During a total eclipse of the sun, an astronomer is bludgeoned to death by a meteor, and an astrologer claims to have predicted each subsequent murder.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Tamzin Malleson ...
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Lawrence Janson
Kenny Ireland ...
George Dormer
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Gagan Dutta
Jay Taylor ...
Peter Groves
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Adrian Sharp
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Mags Dormer
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Jeremy Harper
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Catrina Harper
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Tanya Walker
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Harry Dutta
Charles Daish ...
Jack Clough
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Storyline

During a local eclipse of the sun, Jeremy Harper, one of a group of amateur astronomers, is killed on Moonstone Ridge by a blow to the head with a meteorite. Jeremy had rowed with Laurence Janson, head of the university observatory over plans to extend the observatory onto the ridge but was unaware of his wife Catrina's affair with Janson. Local clairvoyant Mags Dormer had warned Jeremy of impending disaster and tells Barnaby that Moonstone Ridge is cursed, since Catrina's sister Mary, wife of pharmacist Harry Dutta, also died there some years earlier. Then other murders occur, of members of the group who were opposed to Janson's plans but had also made a discovery of their own, leading to a resolution of the case written in the stars. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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25 September 2012 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maureen Lipman is said to be embarrassed by her association with this show. See more »

Goofs

When Mags shows police evidence of the time that she logged off her computer, she displays what is clearly a Windows Explorer list of Word documents (you can see the Word icon and the description "Microsoft Word Document") which have people's names. The entry that she points to is for Ben Jones (Barnaby's sergeant) rather than her own name, and during post-production the normal "Date Modified" column has been given a heading "Logged off at" in a clearly different font. At another point in the conversation she says that she has been working on Jones's star chart, so it is possible that the screen shot was intended to refer to this. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man at gate: Park wherever you like.
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Connections

References Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Season 15 jumps the shark
10 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 being pleasantly surprised by the previous two Season 15 episodes "The Dark Rider" and "Murder of Innocence", while not a 'Midsomer Murders' low-point "Written in the Stars" is a disappointment.

Starting with the strengths, as always, the production values in "Written in the Stars" 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 acting is good enough, with Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes acquitting themselves well and working more as a cohesive team than in most of their episodes. Barnaby isn't as arrogant or as disdainful, and Jones not as much as a dolt, Barnaby's treatment of Jones being nowhere near as much a turn off as in some of their previous episodes. Adorable and amusing Sykes steals scenes as ever. The murders are pretty inventive and atmospheric.

However, "Written in the Stars" had an intriguing concept with a unique premise but just doesn't grip, with an outlandish and convoluted story that fails to make sense. The final solution suffers from a too clichéd motive, not that surprising a killer's identity and for being pretty far fetched. The characters are not that engaging and lack colour (in personality). This is including bland Kate and condescendingly charmless Sarah (who for Barnaby's wife has very little chemistry with him).

Scripting is routine at best often and both takes itself too seriously and feels dumbed down. The pacing can lack energy.

In conclusion, pretty lacklustre but watchable episode. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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