Midsomer Murders: Season 6, Episode 1

A Talent for Life (3 Jan. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Something is fishy about the clubbing deaths of two local residents.



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Title: A Talent for Life (03 Jan 2003)

A Talent for Life (03 Jan 2003) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Isobel Hewitt
Philip Franks ...
Quentin Roka
Barry Jackson ...
Jane Downs ...
Dixie Goff
Duncan Goff
Alison Rose ...
Angela Goff
John Warnaby ...
Keith Scholey
Ruth Scholey
Jonathan Cullen ...
Melrose Plunkett
Suzanne Burden ...
Rebecca Plunkett
Derrick Seagrove


When two bodies are discovered by the side of a fishing stream, Barnaby and Troy have yet more murders to solve. Isobel Hewitt had a zest for life that some can only hope for. She loves to drive her red Jaguar at top speed and generally enjoyed the finer things in life. Although loved by many, there were those who weren't quite so charmed by her. Margaret Seagrove was convinced that she was the member of the local fishing club using weighted lures in the local stream. Her nephew and his wife, with whom she resided, saw her as a burden now that she had spent most of her accumulated capital. The second victim is the local doctor, Duncan Goff, a well-known philanderer who had affairs with many of the local ladies. The police must first determine if both were intended victims or if one was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

fishing | jaguar | detective | trout | adultery | See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

3 January 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


James Hazeldine died a few weeks before broadcast. See more »


When Barnaby introduces himself and Troy to Derrick Seagrove, he identifies himself as "DSI Barnaby" - DSI is Detective Superintendent, while Barnaby is a DCI, Detective Chief Inspector. See more »


Joyce Barnaby: Oh look! So sweet! The children look lovely in those huge bonnets.
Joyce Barnaby: They're so serious.
Cully Barnaby: With good reason. They're in the work house. Most of them will probably never reach adulthood.
Joyce Barnaby: Well! This one looks cheery. What are they celebrating?
Cully Barnaby: The end of the first world war...
See more »

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User Reviews

"There's nothing to say murderers have to be members of Mensa, sir." Another Midsomer murder...

Midsomer Murders: A Talent for Life is set in the Midsomer village of Malham Bridge where a scandal is tearing the local fly-fishing association apart, it seems someone might be using weighted lures! Margaret Seagrove (Susan Wooldridge) the wife of Midsomer Flyfishers association club secretary Derrick (Jeff Rawle) accuses Isobel Hewitt (Honor Blackman) & they have an argument in which Isobel slaps Margaret. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Sgt. Troy (Daniel Casey) investigate an assault complaint made by Maragret but things become much more serious when the bodies of Isobel & a local womanising doctor named Duncan Goff (Richard Durden) are discovered beaten to death with a fence stake, they now have a double murder on their hands. As they begin to investigate Barnaby & Troy uncover lots of resentment in the village towards both victims...

Episode 1 from season 6 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Sarah Hellings & is another great whodunit. The script by David Hoskins is one of those stories where it takes about twenty minutes before a murder happens & spends time on building up the character's including the victims, while this obviously slows things down a bit the writing & acting is so good I don't usually mind. I wouldn't call A Talent for Life a true Midsomer Murders classic as I personally like the stories which have dark sinister over-the-top motives for the crimes committed like lesbian lovers, teenage kids murdering for kicks or homicidal butler's upholding a schools tradition while A Talent for Life has a rather mundane & forgettable motive although it still works very well. There isn't quite the number of suspects I would have liked either & the motive given to some of them are flimsy to say the least, I also have to say at this point that I actually guessed who the killer was & that doesn't usually happen. A good solid & absorbing murder mystery but it perhaps lacks a little something extra, something dark & something that would make this stand out just that bit more.

As usual the English countryside takes center stage here with more beautiful locations nicely shot, the cricket pavilion from the previous Midsomer Murders story Dead Man's Eleven (1999) from season 1 was actually used as Quentin's antique shop in this. Shabbington in Oxfordshire was used for the pub & river scenes. This episode isn't particularly violent despite three murders, a few dead & bloodied bodies are seen but that's it. The production values are high as usual & it's very well made, the acting is top notch as always with Honor Blackman & Philip Franks making guest appearances.

A Talent for Life is a decent way to kick off season 6, it's not quite a classic Midsomer Murders as far as I'm concerned but it's still a highly watchable & entertaining murder mystery that is a must for all armchair detectives everywhere.

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