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.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Angela Wentworth
Simon Fletcher
Richard Bayly
Ian Eastman
Brenda Eastman
Agnes Sampson
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 rehearsal for the retaking of the vows, the vicar tells Mrs. Barnaby that the service would start with her and her husband walking down the aisle. He then indicates the central passage of the church. Although this is commonly called the aisle (people speak of the bride "walking down the aisle"), the vicar would certainly know that the central passage is called the "nave". The aisle is the side passage of the church. 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

What a way to kick off the second season, considered it an instant favourite on first viewing, still consider it one of the best of the series
5 December 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Death's Shadow" couldn't have been a more perfect start to the second season. Season 1 started off 'Midsomer Murders' very promisingly, with only "Death of a Hollow Man" disappointing somewhat. Not only is "Death's Shadow" on par with the likes of "The Killings at Badger's Drift", "Written in Blood" and "Death in Disguise", it's even better.

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. It is especially haunting in the flashback leading up to the first murder in the final solution, really bringing chills up the spine.

Meanwhile, the script is smart, thought-provoking and suitably grim, with even some nice humour. Films or television episodes heavy in exposition can be a problem depending on the execution, that "Death's Shadow" was heavy in exposition was not at all a problem and nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point, everything intrigued. And yes, the references to past cases were great.

Like as was said with "Death in Disguise", The story is one of the show's most complex, darkest, most mature (actually feeling more grown up than before) most entertaining and most ceaselessly compelling. The ending was especially well done, the motive for the murders one of the most believable while never once condoning the murderer's actions (who can with methods so brutal? While not exactly graphic they are execution-like in style) and the lack of remorse from the murderer is chilling. The climax is one of 'Midsomer Murders' most iconic and one of the best. 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.

John Nettles and Daniel Casey sparkle together, with Nettles characteristically superb and Casey a great contrast. Jane Wymark brings some welcome humour, which is very amusing, and one feels sorry for Cully. In support, Richard Briers' outstanding performance is just unforgettable.

In conclusion, one of the best of the series, simply brilliant and couldn't recommend it enough. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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