Midsomer Murders (TV Series 1997– ) Poster

(1997– )

User Reviews

Review this title
111 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
"Wonderful series which gets full of mileage out of the rural setting!"
jamesraeburn20033 November 2003
The cases of Chief Inspector Barnaby, a respectable middle-aged family man and a good old fashioned copper and his young sergeant Gavin Troy who is rather touchy and immature and is always jumping to conclusions during investigations. All of the duo's cases take place in the picturesque yet fictional county of Midsomer which must have the highest death rate anywhere in the world!

This highly popular detective series was first aired on 23 March 1997 when the pilot episode "The Killings At Badgers Drift" was transmitted. ITV announced it as a one off film but it was very successful with figures in the region of 13.5 million viewers, and the film won the Best Drama Award that year. The film was based on the 1987 novel by Caroline Graham which was regarded by the Crime Writers' Association as being one of the Top 100 crime novels of all time. The initial series which followed was based on Graham's other four Inspector Barnaby novels, these were "Written In Blood", "Death Of A Hollow Man", "Death In Disguise" and "Faithful Unto Death". Having filmed the majority of Graham's novels featuring Barnaby (A Place Of Safety & Ghost In The Machine have not been filmed as yet) the producers turned to other writers to provide new stories for the subsequent five series. These have included contributions from prolific and accomplished writers such as Anthony Horowitz ("Agatha Christie's Poirot"), Douglas Watkinson ("The Professionals", "Boon", "Emmerdale") and Christopher Russell ("The Bill", "Cadfael"). In the past six years since it made its debut on British television there has been nearly thirty episodes and there is no hint of the series finishing yet. The series is notable in that it has brought John Nettles back to prime time TV after the "Bergerac" series finished in 1993. In this series he played Sergeant Bergerac, a Jersey copper fighting alcoholism and has had uncomfortable relationships with several girlfriends, a role far removed from that of Inspector Barnaby.

The first episode of the seventh series entitled "The Green Man" was aired on 2 November 2003. Daniel Casey who plays Sergeant Troy has left the series. The character has been promoted to Inspector and is leaving Midsomer to take up a position in Newcastle. John Nettles will have a new sidekick in John Hopkins as Sergeant Scott who will be introduced when the remainder of the series is broadcast in January 2004.

"Midsomer Murders" is a wonderful series, although like many long running series, it has occasionally fallen below it's own standard in that the ideas for new plots sometimes becomes strained after so many episodes. The characters are rich and well realised by first class actors and it gets full mileage out of it's rural setting. Guest stars have included Alan Howard (the nephew of Leslie Howard) and Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny in all the James Bond films since "Goldeneye"). The quality of this series to my mind is that it should make it to the big screen someday. There would be no need to change anything as all the ingredients for a good cinema feature are there already. These days most of the quality stuff is on the small screen and a lot of mediocre stuff is lumbered on our picture houses.

It has been announced that John Nettles will be quitting the show after playing Inspector Barnaby for twelve-years since the show made its debut. However, he will still be seen in it until 2011 and it looks very much like the show will still continue very much in the manner of other TV shows such as Taggart and McCallam, which carried on without their title characters.
102 out of 106 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Understated, witty and intelligent
Sebastian_Crawford21 August 2004
This shows tongue is so far into its cheek it's a wonder there's not been a serious rupture!

From the outset back in 1997 there has never been a moment that we were meant to take too seriously - but we do! Every time a new feature length episode is announced we sit, gripped, for 2hrs stifling chuckles not because it's "so bad it's good" but because it's "so good it's wicked!".

It has inspired letters to The Times newspaper ("Joyce Barnaby - Britain's most elusive serial killer?") and made those of us that live in chocolate box villages feel like locking our back doors at night (just in case).

