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» » Midsomerio žmogžudystes Strangler's Wood (1997– )

Short summary

Nine years ago, the village of Midsomer Worthy became the stalking ground of a serial killer who raped his female victims before strangling them with a striped neck tie. However, after the third victim, the killer stopped... In the present day, another young woman has been found in "Strangler's Wood", strangled with a striped neck tie. She, however, has not been raped... Has the psychopath started again, or is there a copycat killer on the loose?

John Nettles stated in an interview that this episode of Midsomer Murders was his favorite.

Katy Brittain plays Gloria Bradley in this episode. She returns in episode 9.1, Midsomeri mõrvad: The House in the Woods (2005), in the role of Miss Owen.

Debbie Chazen plays Anna Santarosa in this episode. She returns in episode 11.4, Midsomeri mõrvad: Midsomer Life (2008), in the role of Gemma Platt.

Nicholas Farrell plays John Merrill in this episode. He returns in episode 20.3, Midsomeri mõrvad: Drawing Dead (2018), in the role of Isaac Starling.

Peter Eyre plays Leonard Pike in this episode. He returns in episode 10.6, Midsomeri mõrvad: Picture of Innocence (2007), in the role of Headley Madrigal.

Rebecca Charles plays who plays the pathology lab assistant in this episode plays Jane in series 8 episode 6 Hidden Depths

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: lucky kitten
    In the deceptively tranquil village of Midsomer Worthy, a group of schoolchildren discover the body of a young woman whom has been strangled with a tie in Raven's Wood. Reminded of another case from ten years ago, in which three young girls were strangled in the same woods with ties, Barnaby and Troy go through the files of that case as it looks as if the unmasked killer has struck again after a ten year break. Barnaby visits the former investigating officer of that case, George Meakam (Frank Windsor), but he isn't too helpful remarking that the killer got the better of him three times and that he will elude Barnaby as well. A Rolex watch was found near the latest victim and it is traced to John Merrill (Nicholas Farrell) whom is the Marketing Director of Monarch Tobacco. It then transpires that the victim was the glamorous Brazilian model Carla Constanza whom was hired by Merrill to promote the company's top selling brand of cigarettes, which incidentally is called "Carla". The list of suspects is now beginning to grow as it turns out that Merrill was the only person in England that she really ever came into contact with. In addition, Barnaby and Troy soon learn that George Meakam (though retired) is still obsessed with the case he was unable to solve prone to wandering off into the woods late at night telling his wife that he is trying to get into the mind of the killer. But the most likely suspect is Merrill because there is a lot of circumstantial evidence piling up against him. In addition to his watch being found next to the victim, his wife, the agony aunt Kate Merrill (Phyllis Logan), has discovered a shirt belonging to her husband that happens to be smothered in the victim's lipstick. In addition, Merrill's life isn't a happy one as his marriage isn't a happy one and he doesn't get on with his young son David either. Matters are complicated further when the Merrill's Au-pair Anna is murdered by a lethal injection of liquid nicotine. Barnaby begins to suspect that the double murder has something to do with Monarch Tobacco rather than the home life of John Merrill. And could the link with the murders from a decade before be merely coincidental?

    Strangler's Wood was first broadcast on ITV on 3 February 1999 following up the excellent Death's Shadow. Director Jeremy Silberston and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz (the establishing writer-director team of the series) were retained from that film and once again a superb supporting cast was assembled to support John Nettles and Daniel Casey whom by now were really living their roles as Inspector Barnaby and Sgt Troy. They include Frank Windsor who offers a first rate performance as the retired police inspector George Meakam whom is still obsessed with solving the murders that he couldn't all those years ago much to the chagrin of his wife played by Anne Stallybrass. Windsor has been a familiar face on British television for more than forty years most notably playing police detective John Watt in the popular Z-Cars and Softly Softly series'. Also of note is Phyllis Logan who is excellent as Kate Merrill and Peter Eyre offers a suitably creepy performance as involved hotel manager Leonard Pyke at whose establishment two of the victims stayed before they died.

