Midsomer Murders (1997– )
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Master Class 

A gifted young pianist with emotional issues is in competition with other young talents for a scholarship in a prestigious private musical academy.


Renny Rye


Nicholas Martin (screenplay), Caroline Graham (based on characters by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Nettles ... DCI Tom Barnaby
Jason Hughes ... DS Ben Jones
Jane Wymark ... Joyce Barnaby
Barry Jackson ... Dr Bullard
Kirsty Dillon ... DC Gail Stephens
Michael Maloney ... Simon Sharpe
Katherine Press ... Francesca Sharpe
Lydia Wilson ... Zoe Stock
Ian Puleston-Davies ... Terry Stock
Janet Dibley Janet Dibley ... Dawn Stock
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Miriam Fielding
Frances Barber ... Constance Fielding
James Fox ... Sir Michael Fielding
Matthew James Thomas ... Orlando Guest
Richard Fleeshman ... Benedict Marsh


Teen-aged Zoe Stock, a brilliant pianist, is attending a music school run by the Fielding family when she believes she sees a woman drown herself in the river, having left her baby on the bank. When the police arrive there is nothing to support her claim but Barnaby recalls that a mystery woman died in identical circumstances eighteen years earlier. Her body was found by Catholic priest Father Gregory, outside whose church an attempt is made to kill Zoe. A lucrative prize awaits the young musician adjudged the best by the Fieldings and it is assumed that another student is responsible. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 October 2010 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bentley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs





Aspect Ratio:

16:9 widescreen
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Did You Know?


Tristram Wymark who plays Gordon Pope is the brother of Jane Wymark who plays Barnaby,s wife. See more »


[first lines]
Dawn Stock: I'm sorry to bother you, but how many students make it through to the next round?
Joyce Barnaby: It's usually a dozen for the winter school, and then three are chosen for the master class.
Dawn Stock: Thank you.
[to daughter]
Dawn Stock: Good luck, darling.
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Mademoiselle from Armentières
Traditional tune
Performed by Crowd in Pub
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User Reviews

A classic
9 October 2010 | by james_89See all my reviews

Talented piano student Zoe Stock has won a place at the Devington winter school taught by celebrated pianist Sir Michael Fielding. By the river in the grounds of the manor she sees a woman abandon a baby on the banks and jump in. Zoe tries to help but the current is too strong. The woman drowns and her body vanishes.

With no body and no baby, just gut instinct, DCI Barnaby is convinced Zoe saw something. His suspicions are confirmed when a hooded figure tries to kill Zoe at a nearby abbey. Soon after, Barnaby does have very real dead bodies as he struggles to solve what will become the most disturbing case of his career, and prevent others falling victim to the killer.

Well, what a story! I was beginning to think the series has lost it, but this sort of episode proves there's life in the old dog yet! All the producers need to do is hire the right script writers and the series can go on indefinitely! Unfortunately though, one brilliant episode once in a blue moon doesn't bode well for the series.

Master Class, by Nicholas Martin, is packed full of intrigue, twists and turns, subtle humour (not pantomime as has been the case recently) and a solution to the mystery that is genuinely horrific. Also, there are some brilliant actors in this one, who after reading the script must have really wanted to be a part of it. Lydia Wilson, who plays Zoe, i suspect is a name to watch out for. She's a star in the making.

Not only one of the best for years but one of the best ever.

Note to producers: Keep Nicholas Martin as a regular writer. He's a genius! And get rid of the dead wood!

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