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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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wymark ...
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 »


[Barnaby is dressed in a Dracula cloak for Halloween. Cully hands him a set of fangs]
Cully Barnaby: Now, Dad, I never thought I'd have to say this to you, but... put your teeth in.
See more »


References The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Books and Magic
27 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A group of Satanists practice the dark arts in the wood. For a small town, there seem to be a lot of them at the site. Anyway, one day a woman is killed when she is in one of those iron maidens. The spikes, however, aren't what killed her; she is rather the victim of frog poison (you know those colorful little blow dart guys from South and Central America. As it turns out there are numerous charlatans around who have their own agendas. There is one young woman who fancies herself a witch, feeling that somewhere there is a secret book that will grant power to anyone who finds it. Or it could kill them. Unfortunately, death comes to some, but it's not a curse. It's something much more humdrum than that. Barnaby and Jones intervene. They get some honest answers from some people who have had enough mumbo-jumbo. Others aren't quite so forthcoming. It's a passable episode but never seems to get to the point.

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