When heirs of the aristocratic Smythe-Webster family are killed, Barnaby's investigation uncovers long-hidden family secrets.



(screenplay), (characters)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Rupert Smythe-Webster
Beth Goddard ...
Wendy Smythe-Webster
Christopher Good ...
Simon Smythe-Webster
Laura Smythe-Webster
Frank Webster
Jo Stone-Fewings ...
Danny Pinchel
Tim Preece ...
Jack Wilson
Sarah Proudie
Alex Lowe ...
Phil Harrison
Larry Smith


The villages of Upper and Lower Warden have been feuding since the days of Cromwell and the Civil War, but now the feud has taken a deadly turn. Larry Smith, the star of a horror film titled The House of Satan, based on events centuries ago, is murdered. Smith is the son of the preeminent local family, the Smythe-Websters. His father is the local vicar, his uncle is the lord of the manor and another uncle is the producer of the movie. Some residents of Lower Warden object to the fact that an important piece of local history has been turned into a cheap horror film. Is this enough to kill or is it that there are dark secrets that offer a more serious explanation? When a second member of the Smythe-Websters is killed, Barnaby believes in the latter and looks into the family history to find the solution. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

24 January 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The character Laura Smythe-Webster quips, "And then there were four" after the second death. This is a reference to the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Soldiers", found in what is widely regarded as Agatha Christie's 1939 masterpiece "And Then There Were None". See more »


[first lines]
Rupert Smythe-Webster: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Welcome to the opening ceremony of the Ellis Bell Satanic Experience. Now, 120 years ago to this very day, a young man named Ellis Bell walked out of that house, along that footpath and into that summerhouse. There he wrote a book that would put our much-loved village of Upper Warden on the map. The book was called "The House of Satan", now, as we all know, a major movie.
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References Lust for a Vampire (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

someone is wiping out a family
4 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wonderful Midsomer Murders mystery with Barnaby and Troy on the case of the disappearing family.

Fighting between two villages, the Upper and Lower Warden, is nothing new, going back to Cromwell.

Now it's getting serious. When the star of the horror film The House of Satan, the bewigged Larry Smith, enters a pavilion with much aplomb only to blown up, Barnaby and Troy are called in. Smith was a member of the Smythe-Webster family, the major upper class family in the area. His father is the local vicar, his uncle is lord of the manor, and another uncle is producing The House of Satan, a story based on happenings centuries earlier.

The citizens of Lower Warden resent that the book, a local history, has been turned into a low-budget horror movie. Barnaby isn't sure that's enough reason to kill the star. Then someone else in the family is murdered. As is usually the case with Midsomer Murders, the motive lies in the past -- and perhaps in The House of Satan.

Neat mystery with interesting characters and old secrets that bubble to the surface. It will take B&T a while to sort through this one. I loved it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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