Midsomer Murders: Season 8, Episode 2

Dead in the Water (17 Oct. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 212 users  
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During a regatta, the body of Rowing Club chairman Guy Sweetman is found bludgeoned and drowned. Bachelor Sweetman was prolifically promiscuous and jealousy would seem to be the motive.



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Title: Dead in the Water (17 Oct 2004)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Barry Jackson ...
Adrian Lukis ...
Phillip Trent
William Scott-Masson ...
John Parkway
Benedick Blythe ...
Guy Sweetman
Hettie Trent (as Clemmie Burton-Hill)
Mark Frost ...
Vic Lynton
Henry Charlton
Sean Baker ...
Ivan Hawkins
Janet Brown ...
Mrs Sharp
Jack Klaff ...
Freddie Bonavita


While attending the Midsomer Regatta with his wife Joyce and daughter Cully, Det. Chief Inspector Barnaby finds himself investigating the murder of Guy Sweetman, the rowing club's chairman who is found floating in the river. Sweetman was quite a ladies man and there is no end of suspects on that score. However, Barnaby and DS Scott also learn that the dead man was having frequent meetings with two other members of the club and may have had an arguments with them the evening he disappeared. As the investigation continues, the police learn that the secret meetings all had to do with money, or the lack of it as all involved were having financial difficulties. Not surprisingly, the motive for the murder is both greed and lust. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

17 October 2004 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Clare Bonavita calls her protégé Henry Charlton "Midsomer's answer to Steve Redgrave". Redgrave plays the talent scout from the Olympic Committee who is at the regatta to have a look at Charlton. See more »


[first lines]
DCI Tom Barnaby: Oh no. The world and his wife's here.
Cully Barnaby: Kind of the idea, Dad. Couple of drinks, though, and you won't notice them.
Joyce Barnaby: [referring to passing yacht] Now that's the sort of thing, Tom. Only maybe more old-fashioned and stylish.
DCI Tom Barnaby: Yeah, that'll be it. Your mother thinks I need to relax more; weekends on the river, our own boat perhaps.
Cully Barnaby: It's a good idea. D'you know, there's loads for sale in the local paper.
DCI Tom Barnaby: Is this a conspiracy? In my job you get ten years for that.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of my least favourite Midsomer Murders.

Midsomer Murders: Dead in the Water starts one fine British afternoon as DCI Tom Barnaby (Johhn Nettles) on his day off has decided to go to the Midsomer Rowing Club Regatta with his wife Joyce (Jane Wymark) & daughter Cully (Laura Howard), however the afternoon is ruined when the dead body of Midsomer Rowing Club Chairman Guy Sweetman (Benedick Blythe) is pulled out of the river. What started off as an innocent afternoon out for Barnaby turns into a murder investigation when it seems Guy was deliberately drowned. As usual Barnaby has to sort out the affairs, blackmail & money trouble of the suspects to reveal a killer...

Episode 2 from season 8 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Renny Rye & one has to say that I think Dead in the Water is actually one of the most dull Midsomer Murders episodes from it's whole (so far) ten season run. The script by Douglas Watkinson starts off as a true mystery as a body is found in a river, the usual atmospheric Midsomer Murders murder sequence is notably absent & there's little indication who did it or why to start with. One problem is that the murder of Guy Sweetman is the only murder in the entire episode so it does drag at times & there's a little sub-plot that feels like it might have come from a Guy Ritchie gangster flick in which there's a jewellery store robbery. The killer & their motives are dull to say the least, the character's are standard murder suspects like the ex-girlfriend, the ex-girlfriends enraged husband, people he owes money to & people he has had arguments with, the whole plot & writing in Dead in the Water feels so lacklustre & routine & the show is so much better than that. Lots of exposition & a fairly forgettable resolution means I would rather watch just about any other Midsomer Murders episode other than this.

To add to the general dullness of Dead in the Water the makers decided to set it around the ever so exciting world of rowing. Just to make it clear I was being sarcastic when I said rowing was exciting. I can't think of a more listless sport really although having said that we British are pretty damned good at it, having just suffered the Olympics we took Gold again & our boys are pretty good at it overall although that's not saying much. This episode actually features two Olympic scouts looking around Midsomer Rowing Club for potential champions. I am sorry if you like rowing but I just think it's dull & unexciting & having it as a backdrop to a Midsomer Murders episode which is already well below par doesn't help. Only one murder in this & a simple case of drowning isn't the most imaginative murder ever, is it? Dead in the Water is actually set mostly in a town rather than a quaint little leafy village which gives it a different feel than usual. The acting is good & there's an amusing scene in which Barnaby watches some porn for work purposes & Joyce comes into the room & they both decide to have an early night!

Dead in the Water is a fairly dull couple of hours to be honest, I guess there's so many great episodes of this show that when a bad one comes along like this it does tend to stand out like a sore thumb. One of the few episodes I wouldn't like to watch again.

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