Fletcher's Cross is preparing for annual cricket match when the wife of local landowner and cricket captain is murdered after taking dog for a walk.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
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Robert Cavendish
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Stephen Cavendish
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Jane Cavendish
Felicity Dean ...
Tara Cavendish
Penelope Beaumont ...
Mrs. Wilson
Duncan Preston ...
Colin Cooper
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Christine Cooper
Terence Rigby ...
Ian Frasier
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Zelda Frasier
Zoë Hart ...
Patricia Smith (as Zoe Hart)
Terence Corrigan ...
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Storyline

Barnaby and Troy investigate the murder of Tara Cavendish, who is beaten to death with a cricket bat near a quarry on her husband's estate. She is the young wife of Robert Cavendish, a local landowner who is also captain of the Fletcher's Cross cricket team. He is disliked by many: his son, Stephen, who resents his father and is having an affair with a local barmaid; Charles Jennings, whom Cavendish recently dismissed from the cricket team; and a group of locals who resent that Cavendish has closed a public footpath that ran across his estate. The mystery deepens when it turns out Cavendish's housekeeper, Emily Beavis, died in a fall at the quarry site some 18 months previously. With that information, Barnaby is convinced that the two deaths are connected. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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12 September 1999 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stars three of the main cast of the Harry Potter series in Imeda Staunton, Robert Hardy and Toby Jones. See more »

Goofs

When Cavendish is showing the detectives his collection of German military memorabilia, he produces a medal which he refers to as the 'Iron Cross First Class'. As can be seen from the ribbon, it is in fact an even higher award, the Knight's Cross, with the further distinction of oak leaves. No serious collector (as Cavendish is apparently supposed to be) would make such an elementary mistake - it would be almost as bad as getting the denomination wrong on a coin or a stamp. See more »

Quotes

[Barnaby and Troy have just spotted Joyce Barnaby house hunting]
DCI Tom Barnaby: Oh, please Lord. Not Fletcher's Cross.
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User Reviews

 
Classic 'Midsomer Murders'
13 December 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Have always enjoyed 'Midsomer Murders', though the post-Tom Barnaby episodes are nowhere near as good. "Dead Man's Eleven" for me is one of the classics.

After two such exceptional previous Season 2 episodes "Strangler's Wood" and especially "Death's Shadow", there was the hope that "Dead Man's Eleven" would carry on this high standard. Rather than stumble a little like Season 1 did, when it started off exceptionally but disappointed a little with "Death of a Hollow Man" (luckily "Faithful Unto Death" was an improvement). Ranking the Season 2 episodes, "Dead Man's Eleven" is a little better than "Strangler's Wood" and almost as good as "Death's Shadow".

As always, the production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Meanwhile, the script is smart, thought-provoking and suitably grim, with even some nice humour (can understand all about the house hunting situation in the episode, having just successfully come out of it myself) and welcome emotion. Nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point, everything intrigued.

The story is not quite as dark or as complex as "Death's Shadow" for example, but is hugely compelling, and never simplistic or over-complicated, nor no less mature. There is a lot going on without being cluttered or rushed, and that nothing is what it seems, or very few people are who they seem adds to the complexity, while there are no out of kilter scenes. The twists and turns keep coming, and never in an obvious or press-the-rewind button, while there is an ideal balance of mystery, cricket (even as a non-cricket follower that was fun), house-hunting and the protesting.

"Dead Man's Eleven's" beginning mirroring a fairytale-like story with a tragic accident was incredibly effective, while the ending is one of the show's cleverest, most gob-smackingly unexpected and most satisfying.

John Nettles and Daniel Casey sparkle together, with Nettles characteristically superb and Casey a great contrast. Jane Wymark similarly charms, and Robert Hardy excels in a role that could easily have been over-acted but given a lot of meat while also reigning in the temptation to "ham-up".

All in all, classic 'Midsomer Murders' episode. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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