Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes return in a new series of three two-hour episodes of Britain’s best-loved detective series, made by Bentley Productions.
Death and the Divas:
The murder of a journalist has chilling echoes of a 1960s horror film starring Midsomer’s own Stella Harris. When Stella’s more famous sister returns after a 40-year family rift, the killings escalate, each reminiscent of a movie plot. Is life – and death – imitating art?
Journalist Eve Lomax is murdered as she watches a cult 60s horror film starring Midsomer’s own Stella Harris. Colin Yule opens the inaugural Midsomer Langley film festival by showing the same film. But Stella’s evening is eclipsed by the dramatic arrival of her sister Diana Davenport, a Hollywood superstar. Diana and her producer husband Cy are reunited with their son Scott, who fled the family home to live in Midsomer. He is not pleased to see them.
Eve’s landlord Patrick Tilman tells Barnaby that Eve was writing a book on the sisters. Barnaby is suspicious of Patrick, as is his wife Juliet, who runs an organic vegetable delivery business. Meanwhile Kate discovers Eve had two puncture wounds in her neck, as if she was killed by a vampire, just like the film.
Stella’s daughter Emma is having a relationship with toyboy Perry Stevens, a delivery driver for Juliet. Emma’s unimpressed by Diana’s arrival, unlike her own star-struck daughter Rosie. Meanwhile Diana begs Stella to end their 40-year rift. Colin reveals that he’d helped Emma with her book but things turned sour when she refused his request for a consultancy fee and a treasured rare photograph from his collection went missing.
As Cy and Diana prepare to host a party, Scott fights with his father about leaving home. Then Barnaby discovers Cy had taken out an injunction to prevent publication of Eve’s book. He’d also been calling Eve and his leased Jaguar was seen at her house.
At the party, Cy falls from the stairs and crashes to the floor. It looks like a stunt but there’s a dagger in his back – chillingly reminiscent of another film, produced by and co-starring Cy. Stella admits she longed for revenge when Diana stole her part in a film, a move that ended her career.
Jones finds a pair of Diana’s knickers at Colin’s house, and he admits stealing them at the party. Then the detectives discover Perry has form for supplying drugs. Are his veg deliveries a cover?
Colin plans to take over writing Eve’s book but Stella warns him it could be dangerous. That night, he becomes the next victim, swathed in bandages like a mummy, replicating a scene from Stella’s film The Mummy Rises. The last person he phoned was Perry.
Meanwhile, the missing photograph turns up at Eve’s house. Stella admits it was from a film which was never completed but seems very hazy about the date. Jones follows Perry on his rounds and finds he is offering extra ‘services’ to his female customers. His next stop is the Barnabys’ house!
Emma crashes her Land Rover. The brakes have been tampered with, just as in Stella’s film The Torment about evil twins. But she’s alive. Barnaby guesses that Diana is Emma’s real mother and that Eve, like him, worked it out from the photograph and was planning to reveal all in her book.
Stella tells her daughter the truth, then Emma leaves the hospital mysteriously with Diana. Barnaby fears another murder will be committed, but the only remaining film is the one Diana ‘stole’. The detectives head to the church to confront Emma, Diana and Stella. But which of them is the killer?
Stella Harris - Sinead Cusack (Young Stella - Georgina Beedle)
In her 60s, Stella is an elegant former actress, famous for her roles in cult 1960s British horror movies. She’s Midsomer’s favourite daughter, but never quite made the big time.
Diana Davenport - Harriet Walter (Young Diana - Thomasin Rand)
A Hollywood star and Stella’s younger sister, Diana left Midsomer 40 years ago after finding fame and a rich husband.
Cy Davenport - Henry Goodman
Cy is Diana’s bullish American producer husband and former stuntman.
Emma Harris - Anna Wilson-Jones
Stella’s daughter, in her 40s, who is attractive in an outdoorsy way. She has her own gardening business and is unimpressed by fame.
Rosie Harris - Alice Sykes
Rosie is Emma’s 16-year-old daughter and is into everything her mother isn’t – make-up, fashion, pop music, celebrity gossip...
Scott Davenport - Joseph Beattie
Diana and Cy’s son. Scott is a handsome drifter, living in Midsomer to avoid the temptations of Tinseltown, having fallen out with his parents.
Patrick Tilman - David Bark-Jones
A philandering property developer who rents a cottage to Eve Lomax and who is desperately hoping to sell Langley Hall to Cy and Diana.
Juliet Tilman - Pandora Clifford
Juliet is Patrick’s ice queen wife. She runs an organic vegetable box business.
Colin Yule - Pearce Quigley
A local film buff and founder of the Stella Harris Film Festival. He’s also an avid collector.
Perry Stevens - Samuel Anderson
Emma’s boyfriend and delivery man for Juliet’s business who’s long on looks and charm.
Eve Lomax - Sasha Waddell
A journalist friend of Emma Harris, who’s writing a book on Stella Harris.
Older Gentleman - John Carson
A smooth, aristocratic predator who features in one of Stella’s films.
Evil Priestess - Caroline Munro
A figure of glamorous evil in a Stella Harris movie.
Roderick Usher - Alexander Owen
Decadent scion of an ancient family in the cult films.