It’s a time of joy and happiness in Midsomer for once – Christmas is coming and DCI Barnaby is about to become a dad.
As Midsomer Murders returns to ITV, Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman) are celebrating the news that she is pregnant.
It’s not the only change facing Barnaby in the five-part series – new detective Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) moves into the patch, taking up his posting just in time for an investigation at a ‘haunted’ house.
The regular team is completed by the return of Tamzin Malleson as pathologist Dr Kate Wilding. Kate becomes landlady to DS Nelson and, together with the Barnabys, helps him celebrate his first Christmas in Midsomer.
Baby Barnaby, who is due to make an appearance later in the series, was written into the drama when actress Fiona Dolman discovered she was pregnant.
The pregnancy was a surprise, but much longed-for, for single mum Fiona. In real life, her baby Madeleine Charlotte was born in July.
Says Fiona: “I didn’t think I’d ever have a child so I feel very blessed. I am very happy to bring up the baby on my own as I have incredible support and love from my family.
“Things might not be perfect but from the moment I held Madeleine in my arms we felt like a team. I’ve got so much love around me, so I know we’re going to be all right.”
She adds: “Everyone on Midsomer Murders has been so supportive and lovely. I went back in October to film the fifth episode and Neil was very excited for me.
“I’m sure the Barnabys will be good parents as they are both practical and have a good relationship of equals. They share a fundamental set of values and approach problems in a similar sort of way. The only problem is whether Sykes the dog feels has been usurped by the newest member of the family!”
The festive Midsomer Murders episode, “The Christmas Haunting”, is set in Morton Shallows. DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson investigate the fatal stabbing of a man with an antique sword during a ghost-hunting party at a ‘haunted’ manor house. Is blacksmith’s daughter Rose Wilton seeking revenge from the beyond the grave, or can Barnaby and Nelson find a more earthly motive behind the murder and trap the killer?
Guest stars in the episode include Elizabeth Berrington, Les Dennis, Mark Heap, Emily Joyce, James Murray and Hannah Tointon. “The Christmas Haunting” is written by Chris Murray, directed by Nick Laughland, produced by Louise Sutton and the executive producer is Jo Wright. A Bentley production for ITV.
Cast List – The Christmas Haunting
DCI John Barnaby - Neil Dudgeon
DS Charlie Nelson - Gwilym Lee
Sarah Barnaby - Fiona Dolman
Kate Wilding - Tamzin Malleson
Simon Fergus-Johnson - Mark Heap
Tabby Fergus-Johnson - Nadia Cameron-Blakey
Pippa Fergus-Johnson - Hannah Tointon
Valerie Fergus-Johnson - Emily Joyce
Ollie Tabori - James Murray
Brendan Pearce - Les Dennis
Libs Pearce - Elizabeth Berrington
Mel Bridgeman - Susie Trayling
Conor Bridgeman - Jonah Russell
Felicity Hearn - Perdita Avery
Dev Kardek - Nikesh Patel
Ross Clymer - Paul Blair
Executive Producer - Jo Wright
Producer - Louise Sutton
Director - Nick Laughland
Writer - Chris Murray
Composer - Jim Parker
Consultant - Betty Willingale
Based on characters created by Caroline Graham