Midsomer Murders (1997– )
7.2/10
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8 user

The Electric Vendetta 

The body of a criminal is found in a crop circle, and the locals blame Extra Terrestrail activity for the death. But Barnaby is not convinced.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Casey ...
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Joyce Barnaby
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Michael Bertenshaw ...
Michael Rycroft
Graham Bill ...
Driver
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Amy Darcy ...
Young Isabel
Alison Fiske ...
Donald Gee ...
Reverend Ellis
Nigel Harrison ...
Dave Ripert
Ursula Howells ...
Lady Isabel Aubrey
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Miss Alice Leonard
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Storyline

While the some of the residents of Midsomer Parva have a particular interest in the appearance of crop circles, the police have a definite interest when the bodies of naked men start appearing in them. Local UFOlogist Lloyd Kirby preaches that extra-terrestrials are at work, but Barnaby looks to more earthly explanations. The first victim, Ronnie Stokes, was a criminal with several serious convictions for assault while the second, Eddie Field, was a local burglar who had only just been released from prison and who may have committed another burglary the night of his death. Both men were electrocuted and were killed elsewhere, with their bodies moved to the crop circles. When a third man is electrocuted, Barnaby must learn of a complex series of events and inter-relationships, some from 40 years previously when two men loved the same woman, to solve the crimes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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2 September 2001 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The elderly Peter is actually Peter Penry- Jones and the 40 years younger Peter is his son (and brother of Rupert) Penry -Jones See more »

Goofs

Barnaby holds a golf club with a rubber handle to the electrified items and an arc results. If the handle was rubber then no current would flow and no arc would be generated. See more »

Quotes

Sally Boulter: You know, the first one was electrocuted!
Sir Harry Chatwyn: Electrocuted?
Sally Boulter: Cooked inside like a steak and kidney pie!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Eagle Comic reproduced by kind permission of Dan Dare Corporation Ltd. See more »

Connections

References The War of the Worlds (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The first bad 'Midsomer Murders' episode, and of the Tom Barnaby-era it is a very strong contender for the weirdest and most convoluted
5 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

Some may say that "Blue Herrings" was the first bad episode. With me there was enough things to like that made it decent, but it was the first not fully satisfying ones, due to some dull stretches and a final solution that left me cold.

For me, the first bad episode was "The Electric Vendetta". Whether it is the worst ever 'Midsomer Murders' episode is up for debate (remember "Incident at Coopers Hill" and "Night of the Stag" being dire, but they need a re-watch), but it is very much a lesser one. A strong example of trying to do too much and doing little with it, and of having a strange premise that has even weirder execution.

There are things that salvage it and make it just about watchable. The production values are without complaint, with picturesque scenery and as ever the whole episode is beautifully shot. The music also is a perfect fit, and the theme tune is as distinctive and unforgettable as one would expect.

Acting is also fine, especially John Nettles and Daniel Casey and they work so well together. Amanda Mealing (of 'Holby City' and 'Casualty' fame) and Kenneth Colley (wonderful in one of the best 'Inspector Morse' episodes "Second Time Around" and in the Poirot episode "The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim") are to me the most familiar names, and they also give the performances that stick out the most in support. Look out for Ursula Howells too, daughter of composer Herbert Howells and superb in the Joan Hickson adaptation of 'A Murder is Announced'.

On the other hand, "The Electric Vendetta" is significantly let down by the story, in fact it is the story that single-handedly ruins things. The episode feels over-stuffed, underdeveloped and a strange mix of rushed and dull. There are too many characters and too many subplots, some of which feel inconsequential and under-explained to the point of neglect. Continually the episode feels disjointed and convoluted, frequently also falling on the wrong side of daft and bizarre.

Not helped by one of the murders being completely robbed of an explanation, practically forgotten about, and one subplot doesn't fit at all within the story or the UFO concept. Instead of the ingenious final solutions that the numerous classic episodes have, the ending here is a real let-down and goes about all over the place, with too many loose ends and things left unresolved that leave more questions than answers. There are some quite dodgy special effects as well.

All in all, weird and convoluted, "The Electric Vendetta" is the first bad 'Midsomer Murders' episode and while there's worse it's still a lesser episode. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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