Nothing is as it seems behind the well-trimmed hedges of the picturesque cottages in the idyllic English county of Midsomer. Beneath the tranquil surface of sleepy village life exist dark secrets, scandals and downright evil. John Nettles stars as the humorous, thoughtful and methodical Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. When violent criminal George Ince and his associate Jed Norris are employed as security guards at Midsomer Magna Manor where a production of 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' is being filmed, Barnaby and Jones suspect they are planning an inside job. After attending a dinner at the Manor the body of the film's director, Nick Cheney, is found decapitated on the set. Barnaby and Jones are called in to investigate.