between my teeth.

All of you are witnesses.

If any harm comes to me...

.. Lorna Soane is not
to be held responsible.



(Clicks gun)


So who was left in contention, after
you withdrew and Hannah was killed?

Who is the High Priest of Sulis?

The obvious candidate, I suppose,
Sir Hugo Melmoth's descendant.

And who is that?

Lorna Soane.


If you'd like to confirm
that's the mark you made.

~ Yes, it is.
~ (Applause)



Gunshot straight to the heart.

Looks like an antique.

It was on the lawn under the drawing
room window. It's been wiped clean.

Surprise, surprise.

Time of death? With the
usual caveats, of course.

Up to 30 minutes before she was found,
though it might have been less.

You delivered the flowers for
the party this afternoon.

Why did you come back to the house?

I owed it to Andrew.

To carry on his fight against Gideon?

Against sorcery.

I was watching while they were
getting the room ready, and I
realised how the mirror worked.

I wanted everyone to know how
easily they were being fooled.

~ How did you get in?
~ Through the kitchen.

The room behind the mirror
was completely dark.

I felt my way to the
switch, and flipped it.

I didn't know there'd be a body.

OK, you can go and help with the
witness statements. Thank you.

What's the story?

The two PCs left their
post in the drawing room

because Mr Bainbridge told them there
was a prowler in the back garden.

~ I'm sorry!
~ Are you saying you were lying?

Gideon insisted on doing
the bullet catch.

He was adamant.

Go on.

It's perfectly safe.

The gun is specially modified, and
it's all done by sleight of hand.

We didn't think your officers would
see it like that, so he got me
to get rid of them for a bit.

By sending them on
a wild goose chase.

~ I didn't know this would happen.
~ Didn't you?

Of course not.

Annabel and I were friends.

A little more than that!

I've suspected for some time now.

But I didn't think Annabel would
be so stupid and ungrateful.

She's lying!

Of course Annabel and I were close.

We spent a lot of time together
on tour, but we never...

I heard you today in your bedroom...


Because she'd changed her mind
about leaving Gideon for you.

You were listening at the door?

She's probably got the room bugged.

I look out for my son's interests.

That's all.

Thank you, Mrs Latimer.

Can we take it you're no longer denying
that you and Annabel had an affair?

Why did she change her mind?

She was worried about Gideon.

He was convinced he was the one
meant to die at the church,

and Annabel half-believed him.

You didn't?

Gideon always has to be
the centre of attention.

Annabel was rattled by Andrew
Maplin's threats, too,

and she thought the pagan
stuff was dangerous.

Is Gideon involved in that?

He thinks the act needs a new angle.

He went to the solstice
celebration at the temple.

There's something else tomorrow,
an escapology stunt, I think,

but he's being cagey
about the details.

I thought you were
privy to everything?

Not since we came to Midsomer Oaks.

After you entered through
the mirror, you circulated,

talking to the guests and
doing tricks, is that right?


Why did you choose Magnus
and Lorna Soane as subjects?

They're well known in the community.

People like to see authority
figures put at a disadvantage.

You went straight from one to the other,
in full sight of everyone in the room?


Everyone who was here
will confirm that.

How does the mirror illusion work?

It's quite technical.

Lights and hidden panels.
Theo will show you.

But someone, or more than one person, can
be behind the mirror for any length of time,

without being seen on the other
side, if the lights are off?

Naturally. That's its function.

Before embarking on your
routine with Mrs Soane,

did you notice if your
wife was in the room?

It was Annabel's job to be aware
of me, not mine to look out for her.

Sorry if that sounds arrogant,
it's just the way it was.

I'm not sure.

Why does it matter?

Because there's a possibility Annabel was
dead before Mr Latimer made his entrance.

What are you implying?

THEO: He's saying that anyone
could have killed Annabel.

Including you, or me or Gideon.

~ Don't you dare...
~ Mrs Latimer, please!

Do any of you recognise this gun?

~ It's the one Gideon used
for the bullet-catch.
~ No, it isn't.

The wood on the handle's
much darker, look.

~ The stunt gun's in my study.
~ May we see it, please?

Mother's wrong.

Annabel was very happy
being married to me.

I'm afraid Mrs Latimer was right.
Mr Bainbridge has confirmed it.

And you believed him?

Theo's not happy working
behind the scenes any more.

He wants to be me.

So of course he's going to pretend Annabel
was his lover, now she's not here to deny it.

This gun has been modified so that
it doesn't shoot real bullets, right?


If it is the one used in the stunt,
Mrs Soane's prints will be on it.

"The Great Enrico".

That's my father.

I didn't know he was a magician too.

Did he teach you all his tricks?

He died when I was a child.

He didn't exactly have
a glittering career.

