When a local thief and womanizer is killed with a pitchfork, the residents of Midsomer Mallow fear for their chances in the Perfect Village Competition.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Casey ...
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Marcus Devere
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Bella Devere
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Gordon Brierly
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Laura Brierly
Maggie Steed ...
Rosemary Furman
Nickolas Grace ...
Frank Mannion
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Samantha Johnstone
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Barbara Drinkwater
Moray Watson ...
Edward Allardice
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Jane Rochelle
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Peter Drinkwater
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Storyline

The village of Midsomer Mallow is in competition for the title of the "perfect village". Joyce Barnaby has already won her own competition and is now one of the "perfect village" judges. Meanwhile, Barnaby and Troy are investigating a series of break-ins in the area. When the thief, Peter Drinkwater, is found murdered, there are no end of suspects: a jealous husband; a spurned girlfriend and her irate parents; one of the robbery victims who is not being entirely truthful with the police; and finally several members of the village committee whose only concern is how the death will affect their chances in the perfect village competition. In the end, Barnaby must establish the link between these most recent events and a murder some years earlier. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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29 January 2000 (UK)  »

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Trivia

When the gardening expert is shown filming his TV show, the crew in the background are actually the real Midsomer Murders production crew, including the director hunching over his monitor. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Season 3 returns to form in its best episode
1 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Dead Man's Eleven" was classic 'Midsomer Murders'. "Death of a Stranger" was very good, if slightly convoluted in places. Meanwhile, "Blue Herrings" was a step down and the weakest 'Midsomer Murders' at this point of the show, though still a decent episode (far worse episodes).

As said in the review title, Season 3 returns to form with "Judgement Day" and, for me, the best episode of the season. Also up there with the best 'Midsomer Murders' episodes along with the likes of "The Killings at Badgers Drift", "Written in Blood", "Death's Shadow" and "Dead Man's Eleven" at this particular point in the show.

Sure "Judgement Day" is very dialogue heavy, so it does require perhaps more attention than usual to completely understand the final solution which is ingenious but somewhat complicated for a first time viewer (have seen the episode a fair few times so it wasn't a problem really for me, just forewarning).

However, 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. This may look like reiterating exactly what was said about what was so good about the previous episodes, but only because when 'Midsomer Murders' was in its prime its strengths were the same and with similar impact.

Meanwhile, the script is smart, thought-provoking and suitably grim, the humour also being a breath of fresh air. Nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point, everything intrigued and it was explained and cleared up well, though not quite overcoming the tendency towards the end of convolution.

The story is hugely compelling, and never simplistic and never losing any of the maturity of the previous episodes. There is a lot going on mostly 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, red herrings and turns keep coming, and rarely in an obvious or press-the-rewind button. The characters are colourful.

John Nettles and Daniel Casey sparkle together, with Nettles characteristically superb and Casey a great contrast. Jane Wymark charms too, and love the loving chemistry between her and Nettles. Timothy West and Hannah Gordon are particularly excellent in support, and "Judgment Day" is notable for Orlando Bloom somewhat cast against type and proving that he is more than just a heart-throb or an actor in heroic or romantic roles.

In summary, a wonderful episode and what 'Midsomer Murders' is all about. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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