"Midsomer Murders" is a gleeful repost to the plethora of "gritty" and "realistic" crime shows. Long may the death toll rise....
137 out of 145 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
PhilippaS13 June 2005
This series is TV at it's best. The plots are full of twists and turns, none of the predictable formula plots of the American hour long dramas. The attention to detail is extraordinary, from the costumes, the cottage interiors to the whiskers on a character's face. One of the pleasures of watching a British drama, such as this one, is the quality of the acting. The actors are not chosen for their flawless white smiles or their silicon enhanced bodies but for their acting talents. The scenery and the quaint English villages are idyllic but underneath the seven deadly sins fester. The viewer can enjoy piecing together the clues to uncover the main villain but it is also fun to guess who is going to be the next victim. It is one of the few TV offerings that my husband and I can watch and enjoy together.
106 out of 112 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another take on the series
pegd-130 November 2005
At about the third episode, I realized that at least three murders had to be committed before Barnaby and Troy got the killer. The more I watched, it seemed that the entire series is really a subtle spoof of the English detective mystery genre, that is Country English. The series captures the beautiful countryside, these lovely villages, the wellington boots, the country architecture and interior decor, all to perfection. And underneath it all seethes the violence, greed, sexual anomalies and jealousy of a country village. Reality in rural England has got to be much different, I hope. The murder rate is astronomical in this Midsomer part of England! And poor Barnaby and Troy. They plod along until the killer just about leaps into their hands. I thoroughly enjoy it all and have my chuckles throughout the episode. The local library recently purchased 10 episodes. I still have one to watch.

Margaret, an avowed Anglophile
61 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
John Nettles - excels as the gentleman cop.
johnmbale6 October 2006
John Nettles plays the perfect detective as Chief Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders, unlike so many other British Dicks he doesn't have a problem with the bottle, family hassles at home, nor is he unhappily single and suffering manic depression. Not only that his diction is near perfect and he has the stiff upper lip so necessary in rural England when murders are more common than haystacks. Teamed up with a new sidekick DC Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) resembling the much put upon Sgt. Lewis of Inspector Morse fame.

The series also has the advantage of using some of the best character actors available, for example Simon Callow, and reasonably well written plots that hold interest. Although usually a number of people get dispatched before our Barnaby can nab the culprit he gets his man in the end. But that's life in the villages. Better than average production values and consistency of performance by the main cast members keeps this show top of the list. A pleasant change from the plethora of cheesy forensic investigations headed up by gorgeous female doctors brandishing scalpels over deceased body parts.
69 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Light hearted fun
jacileblanc22 February 2015
I really appreciate this show.No, it's not a really serious dramatic murder mystery but it's FUN to watch. I get all comfortable in my chair and it's like a mini vacation. I settle into my chair with a nice cup of tea and I'm transported to some English village, a manor, a farm, a pub and it's a slow unravelling. By the time the shows done, I have formed bonds with the locals of the episode. I mean does it get better than this? I don't want noise and car chases and all seriousness or over the top smut. This is wry and dry and just the ticket. It's light but the characters are wonderful and although the stories aren't going to make your eyes pop when the murderer is discovered, you don't care. It's the getting there that's such a good time. I will watch this over and over.
33 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Purely escapist fun
bridget-1323 August 2004
The series is set in idyllic English countryside with beautiful villages and archetypical inhabitants. It's fun to watch as Barnaby and Troy are amusing, the stories are fairly good and they are a pleasant break from the hard and gripping detective shows that leave a nasty taste in the mouth. The stories are not demanding, police procedure is appalling, we all know England is not like this, but if you want an enjoyable show with a detective story, I recommend it.
74 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Perhaps my favorite British mystery
boltar46924 June 2011
Morse (and latterly Lewis), Jane Tennyson, Frost, Dalgleish, Lynley, to name just the more or less modern-day British detectives - my wife and I love them all, thanks to PBS' Masterpiece Theater over the years. But many of these folks have been written with serious personal problems of one sort of another. Midsomer is delightful both for its gently humorous picture of English village life and for the wise old philosopher king, DCI Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles. His character brings considerable intelligence, patience and humor to the job of teaching a succession of junior officers how to avoid jumping to conclusions - and while he doesn't get to spend as much time as he'd like to with his lovely family, the show mostly avoids the dysfunctional-family issues that beset many policemen in most places.