~ Sir Hugo?
~ Yes.

It came with the house.

It's the anniversary
of his death tomorrow.

You obviously know a lot more
about the old chap than I do.

The date is on his grave.

Mr Bainbridge says that you're
very interested in paganism.

He thinks you have big plans
of your own to mark the day.

I did. Not any more.

The paganism was just a new gimmick
to help sell the act, that's all.

I did love Annabel, Mr Barnaby.

I don't know what I'm
going to do without her.

I didn't hear you get up.

Yeah, Betty woke at five.

Once I'd settled her back down,
I thought I might as well stay up

and tell you what I've found out about
Midsomer Oaks and your friend Sir Hugo.

Somehow, I don't think we'd have been
chums, even if I'd lived 200 years ago.

There's not much, not even in the
local Historical Society archives.

It seems Sir Hugo was a little eccentric and
held some rather unusual views on religion,

but other than that, he was a
model landlord and landowner.

That sounds like the
official version.

Yeah, listen to this, though.

"The exact circumstances of Sir
Hugo's death remain unexplained,

but it was widely believed
he jumped into a fire,

in the belief that he would be
reincarnated like the phoenix".

Did you say "a little eccentric"?

So what's going on? Has Sir Hugo finally
mastered the art of reincarnation?

~ Do you think he's your killer?
~ Not quite.

But his pagan practices seem
to be flourishing again,

and not everyone is happy about
it, as you can imagine.

Is that what these murders
have been about?

I'm not sure yet. Maybe.

Or maybe that's what someone
wants us to think.

I'd like to know the
truth about Sir Hugo.

If anyone can tell you that, it'll
be Dr Grenville, the lady who gave
the talk the other night.

~ I'll give her a call.
~ (Doorbell rings)

Would you?


Do you think Gideon didn't
know about the affair?


The question is, is he lying because
he's guilty or because he's afraid
we'll think he's guilty?

Theo thinks he did it. And Carole
would love it to be Theo.

Gideon had motive, means,
probably opportunity

and a motive to kill Andrew.

But not Hannah. We still don't have
a real link between the victims,

or a shred of physical evidence.

Luke Altman wasn't on the guest
list at Melmoth Hall last night.

~ Not that that puts him beyond suspicion.
~ You're right.

Just because Theo lied about seeing an
intruder, doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Gideon, my dear.

Did you sleep?

Have you eaten this morning?

Yes, thank you.

Really, I'm fine.


Magnus will be up a little later,
but I wanted to see you first.

Because this tragedy
must make no difference.

Excuse me?

It has to be tonight.

Earth magic and fire magic
combined at midsummer.

The power of the wizard harnessed
to the service of the goddess!

~ I know how much this means to you, but...
~ No, no.

It isn't about me, it's
about the village.

Midsomer Oaks has never really
prospered since Sir Hugo died.

It's up to you and me to revive
his spirit and carry on his work!

BARNABY: How well did you
know Annabel Latimer?

We'd spoken a few times.

A charming young woman.

And how long have you known about your
wife's involvement with the pagans?

Well, she's never made
a secret of it at home.

In public, of course, she's
discreet, for my sake.

Was Andrew Maplin
threatening to expose her?

He told me he planned to discuss
it with the Bishop, yes.

Could you have lost your job?

It's not that easy to get rid of a beneficed
clergyman of the Church of England.

But it wouldn't have helped the
campaign to save St Cyprian's.

In any case, I fear that's
a lost cause now.

The Bishop called this morning
to say he's shutting us down.

There's no such thing
as a lost cause, Magnus.

Mrs Soane, I should tell you that I
talked to Rhodri Probert yesterday.

He was very forthcoming.

No reason he shouldn't be.

Nothing we do is illegal.

But it is highly unorthodox,

for a vicar's wife
to lead a pagan cult.

Even one founded by her ancestor.

Paganism isn't fundamentally at
odds with Christianity, Inspector.

Both traditions have existed side by
side in Midsomer Oaks for centuries.

And the village flourished in Sir Hugo's
time, as never before or since.

You were both present at
the scene of two murders.

And Reverend Soane has admitted that
his relationship with his curate was...

.. strained, to say the least.

(Laughs) If every "strained relationship"
between vicar and curate resulted in murder,

half the clergy in England
would be in prison or dead.


I'm not concerned with every strained
relationship, Mrs Soane.

I'd like an account of your movements
last night, from the moment you
arrived at Melmoth Hall.

As precise as possible, please.

It's very kind of you to see me at
such short notice, Dr Grenville.

Not at all, my dear.

~ Tea?
~ No, thank you.

I don't want to take up
too much of your time.

I've been working on this
book since last century.

Another half hour won't
make much difference.

What about the baby?
Would he like a biscuit?

No. She's fine, thank you.

