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Midsomer Murders: Set 15

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 25-04-2010


WHAT EVIL LURKS BEYOND THE WELL-TRIMMED HEDGES OF MIDSOMER… The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mysteries. Inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, the series stars John Nettles (Bergerac) as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, with Jason Hughes (This Life) as his earnest, efficient protégé, Detective Sergeant Ben Jones. Guest … More >>

Midsomer Murders: Set 15

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Comments (5)

While I am thrilled that in 2010 Acorn is giving us an extra release of Midsomer Murders, I am disappointed that the second set of the year only includes three episodes:

Ep. 60 Shot at Dawn (or. broadcast Jan 1, 08)

Ep. 61 Blood Wedding (or. broadcast Jul 6, 08)

Ep. 62 Left For dead (or. broadcast Jul 20, 08)

Which means in the US we are still running two years behind the original broadcast. Still, the consolation is that in Blood Wedding we finally get to see Cully marry her Simon. And as a special treat, there is a guest appearance from Gavin Troy (Barnaby’s original sidekick)! I think the series did loose a little heart and humour with Gavin’s departure and I will be very happy to see this character return, if only for one episode.

A side note: August 19th, 2010 will be John Nettles’ last day of filming on Midsomer Murders. His run as Barnaby will end with episode 82, likely not due in the US until 2013, ghhrr… Reportedly, DS Ben Jones and Dr Bullard are staying on. ITV is mum on who is replacing Nettles, though wild rumours are circulating that it could even possibly be a she, rather then a he…

UPDATE (Feb 10, 2010): Nettles’ replacement has finally been revealed. I have included the details in Set 16 review.

PS: For those new to this British masterpiece, Midsomer Murders is a long running “who done it”, based on the novels of Caroline Graham, starring John Nettles (of the Bergerac fame) as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. The series is set in the fictional Misomer County, which comprises of many cosy, rural villages, where wealthy and poor alike seem to do each other in at an average rate of three to four bodies per episode. The series has a worldwide following, not in the least due to the creative and macabre ways in which the MM victims are typically dispatched.

Rating: 5 / 5

I too have been frustrated that US release of many Brit series lags way behind actual production and British airing. Midsomer Murders and Inspector Lewis are what, 2 or 3 years before you can buy the dvd, though they air in many areas on PBS stations. You can get them all on disc long before general availablity by purchasing them from amazon.co.uk. Yes they are Region 2 discs which will not work in your region 1 player, but a Region FREE player can be bought from Amazon.com (that’s right .com right here in USA) for under $50. Then at Amazon.co.uk a vast array of dvd product (Judge John Deed, Peak Practice, to name a couple and lots more) which we anglophiles and perhaps anglos as well hunger for is available in many cases at a much better price than here and shipping just isn’t that much more. I have a nice stock on hand for when we are between netflix arrivals and when the very latest Midsomer Murders or Inspector Lewis is out.

I have heard that when John Nettles retires from this series that Midsomer Murders will continue with some old cast and a new lead detective. If it can be done as classily as the producers have managed “Lewis” (or “Inspector Lewis” in the USA) as a follow on to Morse then we can have something to look forward to. But who will she be?
Rating: 5 / 5

UPDATE: This DVD set not only has the 3 episode presentations, very well done, as always, but it has a bonus disc “Super Sleuths,” a documentary about the show’s first decade which is quite interesting and welcome to even the most avid of fans. The bonus disc is a duplicate for anyone who has purchased the 17 mystery super box of “MIDSOMER MURDERS: BARNABY’S CASEBOOK”. That set had two bonus discs and Super sleuths is one of those. For those buying this series one set at a time, the bonus disc will be a delightful added feature to your Midsomer Murders entertainment. So…Set 15 is a 4-disc pack, not 3. A value, and the episodes are suspensefully death-defying.


Midsomer Murders has a proven record and will provide any British mystery lover with appealing entertainment. True also for British murder or British crime seekers. This series is at the top of its genre.

Rampant, unstoppable murder in one county, mystifyingly delicious making it comparable to Poirot and Foyle’s War. DCI Barnaby (John Nettles) has taken on the fictional Midsomer County murder abundance, some call it massacre, since 1997 and this set offers more. Multiple killing chaos is the norm in Midsomer. But you’ll be booking a flight to London (filming done in rural hamlets just outside London) to have tea with scones in the green of some village, excitedly waiting for the next bludgeoning murder (always solved).

Regulars lighten the murder storyline with homespun gentleness, some comedy through expressions, statements, and unusual additions to crime scenes.

Show guest stars make episode a fresh and dynamic. With every episode, predicting Who Dun It? is impossible. Just try!

Multiple murders in every episode are a trademark, intended from the very beginning, by the writers/producers to make Midsomer Murders unique even by British standards. No foul language issues, but plenty of good family murder mystery–the murder is almost never seen, just the moments up to the kill, and then of course the body. How many ways can a person be murdered? Midsomer keeps finding new ones. Part of the humor, actually, is the excessive number of murders in a lovely rural/village setting that could count dastardly deaths per sq. ft. But the delightful setting, sets, scenic environment is enticing, drawing you into enjoyment of yet another murder. The set is comparable to “Foyles War: Series 1-5 Dunkirk to VE-Day” (see my review) with comedy, scenery, and murder spoof replacing the home-front history famous in Foyle’s murder mysteries.

A Midsomer Murder is like a travelogue, but better. You’ll want to set yourself down in a town green, at a location like Badger’s Wood, and sip tea in quality china, just waiting on a few body parts to drop from the sky. No the writers are much to cleaver for such a simple murder as that. This series was based on books by novelist Caroline Graham, but have gone beyond those book without loosing the flavor in the continuing productions of this series. There are many yet to see the DVD light of day. How will it ever end, if it will? Barnaby discovering his own murder, killed twice? Then who will find justice for him?
Rating: 5 / 5

As of March 2010 the American releases of this wonderful series are running behind the UK by nine episodes. You can buy these great shows now from Amazon UK at about the same price including the shipping.Why wait over a year for the US release?

Actor Neil Dudgeon will be the new “Inspector John Barnaby” when John Nettles retires. Yes the character is cousin to Tom Barnaby.Maybe some of those new series will be released here by 2015.
Rating: 5 / 5

What a shame to see a first class detective series run out of gas, capitulating to the low standards of contemporary television. Here we encounter vomiting, nudity, simulated sex, excessive violence (Want to see an old lady be killed with the world’s largest hatpin? Want to see every act of violence repeated in case you came in late?), and several actors who seem to be on loan from daytime soaps. The box trumpets the capitulation, quoting from the San Francisco Chronicle: “The British rural version of Law & Order.”

No doubt this seemed necessary: star John Nettles is noticeably getting on in years, as is Jane Wymark, playing his wife. (Why is she given such unflattering wardrobes throughout the series and given lines that make her seem increasingly shrewish?) With almost all television geared to the 14-year-old male, the people in charge of the series apparently felt compelled to fall in line. Alas, the extraordinary charm, marvelous casting, and delightful plots of earlier years have disappeared. Arguably, “Blood Wedding” hits a series low. In short, buyer beware…and enjoy the first 14 sets.

Rating: 2 / 5

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