Midsomer Murders: Season 1, Episode 1

The Killings at Badger's Drift (5 Jul. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 552 users  
Reviews: 7 user

An elderly woman is found dead in her cottage and DCI Barnaby is convinced the death is not down to natural causes.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Barry Jackson ...
Renée Asherson ...
Emily Simpson (as Renee Asherson)
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Lucy Bellringer
Michael Lacey
Katherine Lacey
Henry Trace
Selina Cadell ...
Phyllis Cadell
Richard Cant ...
Elizabeth Spriggs ...
Iris Rainbird
Bill Wallis ...
Dr. Trevor Lessiter


When Emilyn Simpson is found dead in her house, DCI Barnaby's instincts all lead him to suspect murder. Although she was elderly and everyone seems to have liked her, it seem she may have seen something in the woods that she shouldn't have. There are numerous suspects: the local doctor who lies about his alibi, Iris Rainbird, the local busybody who seems to live beyond her means or her son Dennis, who is the local undertaker. Barnaby also receives information that a death the previous year may not have been an accident. When two other residents of Badger's Drift are murdered, Barnaby uncovers an illicit love affair that the protagonists must keep secret. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

5 July 1998 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The mother and son characters of Iris and Dennis Rainbird are related (as sister and cousin respectively) to Ursula and Alistair Gooding (again mother and son), characters in Midsomer Murders: Dead Letters (2006). Both sets of characters were played by Elizabeth Spriggs and Richard Cant. See more »


When showing the shooting of Annabelle Trace by Katherine Lacey she is within a foot of Michael Lacey, who would of either be killed or injured by a shot gun blast because of his closeness to the victim. See more »


[first lines]
Dr Trevor Lessiter: Hello, Miss Simpson. Have a very good afternoon.
See more »

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User Reviews

Mystery good, storyline gross
15 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is like the first pilot for Midsomer Murders. I found this is one of the most disgusting of all the ones that I had seen prior to this in seasons 13 and 14 . It it great in mystery but bad in content.

It deals with murder, incest, blackmail etc. I find the incest part the most appalling in the way in which it was presented.

I went back and checked the other seasons and episodes I watched and it seems there is usually a deviant sexual topic highlighted in this series and sometimes quick semi nudity.

The series lifts up the arts like it is god. There is usually some sort of art show going on that they attend, plays, music concert, etc with the head investigator and his wife raising money for events with phony artsy type people at social gatherings in many of the episodes.

It also puts down religion and makes religious people gay, insane, as in "The Sword of Guillaume".

So I find this series interesting but offensive in the ways they display and present sexual abuse, incest, religion and religious people in general.

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