We haven't seen half enough of Midsomer in the US (BBC America's Monday Night Mystery show is (sob!) long gone and Masterpiece doesn't completely specialize in mysteries though I see Poirot is back just now). I am therefore, now that I've invested in a Roku box, delighted to see that the show is still in production and that a huge number of episodes we haven't seen are online. We're taking the series in order at the moment so it might be a while before we see the current DCI Barnaby - I expect we'll go out of sequence at some point to meet him.

We looked up Midsomer just expecting to find and re-watch some old episodes, like "The Killings at Badger's Drift" which we watched last night. Finding such a wealth of stuff we haven't seen out there is wonderful! One does sort of wonder how Midsomer (like Morse's Oxford and Marple's St Mary Mead) retains any live people as some episodes lose characters at an Italian-renaissance-court pace.

Happy happy. 10 out of 10.
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Grew on me
ladybug25356 May 2016
I've been binge-watching (unintentionally--I accidentally got hooked) on N*tfl*x and am now on season 12. My appreciation for this show has only grown; which leads me to substantially increase my rating from the first season or two. FYI: yes, while thankfully not too hard to understand here, there is closed-captioning.

Why I've grown to like this show so much: While the initial season or two were rife with annoying stereotypes, as the show matured, so did the characters. Barnaby, the lead, is a nice change from the sometimes deranged, immature and annoying detectives so popular on American television today. He's a laid back intelligent fellow, with a stable marriage and a lovely grown daughter with ambitions of her own. It's also a nice change for a detective show to not rely on any ongoing marital or family strife as a prop for ramping up tension and drama. Any marital spats here are realistically mild and short-lived (except for the first season or so, when Joyce (his charmingly age-appropriate wife) too often complains about his frequent and justified absences during "family" moments--that was irritating, as any cop's spouse--or doctor's spouse, or fireman's spouse, would know that is part of the job; especially in a rural district with low staff numbers. I realize I'm over thinking this, but I'm glad they dropped that trope relatively early, regardless). As of season 12 Joyce is secure in her relationship with Barnaby and a woman with an active life outside of her marriage. This is a healthy relationship with mutual support and affection. Such a nice change from the usual. His "sidekicks" have also matured and grown more believable.

Even better, the show has improved the mysteries and interjected a bit more dry and appropriate humor. The Barnaby of season 12 is a confident and relaxed, seasoned detective. Sure of himself and his team(unlike many shows of this ilk); willing to let others do the heavy lifting--far more realistic than an older lead detective charging off after a younger suspect--and even let someone else take the lead. By season 12 Barnaby is secure in his position and has nothing to prove to his superiors; he's good at his job without being a rigid moralistic crusader, and everyone knows it. Despite the fact that he despises office politics, he's an active part of a functioning team, and the other characters are also allowed to change, grow and mature, with character arcs that realistically portray their growing knowledge and confidence--and promotions.

Another thing I really like about the program (and for me a major point of appreciation for British programming in general) is that many of the characters are middle aged or elderly. The cast is composed of actors and actresses that look age-appropriate and like real people. These are not Hollywood plasticized, Botoxed and sanitized versions of the middle-aged or elderly. Victims and villains, and even those having romantic affairs look like ordinary people-in some cases very attractive ordinary people, but people with prominent laugh lines and even (gasp) gray hair. People with character. Senior citizens are actively having love affairs and sexual encounters and no one is acting shocked at their age (except perhaps a spouse or two, or maybe their grandchildren); and the writers don't treat it like a joke.

This show rarely makes any note about how old anyone is when they are getting up to whatever they are doing--except perhaps in admiration. What a breathe of fresh air! You do not have to suspend disbelief to accept that actor as the father of that middle aged child, or that one as the middle aged parent of that teenager, or that those people are actually married to each other and have been for 30 or 40 years, or that person was active in WWII, etc. Given some of the mysteries go back to something that happened decades or even generations before, casting age-appropriate actors matters a great deal, even if it didn't seem like an obvious thing to do anyway. (On a social level, it also demonstrates a much greater acceptance of aging and flaws in appearance. You can be attractive even with wrinkles and a saggy bum. An attitude we'd do well to emulate). Midsomer's murder demographic definitely skews older than we would assume from similar American programming. I like that very much.