You mentioned that your research
had taken you into the archives

of most of the big pre-Victorian
houses in the county.

I wondered if Melmoth Hall
might have been one of them.

Why do you wonder that?

My husband's investigating a series
of murders in Midsomer Oaks.

Recent murders?

Fine. Thanks.

If you can send the report through
as soon as you can? OK.

Lorna Soane's prints
are on the stunt gun.

So are Gideon's and Theo's,
but no one else's.

Ballistics say the real gun was
fired once, with a silencer.

All the victims had some kind
of dispute with Lorna Soane.

But I think we're missing something,
another link between them.

I wasn't having any luck finding
Luke's birth certificate, so I
ran a check on his fingerprints.

Luke Altman's real name
is Seth Farringdale.


He was convicted of manslaughter
when he was 13 years old.

(Wind chimes tinkling)

(Glass shattering)

Hello, Seth.

I've been expecting you.

Young Seth was messing
around with fireworks

on an abandoned smallholding outside Midsomer
Mere when an outbuilding caught fire.

A homeless man called William
Holt was asleep inside.

Seth's school bag was found at the
scene, and he admitted everything.

He'd been in trouble before and he
served four years on a secure unit.

He wasn't given a new
identity on release,

but he seems to have called himself
Luke Altman ever since.

Hannah would have found out Luke's real
name when they married, if not before,

and she's bound to have
asked why he changed it.

Or perhaps it's more
complicated than that.

(Voicemail bleeps)

'This is Rhodri, please
leave a message.'

Rhodri, where are you?

I'm frightened. You promised me
nothing was gonna happen tonight.

It's wonderful.

Mr Altman?

Shall I start a search for him?

Yes, put out a call to Uniform.

I want to look at the
scene of the crime.

Which one? We've got three.

Four, in fact. At the moment, I'm
interested in the first one -

the one that I think
all this has been about.

Luke built a circular metal
frame out of chicken wire,

eight feet in circumference
and six feet high.

Six feet?


The fireworks were just cheap things,
but he'd constructed two mortars.

One did what it was supposed to and
set off the bangers in the frame.

The other went through a hole in
the roof and set the place on fire.

Oh, it gets worse.

They think Holt woke up, attempted
to run out of the building.

He was probably drunk and went
straight into the frame.

It's a pretty horrible
story, isn't it?

And not very plausible.

What, you think Luke knew
someone was in the building?

That it was murder, not manslaughter?

No, but I don't think he was alone.

One 13-year-old transported all that stuff
up here, and built a frame that big?

You're right. It would be no fun
on your own, either, would it?

Think of all the stupid things
you did when you were a kid.

You did them because you were
with your mates, egging you on.

Speak for yourself. But,
yes, you're right.

And Luke was a loyal friend,
back then, at least.

Do you think he's
out for revenge now?

Or profit? That £20,000...

Hannah was the only victim without
an obvious link to Gideon Latimer.

~ Gideon and Luke are the same age.
~ And they both grew up in Midsomer Mere.

We need to find Luke, now.

It wasn't just whisky that made
me sleep through those nights

when you went creeping out
to your temple, was it?

A harmless sleeping draught.

I thought you'd be
happier in ignorance.

I pretended to Inspector Barnaby
that I knew all along,

but I didn't suspect anything until Andrew
told me, the day he was murdered.

What really hurt... is that
he seemed almost sorry for me.


I don't know you any more, Lorna!

All this High Priestess nonsense...

Have you told Gregory it's "nonsense"
for him to call himself Bishop?

(Chuckles) Believe
me, I've been tempted.

I can make a joke out of most
things, Lorna, but not this.

I'm warning you...
don't go out tonight!

This has to stop now!

Or what?

Don't push me, Lorna.


John? I've just got back
from Dr Grenville's.

Sir Hugo Melmoth didn't
set fire to himself.

The villagers trapped him and threw him
into the flames. And I don't blame them!

He wasn't the harmless eccentric
we've been hearing about.

Thanks for that.

Kiss Betty for me.

Midsomer Oak's pagans honour Sir Hugo
Melmoth on Midsummer's Eve every year,

but they don't know the truth.

His death wasn't a self sacrifice
that went wrong, it was murder.

Yeah, it's DCI Barnaby. I need
urgent back-up at Melmoth Hall,

fire service and ambulance
as well as police.

What's happening?

Sir Hugo was a ruthless tyrant
who invented his own religion

as a cover for his rapacity and
greed, and made human sacrifices
of those who stood in his way.

And now someone is following
in his footsteps.

Why are you still here?

Haven't you done enough damage?

I've still got things to do.

~ What things?
~ Tonight, for a start.

Gideon doesn't need you for that.

I can do everything that's necessary.

I intend to finish what I've started.

