The Killings at Badger's Drift credits
The Killings at Badger's Drift Opening Titles

First broadcast

23rd March 1997

Written by

Anthony Horowitz

Directed by

Jeremy Silberston

Next episode

Written in Blood

The Killings at Badger's Drift was first broadcast on the 23rd March 1997 and was the first ever episode of Midsomer Murders, attracting 13.5 million viewers. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by author Caroline Graham and was screenplayed by Anthony Horowitz, who was also well-known for adapting dramas such as Foyle's War and Agatha Christie's Poirot. It was directed by Jeremy Silberston. It is the first appearance of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy, played by John Nettles and Daniel Casey respectively.

When elderly Emily Simpson stepped out for a walk one sunny afternoon in the forest she never expected to see what she did. Something emerges through the trees, something she was never meant to see and that means she must be silenced. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy arrive in the village of Badger's Drift to discover an array of eccentric characters all with their own sinister intentions. And does the murder have anything to do with a shooting at the local manor that happened one year ago? Nothing is quite what is seems and both Barnaby and Troy look into the case.


When gentle spinster Emily Simpson is murdered in her own home at the seemingly tranquil village of Badger's Drift, it attracts the attention of DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Gavin Troy of Causton CID when her friend Lucy Bellringer (Rosalie Crutchley) is unconcvinced that Miss Simpson died of natural causes. Suspects include Iris and Dennis Rainbird (Elizabeth Spriggs and Richard Cant), the Lessitor family which includes Trevor, the local GP ((Bill Wallis), wife Barbara (Diana Hardcastle), and daughter Judith (Jessica Stevenson). Others include Henry Trace (Julian Glover), who is the landowner and is engaged to younger Katherine Lacey (Emily Mortimer); his estate manager is David Whitely (Christopher Villiers) and not forgetting Katherine's artist brother Michael (Jonathan Firth) and Phyllis Cadell (Selina Cadell). Barnaby also learns of the shooting of Henry's first wife Bella two years ago.


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