Overall a very enjoyable program with interesting and believable characters (if you can get past the first season or so) and great actors. Usually not the most challenging of mysteries, but entertaining. The quality or challenge of those mysteries can vary. In general the audience is given the same knowledge as the Detectives, so in that regard there are few "cheats" (I can't stand mystery shows that cheat their audiences; leaving out crucial information that only the sleuth knows). Most of the time the Detectives spell out their logic (sometimes as the show progresses, but usually at the end) in figuring out the murderer's identity and/or the murderer's motive. Once we know the facts and follow the Detective's logic, it makes sense--if you haven't already solved the mystery on your own.
22 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Midsomer Murders, fittingly English
xboy61415 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I always call this program, very English. When I was a teenager remember watching Sergeant Troy with his notebook and the people getting murdered. Watching Inspector Barnaby and his Sergeant, Troy, Scott or Jones, work out Who killed Who in the Small villages in the made County of Midsomer. There is a slight humor to the series. All about the Barnaby family sitting down and eating dinner and happily talking after people getting slaughtered, sometimes right in front of them! But the series is all very good and nice, something you can make a hot chocolate and sit down with. A refreshment from all the gritty American Crime Dramas. Midsomer Murders tops them all with good English actors, nice settings and the humor of the script.
14 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A superb mystery series
skoyles13 November 2009
Made with intelligence and style, "Midsomer Murders" is a police procedural mystery series of great charm. John Nettles projects a strength and purpose perfectly suited to the role of DCI Barnaby. His sergeants are all more than acceptable. The DCI's family life is refreshingly normal. The criticism that was levelled against "Murder She Wrote" that Jessica Fletcher must have attracted so much crime that she would have been imprisoned finds its parallel in Midsomer County being "the bloodiest county in England". Such criticisms miss the whole point - these are a wonderful escape from normal life to a place that should be avoided like the plague. Not only are the plots good but the natural qualities of the acting, the sense of scene and the very English sense of humour make the series excellent: well worth watching as long as you can enjoy some of the nastiest folk you will ever meet. Everyone but Barnaby and family and his assistants are screamingly nasty. Enjoy the series and be glad you do not live in Midsomer!
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tasteful, funny, wonderfully acted detective stories
ginamalke21 February 2003
I discovered the "Midsomer Murders" 2 years ago. In Argentina they are shown on Hallmark Channel, and in this case I don't mind their repetitive programming, because I've become so totally addicted to the episodes that I watch them every time they are on, twice , four, five times....(middle age is creeping up on me, so sometimes I tend to forget who dunit) Wonderful entertainment, great actors down to the smallest role (remember Phyllida Law and John Nettles getting high on pot cookies??? Hilarious!!!) - which goes to show that the British are unsurpassed in the art of solid ,tasteful and funny TV crime fare. I hope we get new episodes like the ones last year and that Hallmark keeps showing them, like other British crime series, too. Malke Schmiedeberg
50 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Midsomer Murders - An Interesting one to Watch !!
shadhana_mano17 April 2006
Hi Everyone,

I have watched some four to five episodes of Midsomer Murders recently and I am looking forward to watch more of those.I really enjoyed the way the story was moving.The Characters of Tom Barnaby and Seargent Troy were amazing.Midsomer takes the viewers to the old England.Those village sceneries were really splendid.I really wonder whether those villages still exist in England as most parts of England had been urbanized.John Nettles has done his part well according to the character.And so is Daniel Casey.I am very much eager to watch the other stories of Midsomer Murders as well.One Important thing which i really liked the most and because of which i was able to sit and watch the whole movie without changing the movie channel is that there were only few scenes that depicts vulgarity in the movie.I really Appreciate the person who has taken it in this manner and has given life to the Midsomer series. And last but not the least One cannot forget the tile Music.It is an everlasting one.

Finally My Heartiest Compliments for all those actors who have made this really an interesting one to watch.

