THE SLEEPER UNDER THE HILL
© ITV/Mark Bourdillon
When the body of a farmer is found in the middle of a stone circle in Midsomer Mow, suspicion points at local druids. The murdered man, Alex Preston, had planned to plough Gorse Meadow, making Crowcall Circle inaccessible to the group led by high priests Ezra Canning and Leticia Clifford.
Barnaby and Jones are joined in their investigation by new pathologist Kate Crawford. The body left on the bloodstone is her first assignment, but Kate doesn't shock easily.
Local copper Sgt Gibson brings Jones up to speed with local gossip - Ezra had been cautioned for issuing threats against Preston.
Meanwhile, the dead man's widow Eleanor has disappeared. Bloodstains at her home indicate Preston was killed in his bedroom. Later that night, a gutted hare is left on the bloodstone and down-at-heel historian Caradoc Singer tells Barnaby it's a warning. A brooch found at the scene is identified as an awen - the symbol of New Age Druidism.
Eleanor returns, claiming to have been with friends. But Sgt Gibson says he saw her car in Causton. Her phone calls link her to fencing coach Aidan Hardy. At her cottage, Leticia shows Barnaby that sacred ley lines run through the stone circle. Later, she phones Ezra, convinced she has made an exciting discovery. But before she can share her theory, she is stabbed to death.
Evan Jago, a poacher and petty thief, attacks Sgt Gibson and disappears after a charity box is stolen from the village pub. He confronts Gibson and Jones at gunpoint but Gibson saves the day and Jago vanishes into the woods.
Aidan Hardy admits that he and Eleanor are lovers - but he's angry with her because she rejected his marriage proposal. Could they have left their hotel to kill Preston?
Jones is nearly run over by Ezra but Gibson saves him again. Barnaby is suspicious about Gibson's helpfulness, telling an incredulous Jones that the sergeant is manipulating the investigation. They go to question him, but find him drowned in the water butt. But he's not simply another victim - Leticia's drawings are at his house.
Singer is burgled but claims nothing was stolen. Barnaby realises he is lying and takes him to Crowcall Circle to show him an artefact found on the land. Singer seems upset when Barnaby reveals the stones could point to a major archaeological discovery.
Dressed in his robes, Ezra goes to the circle at night but is attacked by Singer wielding a knife. Barnaby arrests him and discovers a hoard of stolen art at his house. It appears that basic human greed - not spiritualism - is the real motive for murder. But how did the secrets of Gorse Meadow lead Singer and Gibson to become unlikely accomplices?
BACK TO MAIN EPISODE PAGE