On Walpurgis Night, April 30th in German folklore, James Martin is murdered after selling his whisky distillery for five million pounds.


Marcus D.F. White


Glenn Chandler (creator), Glenn Chandler


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Episode credited cast:
Mark McManus Mark McManus ... DCI Jim Taggart
Harriet Buchan Harriet Buchan ... Jean Taggart
Robert Robertson Robert Robertson ... Dr. Stephen Andrews
James MacPherson James MacPherson ... DS / DI / DCI Mike Jardine
Blythe Duff ... DC / Det. Sgt. Jackie Reid
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Iain Agnew Iain Agnew ... Tom McNeil
Iain Anders ... Supt. McVitie
Isla Blair ... Lavinia Martin
Tim Briggs Tim Briggs ... Peter Robinson
Kenneth Bryans Kenneth Bryans ... Donald Brodie
Ian Cairns Ian Cairns ... Father Walker
Victor Eadie Victor Eadie ... Murray
Cheryl Ann Hartley Cheryl Ann Hartley ... Guiser
Alex Harvey Alex Harvey ... Soco
Brian Horsburgh Brian Horsburgh ... Boy at Taggart's


On Walpurgis Night, April 30th in German folklore, James Martin is murdered after selling his whisky distillery for five million pounds.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

27 October 1994 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


In this episode, the character "Sandy" was played by Colin McCredie, who joined the cast of "Taggart" in the next series (series 12) as DC Stuart Fraser. See more »


Supt. Jack McVitie: We are going to get our bollocks chewed off for this
DCI Jim Taggart: You'll have to sew mine back on first, Jean had them last night
See more »

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User Reviews

Murder on Walpurgis Night
7 October 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always adored detective dramas/mystery series. This has been apparent from an early age, half my life even, when getting into Agatha Christie through Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and David Suchet's Poirot and into 'Inspector Morse'.

Whether it's the more complex ones like 'Inspector Morse' (and its prequel series 'Endeavour') and anything Agatha Christie. Whether it's the grittier ones like 'A Touch of Frost' (though that is balanced brilliantly with comedy too). And whether it's the light-hearted ones like 'Murder She Wrote'. 'Taggart' is one of the biggest examples of the grittier ones, especially the Mark McManus years and the earlier James MaPherson episodes.

"Hellfire" is a very good enough episode, if not quite one of my favourites.

If there were less talk, a little trimming and more parts developed more it "Hellfire" would have been a better episode, parts are pedestrian.

Enough that of what made 'Taggart' such a good show when it was in its prime is evident here. The characterisation here is meatier than seen pre-Jardine era, therefore more interesting with more development to Taggart and a lot works here, just that it could have been better at the same time.

Really like the slick, gritty look and Glasgow is like an ominous character on its own. The music matches the show's tone and has a good amount of atmosphere while the theme song/tune is one that stays in the memory for a long time. Really like Taggart and Jardine's chemistry here, which sees some priceless exchanges with them, and have always found it more interesting and settled than with Taggart and Livingstone. The relationship between Jardine and Reid was always blossoming nicely and had blossomed by this point and then accentuated with Jackie further blossoming it, showing promising signs as to why it was one of the best things about the era when Jardine was in charge. Interesting to see pre-Stuart Fraser Colin McCredie.

As to be expected, "Hellfire" is thoughtfully scripted mostly with nothing ridiculous happening and things being taken seriously without being too morose. The exchange between McVitie and Taggart, especially for the latter's answer, about chewed off bums, did raise a chuckle from me. The story is involving in its complexity and intricacy with nothing being what it seems, making the most of the long length (have generally found the 2000s episodes too short and rushed) without padding anything out. Some parts are not for the faint hearted, but nothing feels gratuitous and the investigations are compelling and with enough twists to stop it from being obvious. The ending is unexpected.

Good acting helps, with Mark McManus, in his penultimate episode, being a suitably tough and blunt presence throughout and James MacPherson being every bit his equal. Blythe Duff continues to impress and Iain Anders is suitably hard-edged. Robert Robertson as ever steals scenes and the supporting cast fare well.

Overall, very good, just not one of the best. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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