The body of a local troublemaker and lady's man is found dead in the model village which is the chief tourist attraction of Little Worthy.



(screenplay) (as Peter J Hammond), (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wymark ...
Bob Moss
Harriet Compton
Hilary Compton
Paul Bentall ...
Christa Palfrey
Sanchia McCormack ...
Jackie Tanner
Rebecca Rix
Annabel Johnson


The police investigate the murder of Richard Tanner who was stabbed and found dead in the model village in Little Worthy tied to the ground like Gulliver from Gulliver's Travels. He was found by the grounds-keeper and model maker Ben Moss who has worked for the owners, sisters Hillary and Harriet Comptom. Tanner wasn't very well liked in the village and was viewed as a troublemaker by many. He was known to have had romantic entanglements with the local school teacher Rebecca Rix and Krista Palfrey, daughter of the local hotel owner Edward Palfrey. He wasn't very pleased with his daughter's relationship Tanner and he didn't like the way Krista treated his girlfriend, Berrnice, leading to a tension-filled home situation. At the annual silly boat race to mark the end of the tourist season, another person is killed and later still there is a third victim. There is clearly someone in the village who is out for revenge. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

28 October 2009 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character Bernice is from the small village of Goodman's Land; which was the location of the last episode of season four; "Dark Autumn". See more »


[first lines]
Bob Moss: [setting model figure upright] Hey! On your feet, Thomas, there's a good lad.
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And The Green Grass Grows All Around
Lyrics by William Jerome
Music by Harry von Tilzer
Performed by Emma Stansfield and Olivia Colman
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User Reviews

Despite not being one of the best episodes, generally one of the better episodes of Season 12
18 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.

Season 12's "Small Mercies" may not be one of the best 'Midsomer Murders' episodes, but is up there to me as one of the better episodes of the twelfth season, faults and all. On par with "The Dogleg Murders" and "The Black Book" and better than "The Glitch" and "Secrets and Spies" (also remember "The Great and the Good" being inferior). In short, "Secrets and Spies" is a decent episode that had a lot of ingredients of being a great one.

Tanner is too underdeveloped as a victim and a better job agreed could have been done exploring the motives of the rest of the characters, for such a disliked character that side could have been really fascinating and didn't quite feel explored enough. Much of the story is interesting, though there are parts that had too much of an odd vibe or didn't quite come together due to things not being as developed as it could have been.

Going to join those who found the ending strangely dissatisfying. Interesting murderer and very well played, but like a previous reviewer from seeing their reviews for other episodes there is a preference for the darker, more twisted and over-the-top motives. But am less of a fan of dull or random motives and even more so of endings that try too hard to make one feel sympathy for the killer, both of which "Small Mercies" does.

However, the production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography, as well as a genuinely creepy horror-like look in places. Oh and that model village is incredible, and the murders are some of the show's most inventive, especially the Gullivers Travels-like one. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

"Small Mercies" script has a nice balance of humour and drama and provokes thought, while the direction lets the atmosphere breathe but mostly doesn't let the momentum suffer even in an exposition-heavy episode. The story is wonderfully dark and bizarre, and avoids being simplistic or convoluted, with more focus and a better ending it would have been even greater.

John Nettles and Jason Hughes are both superb, individually and together (their chemistry, and the chemistry with Daniel Casey and John Hopkins before Hughes, being a huge part of their episodes' charm). Can't fault the supporting cast either, with great performances from Olivia Coleman, Margaret Tyzack and Caroline Blakiston.

Overall, flawed but one of the better Season 12 episodes. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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