    Overall, Strangler's Wood is another first class entry into this wonderful series with fine performances right down to the smallest part, masterful direction by Silberston and another impeccable script by Anthony Horowitz, which delivers all the intrigue and thrills we have now come to expect from Midsomer Murders. In addition, the story is given an added depth here with the subplot about Barnaby trying to spend some quality time with his daughter Cully (Laura Howard) whilst his wife Joyce is away caring for her mother whom has taken ill. We see a side to Barnaby that we haven't seen before. He clearly loves his family but he allows his work to take him over. For instance, every time he and Cully arrange to do something such as a night at the theatre, a development occurs in the case and Barnaby totally forgets that he has arranged to meet his daughter and goes off to interview a witness or suspect in his own time. This has been charmingly worked out into the script by Silberston and Horowitz and Laura Howard and John Nettles are both a joy to watch here. In addition, all technical aspects such as lighting, music and editing are all up to their usual high standards.
  • comment
    • Author: Sadaron above the Gods
    Midsomer Murders: Strangler's Wood starts as a group of young boys on their way to school take a short cut through Raven's Wood, there they make the shocking discovery of a nude woman who has been strangled with a neck tie. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Sgt. Troy (Daniel Casey) on are the case, Barnaby remembers that Raven's Wood was the area where three women's bodies who died in similar circumstances were found 9 years ago & has since become known as Strangler's Wood. At first Barnaby ask's the question whether the two cases are connected, then ponders why the killer has suddenly started to kill again & just as importantly why he stopped all those years ago. The woman turns out to be an actress & model from Brazil named Carla Constanza (Betti Romani) who has ties to a local cigarette manufacturer & some of it's employees including John Merrill (Nicholas Farrell) whose expensive Rolex watch was found near the body, but is the case really that simple...

    Episode 2 from season 2 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Jeremy Silberston & is another great mystery for all armchair sleuth's everywhere. The script by Anthony Horowitz weaves yet another intriguing tangled web of deception, lies, blackmail, murder & dark secrets in Midsomer county for Barnaby to sort out. This one opens up with the discovery of a body & then goes into a lull for about an hour & I admit my patience was being stretched as Barnaby & Troy investigate the murder but get nowhere fast until it bursts into life again with a couple more murders in quick succession & a great ending where it all comes together & everything is revealed as Barnaby solves not one case but two. I really like how all the little pieces of the puzzle come together here, from seemingly insignificant conversation's to observation's made by Barnaby I liked the way the complex multi layered mystery all comes together like the pieces of a jigsaw. I personally think Strangler's Wood could have used 5 or 10 minutes cut out of it's middle third to quicken the pace & keep my interest more but it picks up again at just the right time, as usual the plot is engaging, far from predictable & is what we expect from the series a well thought out gripping murder mystery that'll keep most of you guessing right to the very end which is just the way I like 'em.

    As seems to be the norm for this show there are a few subplots revolving around Barnaby & the fact he's left home alone with his daughter by his wife who has to go away because her mother is ill, this one also sees the potential beginnings of a romantic relationship between Troy & Barnaby's daughter. There is a neat little reference to Death of a Hollow Man in this as well if you look out for things like that. This episode looks really nice with the usual assortment of uniquely English country locations, the gorgeous Dorney Court in Berkshire was used for the Fox & Goose hotel & stands out. The murders aren't graphic here but there are several corpses on show including a body in a bath with a fair amount of blood splatter. The acting is top notch from all involved.

    Strangler's Wood almost lost me there for a bit it redeemed itself with flying colours & is yet another classic Midsomer Murders, this is episode 2 from season 2 & there hasn't been a bad episode yet, I wonder if the next story Dead Man's 11 will change that?
  • comment
    • Author: HeonIc
    Barnaby and Troy are called in after the body of a young Woman is founds in Strangler's wood, named by the Sun, a site where ten years ago three other women were murdered in the same grizzly fashion. George Meakham, now retired was in charge of the case at the time, and still suffers with a morbid obsession for the case, as he never managed to solve it.

    Some fine performances as you'd expect, Toby Jones is in as mortician Dan Peterson, he proved to be quite fun and would run for Series 2. Phyllis Logan and Nicholas Farrell are great as the Merrill's and Trudie Styler is great as their neighbour. Favourite performance for me is Peter Eyre as Leonard Pike, he's a fantastic actor, and gives such a creepy but charismatic performance.

    The Agatha Christie gag was a little uncalled for, haha.

    There is so much going on in this intricate and craftily written Murder mystery. I love how Barnaby is trying to spend time with Cully but being scuppered at every opportunity, it provides a little relief from the story which is quite a grim one.

    It's one of the best of the lot, interesting characters, great sub plots, lots of mis-direction and red herrings, all in all it's brilliant. 10/10
  • comment
    • Author: Eseve
    When a woman's body is found strangled with a tie in Raven's Wood, it's reminiscent of a case from ten years ago, in "Midsomer Murders: Stranglers Wood," from the second season.

    Barnaby calls on the investigator from ten years ago, George Meakam (Frank Windsor); he is not only no help but very negative on whether Barnaby will catch the strangler.

    Since a Rolex watch was found near the body, Barnaby is able to trace it to John Merrill (Nicholas Farrell). Farrell is the Director of Marketing of a tobacco company, and the victim turns out to be the face of their "Carla" cigarette commercials.

    It looks good for Merrill being the killer, but other suspects appear as Barnaby and Troy try to solve the Strangler's Wood case.

    On the home front, Joyce is away caring for her mother, leaving Cully and Barnaby to fend for themselves. Though Barnaby intends to spend some time with Cully, the case keeps interfering.

    Very good, intriguing script, with John Nettles, Phyllis Logan (as Mrs. Merrill) and the cast in top form.

