GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST
The house used as 'Draycott Hall'
It was also used as a location in 'Blood Will Out'
PHOTO - COPYRIGHT JOAN STREET
A family reunion becomes the setting for murder, magic and mayhem in the first ever MIDSOMER MURDERS Christmas special on ITV1, starring John Nettles and John Hopkins.
DCI Tom Barnaby and Detective Sergeant Dan Scott find their festive season is interrupted when a gathering of the troubled Villiers clan stirs up ghosts from the past and a cracker riddle becomes spookily prophetic.
Jennifer Carter is hosting a Christmas get-together at the crumbling family seat of Draycott House nine years after her brother, magician Ferdy Villiers killed himself.
Jennifer's frail aunt Lydia, sister Kate and brother Ross - who inherited the family fortune before becoming a Buddhist - all have reasons for dreading the reunion, as does her son Aidan, who arrives from university with his girlfriend Emily. The only person who seems at home is Jennifer and Lydia's bridge companion Dominic Jones.
When Kate's precocious son Howard reads a cracker riddle saying two people will die before midnight on Boxing Day, the guests think it is a tasteless joke. But hours later Lydia is found trapped in a garage full of exhaust fumes, then falls down the stairs.
Barnaby escapes from a turgid Christmas with his in-laws to investigate with Scott. Lydia regains consciousness and tells them she was pushed.
The detectives probe the Villiers' family history and the events that led to Ferdy's suicide, including the betrayal of his assistant and fiancée Claire, who was hated by the family.
News comes from the hospital that Lydia has died, as Barnaby discovers the old lady's diaries covering the past 15 years. One is missing - the year of Ferdy's death.
Then there's a death at the Boxing Day shoot and Howard's riddle is fulfilled. Have the ghosts of past Christmases returned to haunt the family - and who is really performing sleight of hand?
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