Wednesday, 10 February 2016


[Spoiler-Free] The bones of a saint are found by an archaeological team in the village of Midsomer Cicely. Soon after, the dig leader is murdered in a horribly ironic way.

As Series 18 is about to end its "extended" six-episode run, talented screenwriter Lisa Holdsworth returns to Midsomer Murders with this penultimate episode. Three series ago, Schooled in Murder, her first script for the venerable ITV detective drama, got noticed because of that famous scene where Martine McCutcheon met a giant cheese. Her second episode, last year's A Vintage Murder, was simply the best since Series 15. In this gem Naoko Mori basically played Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous (the actress was Sarah in Ab Fab).

DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) investigate the death of Dr Zoe Dyer, the lead archaeologist of the Midsomer Cicely dig, killed after her team found the remains of protestant martyr Cicely Milson. The site is regularly visited by "nighthawks", metal detectorists looking for a buried treasure. Villagers are upset by the discovery because they believe they already have the bones in the local church. Cicely is the subject of a feud between Reverend Peter Corby and his historian brother Christopher. By the way, Charlie plays tennis with Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk).

Saints and Sinners doesn't top or match Lisa Holdsworth's previous episodes but she displays her usual ingenuity for her annual Midsomer death tour. And there are two great scenes: the bonfire confrontation between the brothers, served brilliantly by Aden Gillett (as the historian) and Malcolm Sinclair (as a typical Midsomer County clergyman), and when the culprit threatens Kam. The choir who sings Glory to thee, my God, this night is the Wallingford Parish Church Choir and they clearly deserve to be mentioned.

Other guest stars include Ralf Little, Julia Sawalha (another Absolutely Fabulous regular) and Ruth Sheen. Fiona Dolman plays Sarah Barnaby. Midsomer Murders is produced by Bentley Productions Ltd, an All3Media company, for ITV. Phil Hunter is the producer. Jo Wright exec produces. Music composed by Jim Parker. The official Twitter account of Midsomer Murders gives amusing and (really) interesting Behind-the-scenes trivia during each episode.

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