Rich kid John Ransom collapses and dies after being ejected from 'The Luck in the World' pub in Midsomer Mere. He has deep scorch marks across his scalp. Landlord Jimmy Kirby says John went berserk.

The dead man lived at Lower Mere House, a former asylum. Inventor Dr Gregory Ransom (Geoffrey Whitehead) tells Barnaby that the burn marks came from John being willingly wired up inside a cage by his other son Max, who is experimenting on brainwave activity.

After spending a morning in the cage, John won £6,000 from the bookie Lucky Lol Tanner, before getting into a fight with Bill Kirby (Tom Frederic) at the pub. It appears that the Kirby family have second sight, the ability to see the future, but Barnaby is dismissive.

Preacher Pete Kubatski is anxious to build a congregation, but is upset because the Kirbys and Ransoms want to stop the baptism of baby Christine Kirby, the daughter of church-goers Ben Kirby and his wife Emma, formerly Ransom. According to Emma, her family are scientists and Ben's are con artists, both keen to discover if Christine has second sight. The baptism would put her out of reach.

At night, Barnaby nearly knocks down reclusive forester Little Mal Kirby in the road, then Dr Ransom is found dead in his laboratory cellar, near the partly-burned scientific notes on John. Barnaby is sure he has seen the forester before somewhere.

Baby Christine starts crying uncontrollably before Max turns up at Emma's house. She appears to have second sight. An angry Max is arrested and Barnaby accuses him of giving electric shocks to John to discover more about his talent, because he was jealous of his brother's ability to foresee the future.

As Barnaby struggles to investigate a village full of magic and premonitions, he finally discovers the truth about John Ransom and what really caused his death. But he still has to find the killer. When Emma and baby Christine disappear from home, who will win the battle between faith and science?