Whilst temperance campaigners, led by fervent ex-alcoholic parson Norman Grigor, protest against the Midsomer Abbas May Festival, the body of Peter Slim, a revenue inspector investigating illicit stills, is found dumped in a cider vat. The murder weapon, an apple tree harvester which shook him to death, belongs to boozy cider mill owner Anthony Devereux, a man with something to hide though he denies murder. Then Barnaby discovers a secret connecting Slim to a village girl and a party to that secret is murdered. As pub landlord Samuel Quested leads the villagers in the revival of an old fertility custom Barnaby and Jones find themselves in peril during the night of the stag. Written by
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Did You Know?
When Quested asks "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?", he is quoting what Henry II reportedly said before witnesses about Thomas Beckett. Two of his knights allegedly took him seriously and murdered the cardinal. The Christian world was outraged and Beckett was quickly proclaimed a saint and a martyr by the Pope. See more
Throughout the episode, Beltane is given as 4 May. It is actually 1 May (although fertility rites such as The Stag were often performed the night of 30 April, sometimes known as Walpurgisnacht). In addition, while some Beltane fertility rites were, indeed, incorporated into the modern Easter, that festival is more generally descended from Eostre, the festival of the Spring Equinox. See more
Okay. Who's next? Reuben, what do you want? Same again, mate?