Detailed Synopsis


A new version of 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' is being shot in Midsomer Magna, but the atmosphere off the set rivals the battles of the film. Producer Jack Braxton and director Nick Cheyney hate each other, manor house owners Terence and Diane Charteris are broke and their marriage is on the rocks, while there's a painful history between their daughter Leonie and Cheyney.

DCI Barnaby and DS Jones get interested in events when they tail known thief George Ince to a meeting at the manor with Jed Norris, another ex-con. They are amazed to discover Norris is employed there as a security guard.

Meanwhile Joyce arrives with a group of residents from The Cedars care home who have been drafted in as cheap extras. Among them is Gwen Morrison, an old friend of Cheyney's who now runs a charity shop with Leonie.

Filming is disrupted when Raymond Clandillon, a larger-than-life gay alcoholic actor arrives, begging for a role. Cheyney casts him as an extra, much to the amusement of Neville Hayward, the brother of Gwen's late husband Ted. At one point, Raymond, Neville, Gwen and Ted were local actors known as the Four Musketeers, but after Ted died, Neville's friendship with Raymond soured.

Leonie interrupts dinner at Magna Manor to warn Cheyney to stay away from her son Josh. Diane also threatens him, as does Danny, Leonie's partner. Cheyney laughs it off but, later that night, Jed finds him beheaded by the guillotine, a film prop.

Braxton and Diane have alibis after they admit spending the night together, while Danny reveals that Josh is Cheyney's son, the result of a drunken night. And according to Neville, Raymond blames Cheyney for ruining his career, while Leonie suggests her father will stop at nothing to make money from Magna Manor.

With such a wide array of suspects to choose from, Barnaby is sure young Josh is central to the case. Then Bullard reveals Cheyney was drugged with morphine before he was beheaded.

As the complicated relationships of the Four Musketeers start to emerge, there is another beheading. But who is settling old scores and why?