The DeQuettevilles and the Fleetwoods have been enemies since the English Civil War. Now the DeQuettevilles are dying, each first seeing a headless horseman. Is the ancient feud to blame? Or is there a modern murderer at large?



(screenplay), (characters)

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Episode cast overview:
Izzy DeQuetteville
Toby DeQuetteville / Julian DeQuetteville
Diana DeQuetteville
Betty DeQuetteville
Ludo DeQuetteville
Sasha Fleetwood
Harry Fleetwood
Bentham DeQuetteville
Simon DeQuetteville
Louisa Clein ...
Amanda Harding


As the aristocratic De Qutteville family prepares for a Civil war reenactment battle, elderly Bentham De Quetteville falls to his death from a roof after seeing a headless horseman. The family legend is that this is the ghost of ancestor Sir Geoffrey De Quetteville whose appearance spells death to those who encounter him. Reasonable Toby De Quetteville's first wife died after an apparent meeting with the spectre, a fact which traumatised his son Simon. Barnaby is sceptical until Toby's unpleasant twin Julian also dies after seeing the horseman. Toby's ambitious wife Betty, who will become lady of the manor if her father-in-law Ludo also dies, becomes a prime suspect, as do neighbouring couple the Fleetwoods, long involved in a land dispute with the De Quettevilles. Barnaby must decide which of them, or any other family member is committing murder whilst perpetuating the myth of the dark rider. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

1 February 2012 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Both Kate Wilding as well as Barnaby are wrong when they speak of the fallen stone figure. They both call it a gargoyle. A gargoyle is in fact a figure designed to spout water from the roof and away from the building. What they ought to call the carved stone figure is "chimera" or "grotesque". See more »


[first lines]
Bentham DeQuetteville: Ge... Geoff... Geoffrey.
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User Reviews

'Midsomer Murders' and The Headless Horseman
4 March 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When in its prime (a vast majority of Seasons 1-9), 'Midsomer Murders' was a great show and one that is watched and re-watched frequently. Seasons 10-13 became more uneven, with three of the show's worst episodes coming from Seasons 11 and 13, but there were a few solid episodes and "Blood Wedding" and especially "Master Class" were gems.

After John Nettles retired and Neil Dudgeon and the new character of John Barnaby took over, 'Midsomer Murders' just hasn't been the same, if anybody's read my reviews for the Season 14 episodes the reasons are detailed in those. After a mostly disappointing Season 14, apart from two good episodes and a decent one, Season 15 gets off to a very good if not quite classic start.

Still not crazy about the characters of Sarah and Kate. Sarah has very little charm and warmth and her chemistry with John is not really one of two people in love let alone husband and wife. Kate is just bland with little personality.

Otherwise, for a John Barnaby-era episode "The Dark Rider" was very satisfying. As always, the production values cannot be faulted as usual, it's beautifully and atmospherically shot with suitably picturesque scenery. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the haunting theme tune is one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

The story itself is fun with a creepy atmosphere, wisely on the most part not taking itself too seriously while rarely descending into over-silliness even with the odd preposterous idea (then again even classic 'Midsomer Murders' had silly parts). It is easy to follow without being simplistic and has enough twists and turns and eccentric characters without being confusing. The script likewise doesn't feel as heavy as the later seasons tended to be.

Don't have as much a problem with Barnaby, who is not as smug or as disdainful as he can be, the writing for Jones which is not quite as dumbed down or their chemistry which is not as mean-spirited as often are. Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes do what they can, James Callis and Natalie Mendoza have the juiciest supporting characters and do wonders with them and adorable and comedically gifted Sykes steals every scene he's in.

In conclusion, very good and promising start to Season 15. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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