The Barnabys plan to renew their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary when Tom is distracted by a murder committed with an Indian sword in Badger's Drift.



(screenplay), (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Angela Wentworth
Simon Fletcher
Richard Bayly
Ian Eastman
Brenda Eastman
Vivian Pickles ...
Agnes Sampson
Anna Cropper ...
Claire Williams
Gordon Gostelow ...
Reginald Williams


Barnaby and Troy investigate the murder of Richard Bailey who is found in his home in Badger's Drift hacked to death. Bailey had recently received bad news from his doctor who informed him that he had a brain tumour. The are many possible suspects, including villagers who oppose Bailey's plan to redevelop a major property, Tye House, into a golf course and residential housing estate and his childhood friend, Ian Eastman, who lost out on an opportunity to develop the new property. Cully Barnaby gets an opportunity to work with Simon Fletcher, a one-time resident of Badger's Drift who is now a well-known director and also happens to be a childhood friend to Eastman and Bailey. When a second murder is committed, the detectives must find a motive that is linked to events some 30 years earlier. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 January 1999 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


A coconut shy is a traditional game frequently found as a side-stall at English fun-fairs. The game consists of throwing wooden balls at a row of coconuts balanced on posts. Typically a player buys three balls and wins each coconut successfully dislodged. In some cases other prizes may be won instead of the coconuts. The word "shy" in this context is an English term meaning to toss or throw. See more »


During the explanation of the murder, the murderer is shown carrying the naked blade of the sword through the village. However, when he/she arrives at the victim's house, just before the blow is struck, there is a distinct sound of the sword being drawn from a scabbard. See more »


[first lines]
Blindfolded Boy: Simon! Simon! Simon, please! Simon, Simon. Agh!
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Eternal Father Strong to Save
(For Those in Peril on the Sea)
Music by John B. Dykes
Lyrics by William Whiting
Performed by John Nettles
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User Reviews

One of the Best So Far
8 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I found this to be a scintillating effort in the series. We are introduced to a group of boys who are in club. They do something that isn't clear, and, of course, will come into play later. We now move ahead to present time as Barnaby is celebrating his 25th anniversary. He and his wife have been by a certain church in a nearby town. She has requested redoing their vows as a celebration. At their first wedding, Barnaby had to run off and deal with a crime. A young man who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor is decapitated one night and the detective and his partner are thrust into the center of some weird goings on. There is a land development issue and the neighbor's are feuding with a man who owns the property, claiming he is ruining their little town. Without going into great detail, there are lots of secrets. There are also some strained relationships that are making approachability quite difficult. We also get a closer look at Barnaby's daughter, Cully, who is an aspiring actress. She seems to be cast frequently in particularly bloody plays like Macbeth and the Duchess of Malfi. Anyway, there is threat hanging over everything and a deep dark secret that is eventually revealed.

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