Midsomer Murders: Season 11, Episode 5

The Magician's Nephew (27 Jul. 2008)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The traditions of a local cult in Midsomer, the Temple of Thoth, appear to be related to a series of murders using poison of the poison dart frog.



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Title: The Magician's Nephew (27 Jul 2008)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Hughes ...
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Barry Jackson ...
Aloysius Wilmington
Dominic Rowan ...
Simon Wilmington
Sian Brooke ...
Christine Turner
Michael Fitzgerald ...
Hugo Cartwright
Ernest Balliol
Brigit Forsyth ...
Estelle Balliol
Isolde Balliol
Tristan Balliol
Rosemary McHale ...
Rosemary Balliol


Jean Wildacre is killed on stage during a magic show. She was a member of an occult group headed by imperious Ernest Balliol.Balliol and a former colleague in the group Aloysius Wilmington have long been at odds as both are anxious to locate a priceless antique book,believed to be somewhere on Aloysius's premises. Balliol has married again and his daughter Isolde is as fervent as he is in trying to find the book. His gentler son Tristan lives with and cares for his mother,Ernest's fragile first wife Rosemary. Two more deaths follow and each victim was present when one of Balliol's wives was recruited into the group years earlier. Suspicion falls on Ernest and his children and on Simon Wilmington,actually the illegitimate son of Aloysius,though he has been led to believe he is the magician's nephew. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

poison | magic | frog | occult | magician | See All (38) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

27 July 2008 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(dvd release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "Jefferson Airplane - Grateful Dead" poster in Isolde's room is from the series of concerts (8 in all) that the two bands performed in the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, Ontario, during the period July 31 - August 5, 1967. One online seller describes it as "among the rarest of posters" and states that there are unconfirmed rumors that the original lot of posters were confiscated by Border Patrol. See more »


There are only three species of poison dart or poison arrow frog that are dangerous to humans. However, none of the frogs in captivity are toxic. Apparently their toxicity comes from their diet. Bugs and insects eat plant life that is toxic and the toxin is then passed on to the frog after eating the bugs and insects. See more »


DCI Tom Barnaby: Don't tell Mrs. Barnaby about this. It might give her some expensive ideas for Halloween.
See more »


References The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) See more »


The Sorceror
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by David Roper and Vivien Heilbron
See more »

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User Reviews

lively season 11 entry
9 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Midsomer Murders: The Magician's Nephew" is from season 11 (2008) and has lots going for it: a magic show for children, a Halloween party for which Barnaby needs a costume, children named, of all things, Tristan and Isolde, an antique book, a fragile mother, a secret group, and incest. Add a couple of murders, and you've got yourself a nifty mystery.

A older woman named Jean Wildacre is killed on stage during a magic show as she works as a magician's assistant. She's been killed, it's learned, with a rare poison from a frog. Wildacre was a member of an occult group led by Ernest Balliol, who spends a lot of time fighting with an ex-group member, Aloysius Wilmington. Both men want an antique book that is somewhere in Aloysius' vast library. Balliol's children are Tristan and Isolde, and his first wife, Rosemary, drifts in and out of reality. Isolde is desperate to find the book, believing that in it is some sort of incantation or something that will help heal her mother.

There are two more deaths, one of which is from the poison. It takes Barnaby a while to figure out what the connection is among the victims.

Very good, with enough happening to keep one's interest, and good performances all around. For some reason, I've always liked it when Barnaby's home life is part of the story.

Someone here said the motives for the murders weren't clear, but I felt they were. However, these stories are never simple, and if you blink, you'll miss something.

Recommended, as is the whole series.

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