Regards M.Sadana
30 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
enjoyable, guilty pleasure
xylokopos13 January 2010
Midsommer Murders is the very definition of a guilty pleasure: it delivers a thoroughly and sustainably enjoyable and rewarding viewing experience when it shouldn't; the production value, is there, of course, as is the top notch acting and confident, if simple, directing. It is in the stories, plots and characters that the show is comically simplistic, outdated and unrealistic. And yet, it does not bother you. Contemporary rural England seems to have been frozen in time - the villages might as well be the setting for a Hercule Poirot/Sherlock Holmes murder mystery - all these butlers and manors and decadent heirs and disenfranchised servants and hunting parties and minor nobles..and still, one plays along, you suspend everything you know England is, for the illusion and the stereotype that is presented to you. And even though the crimes can be appalling and the motives quite dark and daring ( the show had episodes dealing with incest, madness and extremely violent deaths), what you are left with is a type of nostalgia and dreamlike impression, a lingering memory of country pubs and inns and stone bridges and a luscious green countryside.
10 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Murder most picturesque
Tweekums24 September 2009
Despite being set in beautiful English countryside the Midsomer villages are dangerous places to live, it seems that behind every perfectly trimmed hedge a potential murderer is lurking. It is rare that an episode features a single murder, usually there are two or three. Given the high murder rate one would expect that the local constabulary would have a large murder unit but in fact all murders are investigated by DCI Tom Barnaby and his sergeant.

It is a mistake to join any club, society or organisation in the Midsomers as they are nearly all hotbeds of jealousy, rivalry and backstabbing and those that aren't will somehow offend other villagers. These feelings inevitably lead to murder, usually in a fairly imaginative way. Unusually for a TV detective Barnaby is happily married with a grown up daughter. It is surprising that wife Joyce and Daughter Cully have survived as they often found themselves in the groups where the other members were dropping like flies.

While there are plenty of murders it is never overly gory so it is suitable for all but the most squeamish. The cast do a great job, as well as the regulars you can expect to see several well known British actors appearing as suspects and victims. Don't expect it to be too serious though and don't expect it to accurately portray police procedure... Barnaby rarely wastes time with trivial things like search warrants or telling a suspect their rights before questioning them.
10 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wonderful series
Marie-728 October 2001
Being addicted to British mysteries, I was delighted to discover this series last year. Since then there have been about a half dozen episodes shown on A&E here in the USA. I like them so much I mentioned them to a friend in Cornwall, UK, who had not discovered them yet. Got an email from her saying that her family looks forward to watching them from now on. This series is low key with no scenes depicting sex and no 4-letter words. I hope A&E contracts to show the whole series. I shall be watching for them.
57 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best English Series to date
patlightfoot21 October 2006
Somehow I feel and that is why I like this series so much, the plots are not dissimilar to Miss Marple,(Agatha Christie) although set in a different time line. The red herrings, twists and turns, etc. village and English country life.

I love the series one of my favorites. John Nettles plays an excellent county Chief Inspector, very laid back, but sharp as a needle. More what I would expect of a country policeman in reality. They don't badger probable witnesses, like the American cops do, they are polite (yet in control at all times) and don't put people on their mettle. Then if someone does get obnoxious, defensive or arrogant back, then there might be a good reason one begins to think?

Wonderful advertisement for southern England and the British CID. (Whereas the Bill has become a soapy, in my opinion, and their employment strategies for the Met seems to allow too many nut cases being selected.)

I am not sure were the series is filmed, but the countryside seems to indicate it is from Southern counties, or even the Cotswolds. Could be anywhere, but I have the feeling it is around Somerset or Hampshire.

I have just viewed Killings at Badgers Drift and Written in Blood.(Possibly my only minor critical comment is the last scenes of Badger's had shades of 'Psycho' in it?)

The first two episodes, and I felt they were brilliant. Yet the following episodes I have seen so far as slightly less dramatic and equally probable, but still top class. The production overall, sound effects, cinematography, and acting is very superior, as well as editing and direction. I would rarely give a series rating as 10 but this must be my favorite TV series of all time for originality and performance.

Hope many more to come.
34 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Midsomer Madness
runsfast200228 June 2014
Ah, beautiful Midsomer County where there's always a full moon, no one locks their doors, and the words "what are you doing here?" are never uttered without deadly results.

