A battle of the sexes which has raged in the village of Broughton since the First World War comes to a head when aging feminist Mildred Danvers is found dead after returning to her childhood home. As DCI Barnaby investigates, the misogynist vicar Rev Gant is shot through the head during a traditional donkey race at the Skimmington Fayre. Is the killer on the side of the men or women - or do tragedies in Broughton's past hold the answer?
Out on a family excursion, accompanied by Joyce , daughter Cully and Joyce's mother, who is visiting, the Chief Inspector soon finds himself investigating the murder of Mildred Danvers, whose flask of brandy was apparently spiked with barbiturates. They were all there to attend the annual Skimmington Fayre, a decades-old village fête that essentially pitted the women against the men. There are several suspects including Henry Marwood who returned Danvers' flask to her but has lied to the police about it; the local Doctor who seems just a tad too quick to pronounce the death to be of natural causes; and the Rev. Anthony Gant who, in addition to being Mrs. Danvers' cousin, was also mounting a court action against the Skimmington women in a attempt to stop what he saw as the annual denigration of men. A second murder, this time from a target shooting rifle, clearly puts Barnaby and DS Jones in the middle of a major investigation. A third death leads to the discovery of hidden family connections and the solution to the mystery.
- John Nettles as DCI Tom Barnaby
- Jason Hughes as DC Ben Jones
- Jane Wymark as Joyce Barnaby
- Laura Howard as Cully Barnaby
- Barry Jackson as Dr. George Bullard
- Dominic Jephcott as Henry Marwood
- Joseph Kennedy as Roland Marwood
- Struan Rodger as Dr. O'Dowd
- Richard McCabe as Rev. Anthony Gant
- Shaughan Seymour as Archdeacon Able
- Andrew Hawkins as Alan
- Lloyd McGuire as Bob
- Lucy-Ann Holmes as Polly (as Lucy-Anne Holmes)
- Sian Thomas as Peggy Aynscombe
- Jessica Brooks as Fiona Aynscombe
- Ann Morrish as Mildred Danvers
- Sandra Voe as Lorna Hastings
- Hattie Ladbury as Cathy Hewlett
- Daphne Oxenford as Muriel
- John Snowden as Detective (uncredited)
Prior to the Episode
In the Episode
First World War Victims
- Aidred John S.
- Alexander Paul G.
- Aynscombe John W.
- Aynscombe George W.
- Aynscombe William G.
- Aynscombe Peter G.
- Aynscombe Frank W.
- Aynscombe Ernest W.
- Aynscombe John C.
- Aynscombe Gregory G.
- Bathhurst Harold E.
- Broome Simon H.
Victims of the Marwood Manor Fire
In 1960 august the 15th at the Marwood Manor there was a terrible accident. A fire started, killing almost everyone that was inside.
The People who died in the Fire
- Richard Henry Marwood (aged 45 years)
- Elizabeth Ann Marwood (aged 37 years)
- George Richard Marwood (aged 9 years)
- Montagu Henry Marwood (aged 67 years)
- Catherine Elizabeth Marwood (aged 56 years)
- Henry Edward Marwood (aged 61 years)
- Elizabeth Marwood (aged 58 years)
- Frederick Hastings (aged 36 years)
- The real Henry Marwood (aged 1 or 4 years)
- Dorothy Sairfield (aged 28 years)
- Harold Sairfield (aged 32 years)
The following actors and actresses who appeared in this episode have also appeared in the following episodes