Midsomer Murders (1997– )
11 user

Picture of Innocence 

Someone puts Barnaby in the frame in the murders of two rival photographers and is ordered to stay home on virtual house arrest.


Richard Holthouse


Andrew Payne (screenplay), Caroline Graham (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
Jason Hughes ... DS Ben Jones
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr Bullard
Nigel Anthony Nigel Anthony ... Lionel Bell
Andrew Tiernan ... Steve Bright
Adrian Scarborough ... Eddie Carfax
Peter Eyre ... Headley Madrigal
Richard Lintern ... Martin Spellman
Martin Hutson ... Seb Madrigal
Montserrat Lombard ... Philomena Bell
Caroline Trowbridge Caroline Trowbridge ... Imogen
Ian Peck ... Adam Knox
François Domange François Domange ... Maitre d' Hôtel (as Francois Domange)
Malcolm Raeburn Malcolm Raeburn ... Hotel Manager


DCI Tom Barnaby himself becomes the prime suspect when amateur photographer Lionel Bell is found death in the woods of Luxton Deeping because of a photograph showing Barnaby kissing Bell's estranged wife, who is an old girlfriend of his. Furthermore Barnaby's fingerprints are on a wine glass at Bell's home, an entry in Bell's diary names Barnaby as his guest the evening before his death and Barnaby has no alibi for neither that evening nor the time of the murder. The case is taken over by the unpopular detective inspector Martin Spellman who does not believe that the evidence against Barnaby is fabricated. More deaths occur while Barnaby conducts his own, unofficial investigation to clear his name Written by Carsten Pedersen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

3 June 2007 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


Here's the inside joke about the real life scandal that backgrounds "Picture of Innocence": Liza Goddard (who plays Marion Bell) successfully sued a national British newspaper which printed a story alleging (untruthfully) that she and John Nettles were having an affair, because their characters Jim Bergerac and Philippa Vale in Bergerac (1981) were romantically linked. See more »


Seb is developing colour photos (incorrectly) in trays. Colour photos can only be developed in complete darkness. See more »


[first lines]
Steve Bright: Cheese!
Lionel Bell: Get out of the way; I'm trying to photograph this tree.
Steve Bright: So am I, so you'll just have to wait.
[snaps a shot]
Steve Bright: Oh yes, got a real cracker here, Lionel. One for the annual exhibition, I reckon. Your heap of junk hasn't got a prayer up against this baby.
Lionel Bell: Get out of my way!
Steve Bright: God, I'd love to give you a good thumping.
Lionel Bell: Help yourself. Why don't you finish me off while you're about it! After all, you're the one who ruined my life, aren't you?
Steve Bright: Don't be pathetic.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not one of the best 'Midsomer Murders' episodes
11 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.

Love 'Midsomer Murders', but every now and then in the Tom Barnaby-era there were misfires or episodes that didn't do it for me. "Picture of Innocence" is one such episode, and one of the weaker episodes of Season 10, which was fairly solid before "Picture of Innocence", "The Animal Within" being particularly good and "The Axeman Cometh" being the most problematic but still decent enough.

Granted, "Picture of Innocence" is not one of the show's worst, far from it. Before it, "Second Sight", "The Electric Vendetta", "The Straw Woman" and "Midsomer Rhapsody" were worse, and there has also been far worse since. It was just one example of a decent idea that was clumsily executed.

Starting with what "Picture of Innocence" does right, the production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

There are some thoughtful and humorous moments in the script and the supporting characters are entertaining enough. Some of the more light-hearted tone is fun.

John Nettles and Jason Hughes are both superb, individually and together (their chemistry, and the chemistry with Daniel Casey and John Hopkins before Hughes, being a huge part of their episodes' charm). Can't fault the supporting cast either.

On the other hand, the story while not dull was just too contrived, the case having too many coincidences and worn out clichés that have been done much better and not enough red herrings, clues and twists and turns, and the light-heartedness did get too much in places, felt clumsy and silly and clashed with the serious subject. Just for the record, there was no trouble understanding what the episode was trying to do, that was pretty obvious, it's just that it didn't click with me. And this is true for the other reviewers almost certainly that didn't care for it.

Whoever is responsible for the crimes is too obvious, being strongly suspected early on, and the final solution underwhelms due to the far-fetched motives, the obviousness of who's responsible and the all too coincidental way it was solved.

On the whole, not a terrible episode but didn't click with me. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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