After watching my first episode, The Silent Lands, I thought, "well that was a strange motive, better watch another one." After a few episodes I realized that was part of the charm, so sit back and relax and learn to watch this show through the Midsomer prism to avoid thinking too hard about crazy motives or wonderfully eccentric characters. The scenery is beautiful, the actors are wonderful (John Nettles is a now a favorite), and the subtle humor between Barnaby and his family and co-workers softens the sinister edges of spooky houses, silent woods, and things that go bump in the night. Something else I've noticed about this show that sets it apart from anything I've seen in the U.S is that most of the people in each episode are refreshingly normal looking. The screen isn't filled with hunks and gorgeous women, but for the most part people who look like anyone you'd see on a trip to the store. For some reason, I have found that very refreshing.

Things to keep in mind for family viewing: most of the murders are not too gory, obscenity is at a minimum, the word "monogamy" is practically non-existent in Midsomer and seeing practically everyone in the show running around with their next door neighbor is a bit over the top. The show also makes anyone with religious leanings out to be certifiable. Perhaps this is meant to be tongue in cheek, as most things are in this show, because in one episode an obviously deranged killer says religion is a mental disease. Whether that's meant to be ironic or not, be prepared for some derision of all things spiritual.

Overall, this show will make you want to pack your bags and visit beautiful England, just watch your back and never answer the door with "oh, it's you."
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent show!
Dark_liquid19 June 2009
I'm a big fan of the series, and compared to the predictable, dull and often shallow (or too perfect) American crime series like C.S.I & so on, Midsomer Murders is more than fantastic! The interesting camera angles, the countryside, the detailed work on personalities, plots and scenes, the quality of the humor, the spontaneous chats, the intriguing characters...extremely enjoyable! My all-time favorite! I'm really disappointed when i'm watching some other crime series and the characters or stories simply can't touch me and help me connect with them, or when the episode theme itself doesn't give me a reason for further discussion, thinking or just being shocked. And there are plenty of those -fix the bomb and save everybody in the last 5 minutes- series around. I'm not looking for the perfect heroes, i'm looking for some ordinary tales that get a sick twist! If anybody agrees with my opinion, Midsomer Murders is the right series for you.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A slice of pure nostalgia. Pure genius..
darenwheeler11 December 2007
Let's be honest here, Midsomer Murders is pure television gold. You don't get to 60 plus full length episodes without there being something really special there and Midsomer Murders is really special. For us Brits it represents a slice of English life that rarely gets an airing on British television. Britain today so woefully politically correct and so woefully apologetic about anything that celebrates Britishness that you rarely get to see this side of Britain outside anything other than an Agatha Christie period piece. There is a Britain like this but it's shunted to the side in favour of television that apes our cousins over the Atlantic. Sharp stylish, flashy television is something the yanks do wonderfully but Britain is hopeless at it. Life here in the UK just isn't quite as fast as in the US and the sooner we accept it and play to our television strengths the better. The BBC must be looking at TV like this, Foyles War and other ITV gems and must be green with envy. For the uninitiated Midsomer Murders is Agatha Christie in the 21st century, it's as if she'd been put in stasis and reheated in the 90's. Twitching curtains, lovely rural scenery, beautiful countryside life but with a dark underbelly that belies the quaint exterior. Yes it's over the top sometimes and if you count the bodies it's a more dangerous area to live than New York or Miami or Las Vegas. Watch it and see a part of English life that is perhaps not rapidly dying but is just not PC enough to appeal to the Guardian/Independent readers here in the UK who feel that every British drama must feature a check list of ethnicities and sexualities...
16 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
brilliant series!
Chrisi199131 December 2007
best detective drama ever!! i first watched this back in 2000 and i was addicted to it ever since!! i first watched written in blood and gave me nightmares for weeks killer was psychotic and very scary!! i currently own all midsomer murders 1-57 on video and DVD and watch one every night my fav ones have to be written in blood,deaths shadow,dead mans eleven,judgement day,dark autumn,ring out your dead,market for murder,death and dreams,bad tidings,ghosts of Christmas past,midsomer rhapsody,house in the woods,dead letters,death in chorus,country matters,dance with the dead,ANIMAL WITHIN NO1 FAVOURITE!!!ATM,and the axeman cometh.
12 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
English Mystery Series in the tradition of Agatha Christie
gpeevers18 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Police drama set in the small villages of the fictional Midsomer County, is somewhat Agatha Christie like in terms of the mysteries and its setting. The series which has now run for 10 years in Britain is based on the series of books by Caroline Graham.

