Midsomer Murders (1997– )
6 user

Bantling Boy 

A four-member syndicate owns a racehorse that two of them are desperate to sell and two of them are determined to keep. When one of them is murdered, Barnaby is on the case.


Sarah Hellings


Steve Trafford (screenplay), Caroline Graham (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
John Hopkins John Hopkins ... Sergeant Dan Scott
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Laura Howard ... Cully Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr Bullard
Caroline Blakiston ... Angela Hartley
Philip McGough Philip McGough ... Geoffrey
Simon Kunz ... Bruce Hartley
Anna Wilson-Jones ... Marianna Hartley
Barnaby Kay ... Dr Osgood
Charlie Condou ... Jake Foley
Julia Ford ... Joanna Craxton
Shane Attwooll ... Ray Craxton (as Shane Attwool)
Thomas Grant ... Peter Craxton
Geoffrey Freshwater ... Sam Tate


Barnaby and Scott enter the world of horse racing when the trainer of thoroughbred Bantling Boy is battered to death. Bruce Hartley was an alcoholic who had vowed to expose the reason why his father bequeathed the horse to four Midsomer villagers. The other members of the syndicate come under suspicion, but the killing continues - then Bantling Boy falls ill. The detectives must unravel secrets hidden at the aristocratic Bantling Hall to find the killer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 January 2005 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


Simon Kunz plays Bruce Hartley in this episode. He returns in episode 17.1, Midsomer Murders: The Dagger Club (2015), in the role of Miles Rattigan. See more »


During the running of the opening horse race, the horses change direction around the track several times. See more »


[first lines]
Peter Craxton: Unhand the maid, or perish.
Geoffrey: Never! I'll unhorse you here.
See more »


References The Terminator (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Dark 'Midsomer Murders'
31 January 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Midsomer Murders' has always been a favourite of mine, despite being nowhere near as good now, and is still one of my most watched and re-watched shows.

Season 8 got off to a slightly bumpy but still pretty good start with "Things that Go Bump in the Night". Unfortunately, "Dead in the Water" was disappointing and an example of an episode that never did much for me anyway in the first place. "Orchis Fatalis" got the season back on track, and was an episode that was better than first remembered. For me, "Bantling Boy" is one of the best Season 8 episodes and while not quite a 'Midsomer Murders' classic it does have all the qualities that make the show so great.

The production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's darkness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. Love the house, like a character of its own. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Meanwhile, the script is smart and thought-provoking with some nice quirky humour, lines from Barnaby that can be seen as sly digs but actually have a lot of perceptive truth to them (especially the much-touted one about killing for entertainment), a suitable dark grimness and good characters. The story is very compelling with some great twists and turns and one of the show's darkest, most elaborate and most unexpected endings. It is also never simplistic and rarely convoluted, though admittedly it took me more than one viewing to completely get the final solution.

Acting is very good, John Nettles is a joy as is John Hopkins and their spirited chemistry together. Jane Wymark and Laura Howard bring charm and humour and the supporting cast such as Julia Ford, Simon Kunz and a contender for the creepiest kid on 'Midsomer Murders' are similarly strong.

While not quite a classic, "Bantling Boy" is one of Season 8's better episodes and a winner from start to finish. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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