In Fires in the Fall Charlie intends to prove that noted medium Raoul Barnaby is a charlatan and wants Jim and Susan to attend a private seance he has organised.
Meanwhile Susan thinks Lil might be interested in an old property on the island that may or may not be haunted. The property has a big impact on Susan and later at the end of the episode puts her life in danger when a message from Peggy for Jim to meet her at Lil’s Place leads to crossed wires. He thinks she means the nightclub – she means the new, spooky house.
At the seance things get out of hand, the events seeming too real for Charlie. Barnaby seems to have some kind of fit and after he comes round Charlie discovers strange markings carved into his expensive table. Susan, meanwhile, has seen the markings before – in the attic at the house she was showing Lil. Elderly Roberta Jardine, a guest at the seance and a patron of Barnaby’s, is convinced he is genuinely in touch with the world beyond.
The things Barnaby comes out with during his trance like state seem to point to a series of strange unsolved deaths many years before, including one of a young girl. All of the deaths involved fire. When the story becomes front page news (thanks to a publicity hungry Barnaby) Crozier tells Jim to reopen the case. Things get murkier when the death of Roberta Jardine sparks a series of new murders.
Fires in the Fall heads straight into Ghost Story for Christmas territory. The series had toyed with the paranormal in season four episode What Dreams May Come but here heads full on into the genre. By the end of the episode though we are back in a more traditional crime drama area. Although to be fair the final comment from Jim does leave things somewhat open ended.
Kim makes a rare appearance here and she is now a proper teenager.
The excellent guest stars include the always good value Donald Churchill, Margaretta Scott best known for her role as Mrs Pumphrey in All Creatures Great and Small, Amanda Redman, Ron Pember and the great Barrie Ingham as medium Barnaby.
UK / BBC One / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast 26 December 1986 at 8.30pm
Writer: Chris Boucher / Production Design: Ken Ledsham / Director: Tom Clegg
Series: Bergerac Special One Broadcast Between Seasons Four and Five
John Nettles as Jim Bergerac
Terence Alexander as Charles Hungerford
Barrie Ingham as Raoul Bamaby
Amanda Redman as Pauline Taylor
Margaretta Scott as Roberta Jardine
Louise Jameson as Susan Young
Sean Arnold as Crozier
Donald Churchill as David Mackenzie
Paul Brooke as Malcolm Croxted
Ron Pember as Jack Plemont
Deborah Grant as Deborah
Mela White as Diamante Lil
Geoffrey Leesley as Det Con Wilson
Jolyon Baker as Det Con Goddard
Nancy Mansfield as Peggy Masters
Lindsay Heath asKim Bergerac
Jim McManus as Filing clerk
Tony Westrope as Jeavons
Nicholas McArdle as Doctor
Guy Standeven as Vicar