This is Midsummer Eve...

.. the time of year
when Sir Hugo Melmoth,

who did so much to revive the
old ways of Midsomer Oaks,

threw himself into the flames
and was born again...

.. in spirit if not in body.

Every year, we mark his sacrifice.

But tonight, we are going to
recreate it, with a new phoenix,

who will be consumed by the fire...

.. and then rise again
from the ashes!


(Grunts and coughs)


(Sirens blare)

Put that fire out!

There's someone inside the box!

Of course there is! It's Gideon!

It's perfectly safe.

He's not really in there.

You're exceeding your authority here!

We are commemorating the
death of a noble man!

Opinions differ on that, Mrs Soane.

Call your men off.

Everything's fine, I'm safe.

BARNABY: Who is that?

It's Luke Altman, sir.
He's still alive.

I didn't see him. I was only
in there for a few seconds.

This is your fault!

The fire and the sacrifice
were your idea.

No one was supposed to get hurt!

Annabel begged me not to have anything
to do with you and your pathetic cult.

Luke could have died.

~ Why are you not arresting her?
~ Because she's not guilty.

All the victims had a link
to Mrs Soane and paganism.

But that was just a classic
piece of misdirection.

They all had something much
more important in common.

They all posed a threat... to Gideon.

I barely knew Hannah,
or Andrew Maplin!

But Hannah knew all about
you from her husband.

Luke took full responsibility for the death
of William Holt, but he didn't act alone.

You were with him on that day.

We were just children.

We didn't mean to hurt anyone.

~ Gideon, don't say any more.
~ But Luke never said a word.

Until he married Hannah and
told her the whole story.

Even then, nothing might have happened, if
Gideon hadn't come to live at Melmoth Hall.

You're completely wrong.

Gideon wouldn't kill anyone.

Of course you believe that, Mrs
Latimer, you're his mother.

But I have to consider
the evidence against him.

The killer knew a great deal about
magic in general and about Gideon's
tricks in particular.

My son is not a murderer.

No. He doesn't need to be.

You take care of his enemies for him.

This is absurd.

What is he talking about?

Everything was going
so well, wasn't it?

Gideon was rich and successful,

living with you at Melmoth Hall.

But then Hannah Altman appeared...

blackmailing you...

.. threatening to ruin everything by
exposing Gideon's nasty little secret.

The sabotage at the church.

That was you?

Andrew Maplin knew nothing about
the death of William Holt,

he just had a gift for choosing
the right words at the wrong time.

So when he started talking about
exposing liars and murderers...

~ .. murderers, fornicators...
~ .. you thought he must've
found out the truth.

He was going to destroy us.

I was only protecting you, my darling,
like I always have done.

You killed Annabel?



She betrayed you.

You know, she always said you couldn't bear
the thought of sharing me with anybody else.


All my life, you have been there...

.. controlling my every move.

And it brought you the money and
fame your father and I never had.


You were just his assistant.

That's all I was allowed to be.

But I was better than him.

Don't forget, I taught
you everything you know.

And you've surpassed
both of us, my darling.

Well, that means nothing now...

.. because you destroyed
everything that matters to me.

It's all finished.

It's done.



~ (Explosion)
~ Agh!

Carole Latimer, I'm arresting you
for the murders of Hannah Altman,

Andrew Maplin and Annabel Latimer...

.. and for the attempted
murder of Luke Altman.

You do not have to say anything, but whatever
you do say will be given in evidence.

(Low dialogue)

MAGNUS: Inspector Barnaby?

Somebody said you'd arrested a woman.

Carole Latimer.

Magnus. Take me home.

Mrs Soane?

I believe this is yours.

Before you celebrate Sir Hugo's
sacrifice again next year,

might I suggest you get in touch
with Dr Dorothea Grenville?

Lorna and I will be leaving Midsomer
Oaks long before then, Mr Barnaby.

We both need to make a fresh start.

All the pagan and Christian stuff was
just more smoke and mirrors, wasn't it?

This wasn't about religion at all.

This was about mother-love.

That can be as powerful
as any religion.

On the whole, Nelson,

I'm glad your parents didn't encourage
you to pursue a career in magic.

It's never to late for a
change of direction, sir.

(Barnaby chuckles)

Al last! I thought you'd vanished
into a puff of smoke.


Right, I've got a really
good trick for you.

(Groans) No, please!

I'm gonna make a bottle
of beer disappear.

That's easy.

Go on, Charlie.


(Barnaby laughs)

~ No, that's brilliant!
~ That's actually really good.

~ That's brilliant.
~ It's magic!

Oh, Sykesie, what are you doing?

Sykes? Sykes!


The art of misdirection, canine-style!

Sykesie! Come back
with those sausages!

~ Sykesie!
~ (Sykes barks)

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