Midsomer comes closer and closer to its boiling point when a priest is burned to death inside the effigy of a straw woman and more people burst into flames spontaneously as though by witchcraft.



(screenplay), (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Hopkins ...
Jane Wymark ...
Keith Barron ...
Alan Clifford
Agnes Waterhouse
Kate Malpas
Liz Francis
Margaret Hopkins
Dr. John Cole
Jo Clifford
Matthew Cole
Jonathan Hackett ...
Rev Jim Hale
Jed Fox


When the curate of the local church in Midsomer Parva is burned alive in the effigy of the straw woman, DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Dan Scott find themselves investigating what must be a murder. Many of the villagers lay the blame on Alan Clifford who has made his fortune in the sex industry and has moved into the local manor house. There were others in the village however that objected to what they saw as a pagan festival. When the vicar is also killed - he too is burned to death in what some believe is the result of spontaneous combustion - the police have difficulty keeping some of the villagers from taking justice into their own hands. As the death toll keep mounting, Barnaby realizes that the solution is to be found in old parish records. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

29 February 2004 (UK)  »

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[first lines]
Margaret Hopkins: Evening, Vicar. Encouraging turnout.
Rev Jim Hale: Indeed.
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User Reviews

People Certainly Are Testy
11 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There are some problems with this series. For one thing, it seems that we never have one murder. We can bank on there being two, three, or four. Of course, they are related to the principle crime at the beginning. For some reason, there is a festival called the straw woman which has its foundations in the 400 year old witch burnings. A woman who collects and sells herbs is suspected of being a witch. This 21st Century town believes there a really are witches and begins to persecute her. There are all kinds of hypocrites among the "religious" of the town and some are reacting, particularly to a couple of gay priests. In the middle of the town we also have a man who is patterned after Hugh Hefner. He is a successful pornographer and has turned an Abbey into a Playboy type mansion. He is being treated for cancer and has a nurse who attends to his every need. Anyway, things continue to get out of hand. Someone is burning people and making it look like spontaneous combustion. The resolution is a bit unsatisfactory, but in this series, the bizarre works pretty well.

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