Midsomer Murders (1997– )
7.4/10
263
9 user 1 critic

The Sword of Guillaume 

When the Causton Chamber of Commerce takes a bus trip to Brighton, a serial killer swinging an ancient sword decapitates some of them in the seaside resort.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Jane Wymark ...
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Jenny Russell
Rosina Carbone ...
Lucy Terry
Darren Tighe ...
Trent Terry
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Hugh Dalgleish
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Lady Matilda William
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Marcia Macintyre
Colin Brummage ...
Richard William
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Rev Giles Shawcross
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Storyline

Tom Barnaby joins the Causton Chamber of Commerce trip to Brighton as he is suspicious of dodgy mayor Hicks' plan to buy coastal land on which to build chalets. Also opposed to the plan is Lady Matilda William, who has received threatening letters, as have the local vicar, oily property developer Hugh Dalgleish and hotelier Jenny Russell. Lady Matilda is descended from Richard of Guillaume, a ruthless contemporary of William the Conqueror. She believes that her son Richard, last of the line and brain-damaged for twenty years, was the victim of ancestral jealousy. In Brighton Dalgleish is murdered with a sword stolen from Guillaume's tomb and Hicks is arrested for fraud. Having learnt how Richard came by his accident Barnaby is convinced that Richard and not the property scam is the cause of yet another victim being claimed by the sword of Guillaume. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

10 February 2010 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first appearance of Neil Dudgeon as John Barnaby. See more »

Goofs

When Bill sees Jenny's decapitated head on the dresser, it is smiling. Later in flashback when we see her murder, she has a look of horror when she is beheaded. See more »

Quotes

DS Ben Jones: [to the uncooperative bank manager] The Law is like The Bible. You can always find one quote to contradict another.
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Connections

References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Also Sprach Zarathustra
Written by Richard Strauss
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User Reviews

 
While not among the best episodes, still pretty good
20 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.

The previous season was a very mixed bag, with no disasters but no classics. The best of the episodes being only decent while showing signs of greatness. "The Sword of Guillaume" is a pretty good episode, without being among the best of 'Midsomer Murders', as far as Season 13 goes it's definitely one of the better episodes of the season which never reached classic level and one or two of the episodes were show low-points.

"Sword of Guillaume" starts off uninteresting, with a lot of padding and a subplot that just isn't that compelling at the end of the day. Despite an interesting method of murder, the first murder especially does have loose ends regarding the probability and practicalities of the murder (one of the show's most improbable perhaps for reasons highlighted in previous reviews). A couple of the overtones while intriguing grow slightly tired.

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, with a creepy look in the murder scenes, the murders being significantly less tame and fairly interesting. 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.

Scripting has a nice balance of thought, humour and drama, while the story gradually becomes one of the show's darkest and twisted in a while and once the first murder is intriguing. The medieval theme has a real sense of mystery, as do the themes used, and one loves the interplay between Barnaby and Jones as well as the addition of Barnaby's brother John (who would not long after take over as the lead).

Characters are closer to the more colourful and eccentric characters of the classic era rather than the lifeless ones that too many of the recent episodes had, as well as the motives while slightly silly closer to the twisted ones rather than the dull and far-fetched ones recently. The identity of the murderer was not a shock, with a good deal of clues that quickly add up, but still nicely done.

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). Neil Dudgeon here brings the lightness of touch and cheeky demeanour often missing when he took over. In support, Tim McInnerny (as one of the show's most loathsome first victims), Mark Gatiss, Janet Suzman, Lucy Cohu and Saskia Reeves give great performances.

In summary, pretty good if not one of the best. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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