Midsomer Murders 1 & 2

Friday, 03 April 2009 09:32

Am I the only person on the planet who until yesterday has not seen Midsomer Murders? Where have I been? At least I have not been in Midsomer, as no one is safe there. Midsomer is an area with many small villages where the residents seem to have murder in mind all the time. Perhaps the series has now finished after over a decade of murder and intrigue because everyone has either been murdered or arrested.

Only the pilot episode “The Killings at Badger’s Drift”, which aired on 23 March 1997, was available for review but it certainly kept us glued to the screen. We are introduced to DCI Thomas Barnaby (John Nettles-Bergerac) and his rather dim witted sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) as they piece together the events that lead up to the murder of Emily Simpson, an elderly resident of the village of Badger’s Drift. Barnaby is a very calm and collected character.

Midsomer Murders 1 and 2He has a stable family life, we see him start several meals with his wife and daughter, although he never quite finishes any of them. It is normal practice to have the lead detective in this genre with a troubled background but in Barnaby we have a man without any outside worries, which is refreshing.

The pace is steady but not too slow, it ticks along gently enough to keep you interested, and dropping in new clues and murders throughout to keep you guessing. There is nothing too gruesome visually, although there are some lines of the script that come close to the mark but we can forgive that.

The guest stars in the pilot alone are good, including, Julian Glover (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, amongst many others), Renee Asherson (Tenko) and the village’s chief curtain twitcher is played with just enough snootiness by Elizabeth Spriggs (Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People).

Guest stars in other episodes include Richard Briers (The Good Life), Michele Dotrice (Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) and Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great and Small).

Having only seen the pilot episode I am intrigued to try more and believe this would be a series I would enjoy watching time and again. It is not difficult to watch and if not to your own taste would make a great present for any fan of murder mystery series.  This box set would sit quite nicely with Poirot and Miss Marple as well as the more contemporary Morse. And any fan of John Nettles who has space next to Bergerac should not miss out on this. Barnaby is a fair step from Jersey’s top detective but is still played with enthusiasm and aplomb.

Special features include a biography of the writer Caroline Graham and cast filmographies and production notes.

Midsomer Murders The Complete Series One and Two is released on 6 April 2009, running Time 908 mins approx, with a RRP of £59.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com


Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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