John Ransom collapses and dies outside a pub after a fight with his brother-in-law over the baptism of his niece. He has electrical scars across the top of his head.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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John Hopkins ...
Jane Wymark ...
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Little Mal Kirby / Young Mal
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Preaching Pete Kubatski
Geoffrey Whitehead ...
Dr. Gregory Ransom
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Tom Frederic ...
Ben Kirby
Bill Stewart ...
Lucky Lol Tanner
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Romany Rose
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Jimmy Kirby
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Emma Kirby
James Hoare ...
John Ransom
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Storyline

DCI Barnaby and Sgt. Scott investigate the death of John Ransom in the village of Midsomer Mere. He had just been ejected from a pub for fighting but the post mortem shows a series of burn marks on his skull indicating he may have been subject to electric shock. The police find that the dead man's brother Max was conducting experiments in precognition and had applied the shocks. As Barnaby delves deeper, he learns of an ongoing dispute between the Ransom and the Kirby families over whether a newborn niece should be baptized. The families have a long history of fighting and both claim to have the power of second sight. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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23 January 2005 (UK)  »

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Quotes

DCI Tom Barnaby: And what are you doing living in a caravan with Romany Rose?
Lucky Lol Tanner: It's not illegal, is it? We've been shacked up since she arrived, to tell the truth. I have this - er - weakness for Northern gypsies. You've got to admit it, she's a very good-looking woman.
DCI Tom Barnaby: She's also got two dead husbands.
Lucky Lol Tanner: Bet they died happy 'n all.
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User Reviews

 
A 'Midsomer Murders' low-point
1 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What a real shame. Have been a huge fan of 'Midsomer Murders' for a long time, and while it is nowhere near as good now and there are a few not so good Tom Barnaby-era episodes it has been watched and re-watched with great pleasure.

'Midsomer Murders' was no stranger to disappointing episodes prior to "Second Sight". "The Electric Vendetta" was the first bad episode to me, being over-stuffed, underdeveloped and convoluted, and "The Straw Woman" left a sour taste in the mouth in many ways. There are a few others that scrape the just-about-average rating.

"Second Sight" was to me, and it was always the case since first encountering it, the worst episode to be made at time of airing, and to this day it's still one of the show's worst. After being impressed hugely by the previous episode "Bantling Boy", to see the show reach low-point depths in so short a time beggars belief.

There are a few redeeming values. 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 darkness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. Love the house, like a character of its own. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre. The acting is good enough considering what's given to them.

Unfortunately, the story is an absolutely shoddy mess. It is the first 'Midsomer Murders' episode to not feel like a 'Midsomer Murders' episode at all, with the mystery aspects (of which there isn't enough of, and it plays second fiddle to the second sight aspect) being both convoluted and dull, as a result of trying to cram in too much and neglecting to properly explain it. The execution of the second sight stuff is even worse, that gave the episode a continually weird vibe that didn't belong in any way and not only it take over everything else (or so it feels) but it very rarely made sense.

It is agreed that the killer's identity was not the kind to leave you floored, to put it mildly. Worse though were their very flimsy and bizarrely senseless motives and the ending when "explaining" the first murder clearly completely forgetting what happened because what was shown in the explanation didn't add up at all. Thought that on first viewing a long time ago (watching it around dinner time after school during GCSEs when ITV were doing re-runs) and after two further viewings (to check as to whether my initial thoughts were still that it's one of the show's worst episodes) it's still a head-scratcher.

Really was irked by the attitudes of Barnaby and Scott, another thing that bothered me on first viewing, towards the case here too. Barnaby seemed to forget what he was meant to be investigating, because seemingly everything he was trying to prove was completely irrelevant to the mystery, and Scott didn't seem to be functioning as a human at all. Their usually delightful chemistry is nice enough, but marred by the bad writing for it to really shine. The script is, to sum it up in one word, weak.

Overall, a huge disappointment and a 'Midsomer Murders' low-point. 3/10 Bethany Cox


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