The Killings at Badger's Drift is the pilot episode of the popular ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders and was originally broadcast on 23rd March 1997.


The episode 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 into the woods one sunny afternoon, she never expected to see what she did. Something she was never meant to see and that meant she had to be silenced. DCI Barnaby and DS Troy arrived in the village of Badger's Drift to discover an array of eccentric characters all with their own sinister agendas. And does the murder have anything to do with a shooting at the local manor that happened one year ago?


When gentle spinster Emily Simpson is murdered in her own home in 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, is unconvinced that Miss Simpson died of natural causes, she voices her suspicions. Suspects include Iris and Dennis Rainbird, the Lessiter family, which includes Trevor, the local GP, his wife Barbara, and daughter Judith . Other persons of interest are Henry Trace, the landowner and is engaged to young Katherine Lacey; his estate manager is David Whitely, Katherine's artist brother Michael, and Phyllis Cadell. Barnaby also learns of the shooting of Henry's first wife Bella almost two years ago.



Body Count

Prior to the Episode

In the Episode

Supporting Cast

Episodes images





DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Gavin Troy arrive at the crime scene, Emily Simpson's house. They get out of the car.
DS Gavin Troy: This is it here, sir.
DCI Tom Barnaby (ironically): Really, Troy?! I'd never have guessed.



As DCI Barnaby and DS Troy are leaving Lucy Bellringer's house, they are approached by Dennis Rainbird about taking Mrs Simpson's body due to him being an undertaker
Dennis Rainbird: I was wondering if I could take her ... the deceased.
DCI Tom Barnaby: Oh, I'm afraid that won't be possible for a little while.
Dennis Rainbird (with a bit of excitement): Oh. So you do suspect some naughtiness. (takes his right hand to his neck) It was her neck, I understand.
DS Gavin Troy: Who told you that?
Dennis Rainbird: Oh, come on. Everyone knows by now. It's that sort of village.
DS Gavin Troy (irritated): Well, you can't have the body yet. All right?!... (looks at him disgusted and with a fake smile) Sir?!
Dennis Rainbird (to Barnaby): Oh. I see you've got a right constable there. You let me know when you're ready for me.



The following actors and actresses from the pilot episode of the series have appeared in subsequent episodes:

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