A cat burglar named "The Creeper" is breaking into the estates of Causton, and an alcoholic writer threatening a "tell-all" book about his friends turns up dead.

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Jane Wymark ...
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Paul Shelley ...
Jane Booker ...
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Storyline

DCI Barnaby finds himself in charge of investigating The Creeper, a man who has been entering peoples homes in the dead of night, after the Chief Constable becomes the latest victim. It all becomes more serious when after one of the burglaries, a man is found dead in his bed. The dead man is David roper, a ghostwriter by profession who was staying with the Chettam family. They had spent the previous evening at the home of Jack Filby who now owned the Chettham estate forcing the family to live in the dower house. Filby and roper had a very loud argument after dinner with Roper, a reformed alcoholic, storming out of the house with a bottle of brandy in hand. He made it back to the dower house and was put to bed. The mystery grows when a second attendee at the same dinner is murdered and the Creeper visits the Barnabys in the dead of night, not to steal anything but to leave behind two clues. The discovery of a Chettham family secret, the second death and a bit of DNA testing not only ... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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27 January 2010 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Jane Booker (as Mrs Lovell) comments the back door was left open, because the cat won't use the CAT FLAP. Rik Mayall appeared in a TV series called "Filthy Rich & Catflap" (1987). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
CC Richard Lovell: [to the cat] Go on.
[opens door]
CC Richard Lovell: Out you go.
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Soundtracks

O Tannenbaum (parody)
Traditional
Performed by Rik Mayall
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User Reviews

 
'Midsomer Murders' meets "The Creeper"
19 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 mostly was a very mixed bag, with none of the episodes being disasters but the best ones ("Small Mercies" and "The Black Book") being only decent. No 'Midsomer Murders' low-points but no classics either. "The Creeper" was an example of an episode that struck me as instantly forgettable on first viewing other than Barnaby being out of character that the Creeper character. On repeat viewing, it is an episode that still doesn't strike me as particularly memorable at the end of the day and is one of the weaker episodes of the season (though not of the show, there's worse before and since).

"The Creeper" has strengths. 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 look in places. 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.

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 and what keeps it afloat). Can't fault the supporting cast either, was very impressed with Amanda Ryan, Jenny Agutter and Rik Mayall. Parts of the script are thought-provoking and humorous and the Creeper plot-line had real potential and got the episode off to a genuinely creepy start.

However, "The Creeper" primarily suffers from a story that too often doesn't engage enough due to some draggy and at times extraneous padding, a general lack of atmosphere after a promising start and parts not making sense or being as plausible as they ought, less padding and more explanation would have made things better. After seeing many inventive murders throughout the show, one of the most imaginative ones being in the previous episode "Small Mercies"!, the murders here felt very ordinary (the second one too unnecessary plot-device-like). As did a rather limp and far-fetched final solution (where the reveal of the responsible was surprising but they could not have dreamt up a more old-hat motive if they tried, really felt like "they killed for that?").

Much more could have been done with the creeper story-line, that had potential and started off creepily but was side-lined too early and the revelation of the perpetrator and their motive were predictable. The characters generally are too vanilla, outside of the chemistry between Barnaby and Jones and with Barnaby's family, likewise with most of the script. Barnaby being out of character and unlawful was a turn off with no real justification.

In conclusion, okay but forgettable. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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