These images are used for review purposes and credit is due to Bentley Productions, ITV, all actors and crew. Thanks to Joan Street whose site midsomermurders.org/ proved to be a great resource.
Written in the Stars
It was another glorious English summer's day above the village of Midsomer in Midsomer County. Locals and astronomers gathered on Moonstone Ridge to observe a solar eclipse. During the darkness of the totality, the head of the local astronomy society is clubbed to death with a meteorite.
This is the start of another enthralling episode of Midsomer Murders. This wonderful homely British TV series is based on the novels of Caroline Graham. Written in the Stars, features clairvoyant and astrologer, Mags Dormer. Mags is implicated through her alleged predictions of this killing and of the other murders that follow in her column in the local newspaper, the Mercury.
Mystic Mags - caricature astrologer & clairvoyant
Mags, the astrologer/clairvoyant is played brilliantly by comedic actor, Maureen Lipman. In the story, she is styled as Mystic Mags in an obvious reference to Mystic Meg, journalist, newspaper psychic and entertainment astrologer. Lipman describes her character: "She wears floaty scarves, beads and bells, lots of purples and soft greens prettily arranged but with no originality."
Equinox Moon Calendar features!
Detective Inspector Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his assistant, DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) interview Mags as a suspect in their investigation. Mags' home is decorated with the props presumaly considered fitting for her role: armillary sphere, astrolabe and star spangled rugs. However, what was appropriate was an ephemeris, stacks of birth charts and the Equinox Moon Phase Calendar for 2012 (Northern Hemisphere) on the back of a cupboard door.
For the record ...
There were some minor errors.
The solar eclipse, which occurs at a New Moon, was apparently followed by a Full Moon the next day in the story line. This is impossible as there is a two week gap between the Lunations.
Also, Mystic Mags was a wonderful spoof character fulfilling the popular expectation of a typical eccentric astrologer. For the record, most astrologers are not clairvoyant,
they donít use pseudonyms and they do not predict personal events, most especially a murder. But who cares when it makes great entertainment? What is important and I hope this wonít spoil your viewing; the astrologer turns out to be a good person.
"I do believe in horoscopes and astrology - it's a bit like holistic medicine is to medicine, you have an interest in it. I feel there is more than we know in heaven and earth. The ancient Greeks believed in it, and wars have been fought on days predicted by the stars. But I admit that I read my horoscope and if it is a good one believe in it, but if it's a bad one I don't - I think we all do really!" ~ Maureen Lipman interviewed about the episode.
View the photo gallery covering the astrological content of "Written in the Stars" (2012)
Article by Robert Currey