Our protagonist played by John Nettles is DCI Tom Barnaby and he very much underplays the role, but it is also obvious that he is quite a good actor. He is supported by Sergeant Troy (at least for the first 6 seasons) who sometimes comes to the wrong conclusions but has a good working relationship with his superior. The only other regular characters are Barnaby's wife and daughter as well as the medical examiner.

A considerable amount of time is given in each episode towards the development of the victims, suspects and possible witnesses to each of the crimes. This helps to make the show interesting, because many of the episodes actually work as mysteries, something that many series do not achieve. This is helped by the fact that as with many British series the episodes are considerably longer than American TV episodes at 100 minutes in length. This allows for time to unfold the situation leading up to the crime and also for the investigation.

Another key to the series is the depiction of an idyllic English country life, from the cottages and the cricket greens to the pubs and the quirky locals.

The very effective eerie theme music of the series includes a Theremin.

Although not graphic the level of violence that takes place in these communities is somewhat ridiculous and obviously not meant to reflect any kind of reality
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
sap-khalid30 January 2008
Acting Great. Locations picturesque. Plots unpredictable. Soundtrack addictive. Direction Perfect. Due to the nature of my work, I travel a lot, and no matter where I am in Europe, I try and watch 'Midsomer Murders'. The serial is just an excellent example of British Productions. I miss UK and this show offers excellent locations throughout UK. Midsomer Murders is filmed in some of England's most picturesque villages, and John Nettles is perfect as 'DCI Tom Barnaby'. I wish the series run long... I am looking forward to own a complete SET of the Midsomer Murders series. And for those who love the title music (Psalm 23), it's available on Howard Goodall's Choral Works CD
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Still unmissable.
Sleepin_Dragon25 October 2015
The show remains unmissable viewing even after all these years, even with all of the changes to the cast, new writers etc. The basic premise has remained unchanged since the start, Barnaby and his sidekick investigate (usually) multiple murders in the seemingly sweet and very picturesque English countryside.

It seems with each new episode they attempt to go one better and have a murder that is bigger, more outrageous and simply more outlandish. Some of the crazier ones occurred in the episode Hidden Depths. For me the series works when it stays within the bounds of reality, when it veers off into surrealism it can lose it a little, Night of the Stag and Blood on the Saddle being some of the sillier, more quirky episodes.

I felt it peaked at Series 4, every episode during that stint was outstanding, Dark Autumn, tainted Fruit and Garden of Death some of the best. I think my favourite single episode is right at the start 'Written in Blood' it contains wonderful characters, a great story, and the right mix of humour and horror.

Let's hope it continues long into the future. The hundredth episode the Killings of Copenhagen showed the series is still relevant, well made and inventive.

It's pure escapism, not to be taken too seriously. I often wonder if Barnaby will ever get a female sidekick one day? Would be interesting.

Long live Midsomer. 10/10
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
After Morse and Frost, this is one of the better detective series.
TheLittleSongbird19 May 2009
I do prefer Inspector Morse for the complexity of the characters and the great John Thaw in the title role, but if you want an entertaining detective series, look no further than this or Touch of Frost(David Jason is fantastic in the lead). John Nettles excels as Tom Barnaby, with his dry humour and the dedication to his job. He is accompanied by Troy, Scott and Jones, and all of them played by their actors respectively bring humour, charm and intrigue in their own right. The episodes are intriguing, have a sense of fun, and the murders sometimes are so brutal you have to look away. (the Rainbirds murder in the episode the Killing at Badgers Drift is a good example)The script is fresh, and while the final solutions aren't always complicated, they do make you think deep. There are some truly memorable moments like Richard Briers throwing himself from the church tower, George Baker playing two feuding brothers, Oliver Ford-Davies and that infamously bizarre death scene and Anna Massey chasing Joanna David with an axe, or what have you, very like the Shining. All in all, an entertaining series. 9/10 Bethany Cox
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed