Midsomer Murders: Season 16, Episode 4

The Flying Club (5 Feb. 2014)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 107 users  
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The owner of Finchmere airfield is dropped from a plane to meet a gruesome death. Are anti-craft campaigners behind his murder? Or does it link back to a WW2 mission?



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Title: The Flying Club (05 Feb 2014)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tamzin Malleson ...
Chris Nightingale ...
Bernard King
Alex Darnley
Gavin Hopkirk
Phil Cornwell ...
Eddie Rayner
Scarlett Alice Johnson ...
Jessie Rayner
June Whitfield ...
Molly Darnley
Duggie Wingate
Perry Darnley
Lucy Phelps ...
Sally Jackson
Stephanie King
Miranda Darnley
Geoffrey Whitehead ...
Giles Wilding


Bernard King, owner of Finchmere airfield, is knocked unconscious and dropped to his death from a plane. The wrench used to hit him belongs to elderly mechanic Duggie Wingate, who has long been in a feud with Molly Darnley, whom he claims sent his sister Ellie to her death when both women were in the Air Transport Auxiliary in World War Two so she could marry Ellie's lover Henry. Molly's weak son Perry, Bernard's business partner, is being taken to court by a local protest group, led by Eddie Rayner, who blames the Darnley family for the death of his wife. The Darnleys also have financial problems and Molly is shocked to discover that Perry, goaded by his cynical wife Miranda, hopes to sell Finchmere. Nelson then discovers that the airfield is being used for smuggling and wonders if smugglers killed the two victims to keep them quiet. An air display is held, featuring young pilots Alex, Perry's son, and Duggie's great-nephew Gavin Hopkirk, who are love rivals for Eddie's daughter ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 February 2014 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Barnaby makes a comment about "blood splatter", yet the term used in forensic science is "blood spatter". See more »


[first lines]
DCI John Barnaby: [on phone] And how is the next member of the House of Barnaby? Still trying to kick his way out? Or hers? Uh-huh, good. I hope you and your mum aren't overdoing the whole baby-buying thing. Will grow, you know; they're not bonsai. OK, love to your lot. Bye.
[hangs up]
DCI John Barnaby: [to Sykes] You know what this is, don't you? This is going to be the end of life as we know it. No more peace and quiet for us, when the baby arrives. How many of these things do you have?
[Sykes barks three times]
DCI John Barnaby: You do...
See more »


References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Low flying murder!
5 February 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This, the 99th Midsumer Murder story opens at an airfield where a man is lured to one of the aircraft and bludgeoned to death. He is then flown over a local reservoir where his body is dumped. The condition of the body quickly leads Barnaby and Nelson to the local Finchmere Airfield; an old Second World War RAF station that is now home to a private flying club which is jointly owned by the son of its WWII commander and the man found in the lake. The investigation hasn't been going long when a second man is killed; this time in a more spectacular fashion in a scene reminiscent of the famous crop duster sequence in 'North by Northwest. As the case develops various motives emerge; most notably is would appear that somebody was using the airfield for smuggling. There is certainly plenty of bad feeling there as well; two pilots are in love with the same woman and the elderly engineer believes the mother of one of the owners was responsible for the death of his sister during the war. Away from the case Nelson meets his girlfriend; the pathologist's parents and Barnaby is alone with his dog Sykes as his wife is away waiting to give birth.

This was a pretty enjoyably episode; especially if you like aircraft… we even get to see a spitfire putting on a show and there was some impressive flying during the second murder and later in an attempted murder. The mystery was pretty good; there were plenty of suspects and motives and when the killer was finally exposed I was surprised as I hadn't even considered them a suspect! There may not have been a large number of murders but the second was a nice reference to a classic film and there were a couple of 'almost murders'! As is often the case the guest cast includes plenty of well-known faces, this time including veterans June Whitfield and Bernard Cribbins. These guest actors and the regular cast perform well; even the dog who plays Sykes was impressive in a couple of particularly amusing scenes. Overall I'd say that I think fans of the series should enjoy this episode.

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