DEAD IN THE WATER

Detailed Synopsis

 


Claire Bonavita's house

PHOTO COPYRIGHT JOAN STREET

 

It's the day of the Midsomer Regatta and Joyce is trying to persuade Barnaby to buy a boat when their peaceful day is interrupted by the discovery of a body in the river.

Guy Sweetman, chairman of the Midsomer Rowing Club, was a serial philanderer and his death does little to spoil the party atmosphere of the regatta under the leadership of committee member Phillip Trent.

Club steward Vic Lynton tells Barnaby he overheard an argument between Trent, fellow rower John Parkway and Sweetman at their regular Friday night meeting aboard Trent's boat the Arabella Jane. He is sure a fourth person was there too.

Guy's former conquests include Trent's daughter Hettie and club treasurer Clare Bonavita, who has now turned her attention to Olympic hopeful Henry Charlton. But his current girlfriend Sandra Tate has disappeared and neighbour Mrs Sharp provides few helpful clues.

Barnaby and Scott visit Clare and discover her husband Freddie - who once threatened to kill Sweetman - has gone to Malta as a result of the couple's apparently amicable split. But when the detectives go, Freddie comes into the room.

Parkway and Trent both insist the argument with Sweetman was simply over recalling last year's regatta trophies. But Barnaby and Scott soon learn that they are both strapped for cash and have taken large loans from Clare. Parkway, a teacher, finally admits he is being blackmailed.

Scott goes to Clare's house to dig further and finds Freddie instead. Despite a long criminal record, Freddie protests his innocence. Barnaby and Scott set up a surveillance post opposite the Arabella Jane. As they watch, Trent and Parkway arrive for the weekly meeting, followed by another man - Causton jeweller Ivan Hawkins.

Barnaby suspects the men are planning to stage a robbery at Hawkins' shop to solve their cash crises and Sweetman got in the way. Just as the police think they are closing in on the killer, Sandra Tate returns and muddies the waters. Was Guy's murder down to money or old-fashioned jealousy?

Janet Brown who plays Mrs. Sharp is famed as an impersonator of Margaret Thatcher. When the director told everyone it was her last day on the 'Midsomer Murders' set she decided to do her 'thank you' as Mrs. Thatcher. One of the crew came up to her afterwards and said 'you made my day'!

Both Adrian Lukis and Diana Quick had to learn rowing skills for the episode. Adrian's character, Phillip Trent has Oxford blues for rowing which necessitated in fast rowing lessons! They were taught at Maidenhead Rowing club though the first sessions were at a local school and some of the boys came out with them to make up the numbers.

Steve Morrison, the Chairman of Bentley's holding company All3Media, lives opposite the finishing line of the Henley Regatta which proved very useful whilst filming there. As the episode features a body found on the finishing line they were able to drag it out into the back garden of Steve's house with all the boats going by in the background!

 

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