Midsomer Murders (1997– )
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Ghosts of Christmas Past 

0:57 | Trailer
Nine years after Ferdy Villers killed himself, his family reunites for Christmas, unaware that someone is out for revenge.


Renny Rye


David Hoskins (screenplay), Caroline Graham (characters)



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
John Hopkins John Hopkins ... Sergeant Dan Scott
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Laura Howard ... Cully Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr Bullard
Haydn Gwynne ... Jennifer Carter
Margery Mason Margery Mason ... Lydia Villiers
Bruce Alexander ... Dominic Jones
Mel Martin ... Kate Frears
Philip Quast ... Ross Villiers
William Chubb William Chubb ... Digby Frears
Alice Patten ... Emily Hide
Dominic Colenso Dominic Colenso ... Aidan Carter
Rory Copus ... Howard Frears
Lydia Leonard ... Phoebe Frears


With his parents-in-law visiting for the holidays, DCI Barnaby is almost relieved to be called out when Lydia Villiers claims she was pushed down the staircase. When she dies, the police have a possible murder case on their hands. The Villiers family has re-united for Christmas including a long lost brother, Ross, but there are many secrets in the house. One subject that is not talked about much is the suicide of one of the siblings, Ferdie, nine years previously. Several of the young adults in the house, children when their uncle took his life, have memories of the incident. When the police learn that Ferdie's fiancée also committed suicide soon after his death, they have a better understanding of who might be seeking revenge. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 December 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghosts of Christmas Past See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs




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Did You Know?


Haydn Gwynne plays Jennifer Carter in this episode. She returns in episode 14.2, Midsomer Murders: Dark Secrets (2011), in the role of Maggie Viviani. See more »


On the tombstone of the magician's assistant, the name is Claire. In the credits, the name is Clare. See more »


[first lines]
Jennifer Carter: All right, let's see if this'll stay up this time, unlike last year. Will you check the mince pies? I want to get the brandy butter done in plenty of time.
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Features Dead of Night (1945) See more »


Midsomer Murders
(Theme Song)
Written by Jim Parker
Performed by Celia Sheen
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User Reviews

Dysfunctionals on parade
21 October 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

It's Christmas again, and this time, the Barnaby family is having visitors - his in-laws. Fortunately or unfortunately, Sergeant Scott calls in with a murder. A elderly woman, Lydia Villiers, claims that she was pushed down the stairs, though others in the house think she accidentally fell. She was also almost gassed in the garage. I'd say there's a problem.

When she dies, the police think it's murder and investigate. The family, what's left of them, have gotten together for Christmas. As Barnaby learns, there are lots of hidden problems in the family, stemming from the suicide of one brother, Ferdie, nine years earlier. The younger adults in the house were children when it happened and they remember it. Barnaby then learns that not only did Ferdie commit suicide, but his fiancée did as well.

A deep mystery indeed where the murderer has a hidden motive. Very good and atmospheric, including a showing of "Dead of Night" on British television during the show. That's enough to give any story atmosphere.

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