I admit it–I love Midsomer Murders. Apparently this is just as addled as my mysterious love for Murder, She Wrote…but it’s just a fabulous show. In a country where handguns are illegal, the producers and writers get rather creative with the modus operandi of their killers. Having watched pretty much the entire series to date, I decided to rate my 10 favorite murder weapons/methods/discoveries exhibited on the show. We previously had this post helpfully annotated with videos of the kills in question, but they’ve all been taken down, not to return. But hey, these are all on Netflix, so it’s quite possible to go and sample them yourself. If the videos ever resurface, we’ll re-edit again.
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10. Death’s Shadow (Series 2, Episode 1) — Soon after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, a property developer in the village is savagely murdered with an Indian sword belonging to a vicar. The vicar is played by Need Coffee fave Richard Briers. Here we just get the discussion of the state of the corpse. If you want the hysterical body discovery (that’s hysterical in the literal sense–the discoverer went into hysterics, not ha ha, what a funny body) then back up about two minutes or so.
9. Blood Wedding (Series 11, Episode 2) — the first victim is stabbed with a huge antique knife, the second shot with a hunting arrow from a medieval-style longbow, and the third…stabbed through the ear with a large hatpin. Murder #3 gets bonus points for the judicious choice of blood spatter.
8. The Sword of Guillaume (Series 13, Episode 2) –notable for being the episode that introduces us to John Nettles’ replacement once he retires after the episodes airing this year, it’s also great because a few folks lose their heads, the first one being decapitated on a fun fair ride. Seriously, what a fantastic discovery of a body. Um. Not to sound morbid or anything.
7. The Fisher King (Series 7, Episode 3) — the victim is stabbed by a 3,000 year-old spearhead in the thigh, hitting his femoral artery. This episode has Young Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Rowe) as a guest-star.
6. Tainted Fruit (Series 4, Episode 6) — The murderer saws through the boards in the loft of a barn and entices the victim to walk on them. The victim then falls onto the sharp blades of the plow below when the boards break, impaling himself. The sawing, the initial discovery are all very nicely done, but the body itself is priceless.
5. The Straw Woman (Series 7, Episode 6) — What a way to kick off an episode: the victim is shut up inside a giant straw woman figure and is burnt alive during a village festival. A classic: innocence, then screaming death, then…the title of the show comes up. Again, this is no longer embeddable but you can find the beginning at this link here.
4. Midsomer Life (Series 11, Episode 3) — A victim is tumbled to death in a hotel clothes dryer. It’s basically what happens when somebody takes their love of the “Cat Fud” Far Side cartoon too far.
3. Secrets and Spies (Series 12, Episode 3) — Victims have their throats slashed by someone wielding the skull of a prehistoric saber-toothed cat that was stolen from a museum in an attempt to make them look as though they were killed by a mythological beast. Credit for such a wild murder weapon but of course this episode also guest stars Peter Davison and Alice Krige.
2. Sauce for the Goose (Series 8, Episode 7) — A man gets crushed to death (with the aid of a forklift) between two giant pallets of relish in a factory. Then his body is hidden in a bottle sterilizer and cooked. Keep watching past the crushing for the rather gruesome discovery. Sometimes it’s hard to decide which is more amusing–here we get the best of both worlds.
1. Hidden Depths (Series 8, Episode 6) — In what has got to be one of the more elaborate setups…I don’t want to ruin anything. But let’s just say the victim in question is a complete ass, especially to his wheelchair-bound wife. He owns a croquet lawn, a replica catapult, and some very fine wines. If you only watch one episode, even though it takes some time to get to the payoff…watch this one.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments. Otherwise, you can pick up Midsomer Murders for yourself from Amazon below. Enjoy!