Midsomer Murders: Season 6, Episode 4

A Tale of Two Hamlets (24 Jan. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 198 users  
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When heirs of the aristocratic Smythe-Webster family are killed, one by explosion and another by electrocution, Barnaby's investigation uncovers long-hidden family secrets.



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Title: A Tale of Two Hamlets (24 Jan 2003)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Barry Jackson ...
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 author of the book that is the root of the strife between the two villages is Ellis Bell. Ellis Bell was the pseudonym of Emily Brontë. 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 Scars of Dracula (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

"They took a classic & crapped all over it." Another great Midsomer murder mystery.

Midsomer Murders: A Tale of Two Hamlets is set in Upper Walden & starts at the grand opening of the 'Ellis Bell Satanic Experience' public attraction at Upper Walden Manor that ties in with a smash hit horror film The House of Satan based upon the 100 year old book by former Upper Walden resident Ellis Bell, the owner Rupert Smythe-Webster (Ronald Pickup) introduces the star of the film & his nephew Larry Smith (Charlie Beall) who becomes toast when he runs out in front of the press & over to a nearby cricket pavilion which explodes when he enters it. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Stg. Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) are on the case & there are no shortage of suspects, then Frank (Jonathan Hyde) another Smythe-Webster is found murdered & Barnaby has to sift through the rumours & clues to bring the killer or killers to justice...

Episode 4 from season 6 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Peter Smith & is another top murder mystery from one of my favourite show's. The script by Alan Plater has all the usual ingredients for a good episode with blackmail, back stabbing, dark secrets, lies, murder & the letting down of car tyres. The story is as intricate & intriguing as usual, the murder mystery elements are good & pretty gripping. These Midsomer murder mysteries are never that easy to second guess & I doubt many will identify the killer or killers easily, there's plenty of suspects, they all have reasonable motives & there isn't one particular suspect that stands out or is too heavily implicated. The character's are good as is the dialogue & the killer or killers have good & interesting motives which work very well but at almost two hours in length & not much action or excitement some may begin to run out of patience before the end. I liked it but then I'm a big fan of the series so maybe I'm biased but I don't really care.

As usual there's plenty of the English countryside on show here & it's well made with high production values. The acting is strong from a good cast.

A Tale of Two Hamlets is a top British murder mystery from possibly the best crime drama currently on TV over here (I'm not sure if this is show elsewhere in the world). Definitely recommended especially for mystery fans.

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