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Midsomer Murders ep2 Let us Prey (video)

Published: Fri 03 Jan 2014

Midsomer Murders
 
Episode two: Let Us Prey
 
Wednesday 8 January at 8pm on ITV
 
A series of murders in Midsomer St Claire seem to be inspired by macabre images on a medieval fresco recently discovered in the church crypt. As the village prepares for storms and flooding it appears that someone is using ancient torture methods to punish modern-day ‘sinners’. But who is responsible and why?
 
The body of a woman with a mask on her head is found in the rain-swollen river at Midsomer St Claire by Ava Gould and Zach Lime, who are checking rising water levels for the River Authority.  It’s Nancy Dewar, a nurse who recently left her builder husband Michael to live with art historian Philip Hamilton. She was struck on the head before being thrown in.
 
Nelson is struggling to cope with lodging in Kate’s messy house. Kate finds his fitness and green tea obsession equally challenging.
 
Professor Hamilton is restoring a medieval fresco discovered in a crypt at St Claire’s Church.  Barnaby and Nelson are shocked to see it bears the image of a drowning woman wearing a mask as well as other macabre scenes. Kate’s tests reveal Nancy’s mask is made of vintage agricultural sackcloth bearing the letters SHC.
 
Former vicar Arthur Gould claims Nancy was always wild. He has leukaemia and is being nursed by Ava, his daughter. Ava’s mother died when she was young and the two are close.
 
Nelson finds car tracks near the river and dives in to retrieve Nancy’s rucksack, containing a work visa and one-way ticket to Australia.  Hamilton is cagey about their relationship and tells detectives that Michael assaulted his wife at Christmas.  Meanwhile Michael’s debt-ridden father Frank goes to Dewar’s building yard where Nancy’s Fiat car is hidden.
 
Michael names shopkeeper Ewan Evans as his alibi. Ewan has his own worries, as his son Noah seems interested only in the fresco and not the future of the mini-market.  Ewan is terrified when he finds Noah has a book depicting medieval art and images of torture.
 
Ambitious new vicar Martha Hillcott holds an emergency meeting; she needs money to protect the fresco from flood waters and plans to sell the Goulds’ cottage against their will. Frank misses the vote – Nancy’s car has broken down and he pushes it down an embankment in his panic. While wiping his prints he discovers documents in the footwell.  
 
Martha has a sealed vote from Nancy which wins her the cottage while Frank returns to the yard, distraught. He hears a noise and is crushed by a digger full of rubble, like a modern form of stoning. Rev Gould says the murders are purges - punishment for sinners.  Michael confesses his true alibi - he got drunk after checking into a drying out clinic. Tapes at the yard show Nancy driving off with Zach – a one-time trainee for the priesthood whose brother has convictions for identity theft.  Zach admits buying patient records from Nancy. 
 
Barnaby and Nelson find Noah with Hamilton – they are lovers. They claim Nancy never returned that night and Barnaby realises she visited Martha instead to give her her vote in return for cash.  Did she collect any other debts that night?  
 
Hamilton opens a letter to Nancy bearing the logo SHC. He’s shocked by the contents but that night is shackled to a wheel and impaled.  As the rain falls and villagers flock to the church for protection, Rev Gould takes to the pulpit and Ava tries to flood the crypt.  In the midst of chaotic scenes, Barnaby unearths a long-held secret that takes him by surprise.
 
Characters
 
Rev Martha Hillcott - Rebecca Front
Not your average village vicar, Martha is cool, collected and sharp as a tack. She has a certain sex appeal and uses charm and humour to disarm and persuade. She’s a political beast and ambitious too.
 
Prof Philip Hamilton - Vincent Regan
A respected academic and an authority on medieval art, Hamilton has an intense, restless energy and a considerable ego. He likes to cultivate a reputation as a ladies man. 
 
Frank Dewar - Paul Copley
Tacit, stoic and grumpy, Frank is considered a pillar of the community. He was widowed in his late 30s and left to bring up his only son, Michael. Their relationship is troubled.
 
Michael Dewar - William Beck
A man on a downward spiral. Deep down, Michael’s a sensitive soul but alcohol has made him hostile and bitter. He’s struggling to deal with his wife Nancy leaving him.
 
Rev Arthur Gould - Michael Jayston
The vicar of St. Claire for almost 25 years before he retired because of ill health. Gould’s an Old Testament, fire and brimstone preacher who knows his time is up. He is utterly devoted to his only daughter, Ava.
 
Ava Gould - Andrea Lowe
Strong, feisty and equally devoted to her father, Ava is a popular member of the community with a reputation for being frank.  She’s currently in conflict with Martha over her attempts to evict her dad from the manse.
 
Ewan Evans - Gerard Horan
Big-mouthed and warm-hearted, Ewan wants to pass his mini-market on to his reluctant son, Noah. Ewan can be gauche but he’s a good mate and a glass half-full kind of guy.
 
Noah Evans - William Postlethwaite
Noah recently graduated from Art School and is back home to decide what to do with his life. He’s talented, ambitious and has a strong sense of who he is. If only he could tell his dad…
 
Zach Lime - Ben Bailey Smith
Smart, wry and laid back, Zach came to St. Claire when he got a job with the River Authority. He loves the work because it means he gets to spend time with Ava whom he adores.
 
Victor Spencer - Roy Hudd
Upright, cheerful and dedicated to St. Claire, Victor has a strong sense of civic duty and spends much of his time working for the good of the village with his wife Stella.
 
Stella Spencer - Patricia Brake
Pleasant, docile and a little timid, Stella isn’t as devoted to the village as her husband, but she’s devoted to him.
 
Cast List
 
DCI John Barnaby - Neil Dudgeon
DS Charlie Nelson - Gwilym Lee
Sarah Barnaby - Fiona Dolman
Kate Wilding - Tamzin Malleson
Rev Martha Hillcott - Rebecca Front
Frank Dewar - Paul Copley
Ava Gould - Andrea Lowe
Zach Lime - Ben Bailey Smith
Michael Dewar - William Beck
Victor Spencer - Roy Hudd
Stella Spencer - Patricia Brake
Noah Evans - William Postlethwaite
Ewan Evans - Gerard Horan
Rev Arthur Gould - Michael Jayston
Prof Philip Hamilton - Vincent Regan