Midsomer Murders: Season 8, Episode 3

Orchis Fatalis (9 Jan. 2005)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 213 users  
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Barnaby and Scott follow a trail of dead people involved in the collecting of rare orchids.



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Title: Orchis Fatalis (09 Jan 2005)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Hopkins ...
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Barry Jackson ...
Marty Cruikshank ...
Madeline Villiers (as Marty Cruickshank)
Sai-Kit Yung ...
Jimmy Fong (as Stuart Ong)
Margaret Winstanley
Richard Attlee ...
Henry Plummer (as Richard Atlee)
Amanda Harris ...
Deborah Plummer
John Nettleton ...
Munro Hilliard
Mrs. Hilliard
Richard Simpson ...
Geoffrey Streatfield ...
Jonathan Makepeace (as Geoffrey Streatfeild)
Matt Bardock ...
Harry Rose


All is not well with the members of the Midsomer Malham Orchid Society. DCI Barnaby and DS Scott find themselves investigating the murder of Madeline Villiers, a member of the Society and as it turns, someone who was selling very rare orchids for huge sums. The autopsy reveals she was poisoned with hemlock. They soon after find Henry Plummer, also a member of the Orchid Society, hanging from the rafters in his garage and his entire orchid collection destroyed. What they learn is that for many members of the Society, collecting orchids is as addictive as drugs and there is no shortage of possible suspects as a result. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

9 January 2005 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Captain Tucker wears the regimental tie of the Brigade of Guards; Munro Hilliard wears the club tie of the Marylebone Cricket Club. See more »


When Barnaby first enters the room where Madeline Villiers has just been murdered (crossing behind her), the 'corpse' blinks. See more »


[first lines]
Jimmy Fong: There they are. I made those marks last year.
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User Reviews

"It wasn't just her flowerbed you were planting seeds in..." Good Midsomer Murders mystery.

Midsomer Murders: Orchis Fatalis starts at Mount Kinabalu, Borneo as Madeline Villiers (Marty Cruikshank) & Jimmy Wong (Sai-Kit Yung as Stuart Ong) find an Orchid called the Yellow Roth which happens to be the only one in existence... Jump forward 'Twelve Months Later' to the Midsomer Malham flower show where several local collectors are vying for first prize, Munro Hilliard (John Nettleton) wins it & Henry Plummer (Richard Attlee) comes a lowly & frankly disappointing third. The next morning & Madeline Villiers is found dead, poisoned with hemlock. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Sgt. Dan Scott (John Hopkins) are on the case, then shortly after Henry Plummer is found hanged. As Barnaby & Scott investigate everything leads back to the valuable Yellow Roth which Madeline smuggled into Midsomer & has left nothing but death in it's wake...

Episode 3 from season 8 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Peter Smith & is one of the better later stories. The script by Terry Hodgkinson has a more international flavour than usual, it goes beyond the innocent sleepy county of Midsomer to Borneo & feature rare exotic Orchids from all around the world & a suspicious Chinese businessman so Orchis Fatalis feels a bit different to the usual Midsomer Murders episode in that regard. This is a good thing & while there aren't as many suspects or red herring as I'd have liked the succession of twists & turns at the end save it, you would really have to be an armchair detective of your convictions to not change your mind about the identity of the killer at least once during the last half an hour or so. As a story I liked the Orchid angle & thought it was a neat premise to center a triple murder plot around, these Midsomer Murders mysteries are getting sillier & sillier anyway so just sit back & enjoy the good ones that work within themselves. At almost two hours with commercials one has to stick with it & pay attention even though sometimes they may seem slow going, Orchis Fatalis definitely comes together at the end with a satisfying & unexpected climax.

This episode of Midsomer Murders actually has a bit of style, there are several flashback scenes which are in black and white except whenever the Yellow Roth Orchid is on screen which is left it's bright yellow colour & makes an interesting visual contrast against the rest of the picture which is black and white, it's a cool effect which works very well & comes across as pretty stylish for what it is. Otherwise it's business as usual with crisp clean photography & some more unmistakably English locations, Greys Court near Henley was used as the monastery while the University of Oxford botanic garden was used for the Orchid house where Margaret & Jonathan work. This is very well made with high production values as usual & the acting is very good from all involved as expected.

Orchis Fatalis is one of the better episodes of Midsomer Murder from it's latter seasons, it's certainly well worth a watch if your a fan or if you like a good murder mystery with a bit of class.

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