When heirs of the aristocratic Smythe-Webster family are killed, Barnaby's investigation uncovers long-hidden family secrets.


Peter Smith


Alan Plater (screenplay), Caroline Graham (characters)



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
Daniel Casey ... Sgt. Gavin Troy
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr. George Bullard
Ronald Pickup ... Rupert Smythe-Webster
Beth Goddard ... Wendy Smythe-Webster
Christopher Good ... Simon Smythe-Webster
Phoebe Nicholls ... Laura Smythe-Webster
Jonathan Hyde ... Frank Webster
Leo Bill ... Darren
Jo Stone-Fewings ... Danny Pinchel
Tim Preece Tim Preece ... Jack Wilson
Anne Reid ... Sarah Proudie
Alex Lowe Alex Lowe ... Phil Harrison
Charlie Beall ... Larry Smith


The villages of Upper and Lower Warden have been feuding since the days of Cromwell and the Civil War, but now the feud has taken a deadly turn. Larry Smith, the star of a horror film titled The House of Satan, based on events centuries ago, is murdered. Smith is the son of the preeminent local family, the Smythe-Websters. His father is the local vicar, his uncle is the lord of the manor and another uncle is the producer of the movie. Some residents of Lower Warden object to the fact that an important piece of local history has been turned into a cheap horror film. Is this enough to kill or is it that there are dark secrets that offer a more serious explanation? When a second member of the Smythe-Websters is killed, Barnaby believes in the latter and looks into the family history to find the solution. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Did You Know?


The character Laura Smythe-Webster quips, "And then there were four" after the second death. This is a reference to the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Soldiers", found in what is widely regarded as Agatha Christie's 1939 masterpiece "And Then There Were None". See more »


When the price of the book £9.99 is rang up on the till, the numbers 10 and 9 appear on the till. See more »


[first lines]
Rupert Smythe-Webster: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Welcome to the opening ceremony of the Ellis Bell Satanic Experience. Now, 120 years ago to this very day, a young man named Ellis Bell walked out of that house, along that footpath and into that summerhouse. There he wrote a book that would put our much-loved village of Upper Warden on the map. The book was called "The House of Satan", now, as we all know, a major movie.
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References The Hustler (1961) See more »


Midsomer Murders
(Theme Song)
Written by Jim Parker
Performed by Celia Sheen
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User Reviews

The Fall of the House of .............
2 March 2016 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This is pretty good. At the center of everything is a horror movie made from a book written a hundred years before. There is a family that is slowly being murdered. The episode begins with a handsome brother/actor after meeting the press, walks into a cricket pavilion and is blown to smithereens. The rest of the family, including one who is the producer of the very successful, though sleazy, movie, don't seem to be very emotional about the events of the death. It isn't long before a couple more are picked off. It all dates back to a time previous to the loss of copyrights. There is also a kind of class warfare between to halves of the same city that plays into everything. The principles are doomed to their own sadistic being. Barnaby and Troy try so hard to get a straight answer, but that bit of taciturnity feeds into the evidence. Good job.

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Release Date:

24 January 2003 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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