Midsomer Murders (1997– )
7.8/10
282
5 user

Wild Harvest 

When the landlord of Wyvern House meets a brutal and untimely death in his own woods, many aspersions are cast.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
... DCI John Barnaby
... DS Charlie Nelson
... Sarah Barnaby
... Kate Wilding
... Angela Linklater
... Ruth Cameron
... Nick Iver
... Amy Strickland
Clive Wood ... Johnny Linklater
... Ferdy Linklater
... Lizzy Thornfield
... Jamie Weston
... Stephanie Weston
... Camilla Strickland
Neil McCaul ... Martin Strickland
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Storyline

After hearing shots in the night, 60s model turned herbalist Lizzy Thornfield discovers the body of Martin Strickland. The wealthy Midsomer Wyvern landowner has been tied to a tree and mauled to death. Martin's second wife Camilla tells Barnaby that he had fallen out with the tenants of Wyvern House, his former family home, now a restaurant run by tyrannical celebrity chef Ruth Cameron and her husband Johnny Linklater. Martin was also angry about £10,000 worth of truffles stolen from his land. The dead man's last phone call was to Angela Linklater, landlady of the Stag & Huntsman and ex-wife of Johnny - she's also his lover. Camilla put up with the affair, but she is very angry to learn Martin left his substantial estate to his daughter Amy, ambitious commis-chef at Wyvern House. The police confiscate shotguns from farmhand Jamie Weston but the post mortem reveals that Martin was covered in truffle oil and eaten alive by wild boar. Ruth's protégé and whipping boy Nick Iver, sous chef ... Written by Adam Taylor

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

29 January 2014 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Only the Black Truffle, Tuber melanosporum, would be sufficiently valuable to be a motive. These are harvested from November to March, whereas the filming took place in summertime. See more »

Quotes

[Barnaby has just received a call from Nelson about suspeicious activity at the pub]
Sarah Barnaby: Uh, what time do you want to eat?
DCI John Barnaby: Later, if it's OK with you; I'm going to the pub with Nelson.
Sarah Barnaby: Oh, right. So that's how it's going to be from now on, is it? I stay here with the dog and the baby, whilst you go boozing with your mates.
DCI John Barnaby: No. Sykes is welcome to come to the pub with me whenever he wants.
[Sarah smiles]
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User Reviews

 
One of the better episodes of Season 16
18 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

When in its prime (a vast majority of Seasons 1-9), 'Midsomer Murders' was a great show and one that is watched and re-watched frequently. Seasons 10-13 became more uneven, with three of the show's worst episodes coming from Seasons 11 and 13, but there were a few solid episodes and "Blood Wedding" and especially "Master Class" were gems.

After John Nettles retired and Neil Dudgeon and the new character of John Barnaby took over, 'Midsomer Murders' just hasn't been the same on the most part. Season 14 was a disappointment outside of "The Oblong Murders" and "A Sacred Trust", with "Echoes of the Dead" and "The Night of the Stag" being show low-points. Season 15 was inconsistent, being a case of starting promisingly and then took a three-episodes-in-a-row strange turn with "Written in the Stars" before finishing on a good note.

Season 16 got off to a very good start with "The Christmas Haunting", introducing us to Barnaby's new partner Nelson. "Let Us Prey", while not a terrible episode at all, was a disappointment and very problematic. Luckily Season 16 returns to form in its best episode yet "Wild Harvest".

Production values cannot be faulted as usual mostly, apart from some rather amateurish camera work at the start. It's mostly beautifully and atmospherically shot with suitably picturesque scenery. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the haunting theme tune is one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

With such a grim case, with one of the most brutal first murders of the entire show (the visuals and description are enough to make one squirm), "Wild Harvest" had the danger of being too heavy and serious as well as too dark, actually it was very nicely balanced with the amusing and quite charming subplot with Sykes, who is still adorable, gifted in comic timing and a definite scene stealer (actually much prefer him over Cully).

The story benefits from the intriguing setting of the culinary world, put to great use, and is neither simplistic, convoluted or padded. Nor is it too heavy or overly silly, like some John Barnaby-era episodes have been. Some of the themes are rather typical of 'Midsomer Murders' and have been done better elsewhere, but are not too predictable or obvious, just that it has been done with more spark or atmosphere. The identity of the murderer was a real surprise, even if the motive was more guessable.

Characters are closer to the colourful and eccentric characters than the bland and pantomimic ones, especially when compared to the cartoonish murderers of "Death in the Slow Lane" and "The Night of the Stag". Personality-less Kate is the sole exception. There are many suspects, without being too many, and very little felt inconsequential, excepting the slightly confused twist regarding the fate of Sharon Small's character which would have fared better as what it seemed to be.

Neil Dudgeon is much more comfortable than he was in the previous two seasons, though he continued to have uneven moments since "Wild Harvest". Gwilym Lee is settling in very nicely, he is likable and isn't a dumbed down idiot like Jones became and the chemistry between him and Barnaby sees a much better treatment of him from Barnaby. The supporting cast are all strong, with Sharon Small standing out, and it was great that Sarah is written with more development and charm and that her chemistry with Barnaby is here more loving and playful than the condescending and non-existent one it tends to be.

All in all, very good episode and one of the better ones of Season 16. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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