Midsomer Murders (1997– )
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The Dark Rider 

The DeQuettevilles and the Fleetwoods have been enemies since the English Civil War. Now the DeQuettevilles are dying, each first seeing a headless horseman. Is the ancient feud to blame? Or is there a modern murderer at large?


Alex Pillai


Michael Aitkens (screenplay), Caroline Graham (characters)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Neil Dudgeon ... DCI John Barnaby
Jason Hughes ... DS Ben Jones
Fiona Dolman ... Sarah Barnaby
Tamzin Malleson ... Kate Wilding
Eleanor Bron ... Izzy DeQuetteville
James Callis ... Toby DeQuetteville / Julian DeQuetteville
Raquel Cassidy ... Diana DeQuetteville
Kerry Fox ... Betty DeQuetteville
William Gaunt ... Ludo DeQuetteville
Natalie Mendoza ... Sasha Fleetwood
Paul Ritter ... Harry Fleetwood
Murray Melvin ... Bentham DeQuetteville
James Clay ... Simon DeQuetteville
Louisa Clein ... Amanda Harding


As the aristocratic De Qutteville family prepares for a Civil war reenactment battle, elderly Bentham De Quetteville falls to his death from a roof after seeing a headless horseman. The family legend is that this is the ghost of ancestor Sir Geoffrey De Quetteville whose appearance spells death to those who encounter him. Reasonable Toby De Quetteville's first wife died after an apparent meeting with the spectre, a fact which traumatised his son Simon. Barnaby is sceptical until Toby's unpleasant twin Julian also dies after seeing the horseman. Toby's ambitious wife Betty, who will become lady of the manor if her father-in-law Ludo also dies, becomes a prime suspect, as do neighbouring couple the Fleetwoods, long involved in a land dispute with the De Quettevilles. Barnaby must decide which of them, or any other family member is committing murder whilst perpetuating the myth of the dark rider. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 February 2012 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Gaunt plays Ludo DeQuetteville in this episode. He previously played the role of Michael Bannerman in episode 7.5, Midsomer Murders: The Maid in Splendour (2004). See more »


[first lines]
Bentham DeQuetteville: Ge... Geoff... Geoffrey.
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Midsomer Murders
(Theme Song)
Written by Jim Parker
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User Reviews

the headless horseman
5 April 2016 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Written by one of MM's better scriptwriters, Michael Aitkins, "The Dark Rider," the opening of the 15th season, concerns a yearly re- enactment battle.

As the DeQuetteville family readies itself for the Civil war battle, Bentham De Qutteville falls from a roof after he spots a headless horseman. This follows the family legend that states this will happen during a Civil War reenactment. The headless horseman is the ghost of Sir Geoffrey De Quetteville, and his appearance means death to anyone who see him. Then Toby De Q's twin brother dies after seeing the horseman.

Barnaby is having a problem buying any of it - the horseman is on a gray horse, and no one seems to have one. But the death toll mounts.

Good episode, intriguing, and atmospheric. I'm still not nuts about John Barnaby. His wife was involved in the re-enactment, so it looks like they're trying to do what they did with Tom and Joyce, where she was often somehow involved with his case. Rather than doing that, they should have tried another direction - these two are not Tom and Joyce.

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