    Highly recommended.
  • comment
    • Author: Mitynarit
    Having recently finished watching the most recent season, I have returned to the beginnings. And all that this excellent episode did, besides entertaining me again, was also to remind me of how far the series has slipped. And it isn't merely the fault of Neil Dudgeon, as the series was slipping the last few seasons with the wonderful John Nettles still at the helm. The WPC character with nothing to do was the beginning of that slide. Sure, Nettles was getting up in years, but part of me suggests he also left because of the increasingly bad scripts, and need to always top the previous episodes killings with more bizarre ones.

    The scripts have grown banal too often, the setups are mediocre too often, the series is long in the tooth as well. Many of the Dudgeon episodes will not stand up to repeated viewing is my belief, both because of him, and because of the scripts. Though season 18 had several good episodes, the best in the Dudgeon era. But is that saying much?

    Anyway, watch 'Strangler's Wood', highly recommended, and holds up to repeated viewings over the years.

    BTW..... The matter about the newspapers is much ado about nothing, the character would have been correct to presume that the papers would have the recent murder as front page news, especially after the three previous ones in the same woods years earlier. So I do not see this as any sort of mistake in the script.
  • comment
    • Author: Chillhunter
    "Death's Shadow" was a magnificent way to start Season 2, and is still, even for so early on in the show's run, one of the best 'Midsomer Murders' episodes.

    "Strangler's Wood" had a tough task to act upon. It must have been daunting, and no easy picnic, following "Death's Shadow" and be no less inferior. "Strangler's Wood" is just as good, not one of the best of the show, so perhaps a slight step down but that means nothing at all. It still manages to be just as good.

    As always, the production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

    Meanwhile, the script is smart, thought-provoking and suitably grim, with even some nice humour and even some welcome and beautifully done heart with the Barnaby and Cully subplot. Nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point, everything intrigued. And yes, the references to past cases were great.

    The story is not quite as dark or as complex as "Death's Shadow", but is hugely compelling, and never simplistic or over-complicated, nor no less mature. There is a lot going on without being cluttered or rushed, and that nothing is what it seems, or very few people are who they seem adds to the complexity, while there are no out of kilter scenes. The twists and turns keep coming, and never in an obvious or press-the-rewind button.

    John Nettles and Daniel Casey sparkle together, with Nettles characteristically superb and Casey a great contrast. Laura Howard brings charm and sympathy to Cully, and Toby Jones excels in a quite unusual kind of role. Phyllis Logan and Peter Eyre are particularly wonderful support, Eyre evokes chills-up-the-spine even.

    In conclusion, brilliant follow up episode to one of the show's finest. 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • comment
    • Author: Capella
    A beautiful Brazilian woman is found dead, strangled just like three other women had been ten years previously. The questions, of course, are whether the killer had struck again, it was a copycat, or just a coincidence. This brings into play a whole group of possible suspects. Not obvious one is a guy named Merrill, whose Rolex was found at the scene. He is in a tense marriage with an advice columnist for a local newspaper. There are other culpable characters as well. A man who runs a lovely old hotel, whose mother is kept in a room as she suffers from cancer. There is a tobacco executive who works with Merrill, whose livelihood is profoundly affected by this murder. There is a man who has a drawer full of neckties (the murder weapon in the previous cases). Also, an inspector, a predecessor of Tom Barnaby, who can't let go of a case that was never solved. The pieces are neatly arranged with several other adjacent characters who are carrying on their lives. Once again, the writing is superb and the craftsmanship neat and tidy. There is also a fun subplot where Mrs. Barnaby visits her mother and Cully, the daughter, tries to please her father, dealing with the same tunnel vision that her long suffering mother must put up with.
  • comment
    • Author: Whitesmasher
    Enjoying this series...music thru me off on first episode of season 1...however I am greatly enjoying these episodes...not easy to figure out who dun it.
  • Episode cast overview, first billed only:
    John Nettles John Nettles - DCI Tom Barnaby
    Daniel Casey Daniel Casey - Sgt. Gavin Troy
    Jane Wymark Jane Wymark - Joyce Barnaby
    Laura Howard Laura Howard - Cully Barnaby
    Peter Eyre Peter Eyre - Leonard Pike
    Kathleen Byron Kathleen Byron - Dorothea Pike
    Frank Windsor Frank Windsor - George Meakham
    Anne Stallybrass Anne Stallybrass - Emily Meakham
    Trudie Styler Trudie Styler - Liz Frances
    Jeremy Clyde Jeremy Clyde - Bill Mitchell
    Phyllis Logan Phyllis Logan - Kate Merrill
    Nicholas Farrell Nicholas Farrell - John Merrill (as Nick Farrell)
    Tom Eilenberg Tom Eilenberg - David Merrill
    Debbie Chazen Debbie Chazen - Anna Santarosa
    Betty Romani Betty Romani - Carla Constanza (as Betti Romani)
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