Midsomer Murders (1997– )
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Things That Go Bump in the Night 

Undertaker Patrick Pennyman is found dead with his wrists slashed and suspicion turns towards a spiritualist church.


Peter Smith


Peter Hammond (screenplay) (as Peter J Hammond), Caroline Graham (based on characters by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
John Hopkins John Hopkins ... Sgt Scott
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Laura Howard ... Cully Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr Bullard
Dearbhla Molloy ... Elizabeth Key
Mary Jo Randle Mary Jo Randle ... Janet Pennyman
Jonathan Slinger ... Thomas Marr
Cathryn Bradshaw ... Anne Marr
Liza Sadovy ... Rosetta Price
Philip Martin Brown ... John Whittle
Garry Cooper ... James Griss
Julian Curry Julian Curry ... Ronald Burgess
Linda Spurrier Linda Spurrier ... Sylvia Burgess
Kathryn Pogson Kathryn Pogson ... Eve Whittle


Det. Supt. Barnaby and DS Scott investigate the murder of Patrick Pennyman, an undertaker in the village of Fletcher's Cross. The man's wife thinks he committed suicide but the pathologist determines he was killed. The man died soon after his return home after attending a service at the local spiritualist church, itself the source of some controversy in the village. As the investigation progresses, the police learn that Pennyman was generally disliked. Former employees, business partners and others all had a grudge against him of one sort or another. Barnaby believes the head of the Spiritualist church to be a charlatan and while there is a link to the ever increasing number of murder victims, the solution to the crimes is to be found in an illicit love affair. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

10 October 2004 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


It is stated that bornite or peacock ore is a healer of grief. It is produced as the mineral chalcopyrite oxides and is a copper iron sulfide mineral. See more »


When being questioned about her friend Elizabeth's death, Joyce says that her friend wanted "some answers". Tom responds with "justice from whom in particular?" Wanting answers and getting justice are not the same thing. See more »


[first lines]
Eve Whittle: Let us start with a prayer.
Rosetta Price: Great Spirit, we welcome you. Place a pyramid of protection over this building, and around every home represented here this evening. We ask our guides and the doorkeepers who help us to be with us during this meeting. We speak to you in love, and light, and truth, and leave ourselves in your loving hands. Eternity was yesterday, and is today, and continues forward forever.
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User Reviews

Fasten your seat-belts 'Midsomer Murders' fans, it's going to be a very bumpy night
25 January 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

All joking aside, "Things that Go Bump in the Night" is a decent episode if also a bumpy one. There are definitely worse 'Midsomer Murders', before and particularly since, but there are much better as well.

"Things that Go Bump in the Night" could have fared a little better with more twists and turns, there are some but they are a little blander and not as clever as a lot of those of other episodes before and since. The spirits of the dead idea could have been agreed elaborated upon much more, that was pretty underdeveloped and almost neglected.

Had mixed feelings on the ending. It is notable for two of the show's most repulsive ever murderers and its over-the-top strangeness and spookiness but it wasn't all that shocking, the motives were pretty flimsy and it came dangerously close to being uncomfortably weird.

On the other hand, John Nettles is superb as Barnaby, and is supported with enthusiasm and intensity by John Hopkins. The two share a very spirited chemistry together. Also love the loving chemistry between Nettles and Jane Wymark as Joyce, one can tell that they love each other dearly but that she is frustrated at how much his work gets in the way. The guest supporting turns are very good, Mary Jo Randle, Julian Curry, Phillip Martin Brown and Dearbhla Molloy particularly note-worthy.

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. 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 the odd bit of nice humour, a suitable dark grimness, a suitably spooky atmosphere and good characters. The story is compelling, and doesn't make either mistake of being simplistic or convoluted, though more twists and turns and a couple of parts elaborated upon more would have made it even better.

In summary, decent if bumpy. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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