Producer: Jo Wright
Director(s): Alex Pillai, Matt Carter
Writer(s): Chris Murray, Julia Gilbert
Regular Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Nick Hendrix, Fiona Dolman, Manjinder Virk...
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated.
List Price: $29.99 (Substantial savings may be found at various online sources.)
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
There are only two episodes on this DVD/Blu-ray release.
“Death by Persuasion”
Murders, and drones, interrupt a Jane Austen historical immersion weekend at a cash-strapped country estate. Guests pay for the privilege to dress up in period costumes, party and dine as did those living in Georgian times. The victims’ actions and the killer’s motive(s) have been portrayed more interestingly and more satisfyingly in previous, similar Midsomer episodes though the drones and the period costumes were a new touch.
“The Curse of the Ninth.”
A controversial decision in a music competition, a missing Stradivarius violin, and the death of a promising music student lead some to believe a classical mystery “curse” is at play. The curse referred to is that a composer will not survive their ninth symphony or at least not finish their tenth.
The manner of death with the first victim is improbable, considering the gender of the killer and the strength required to execute the killing technique which in retrospect, spoils the plot, once the killer is identified. It feels like the writer of this episode cheated the viewers.
Viewers feeling cheated is fast becoming a familiar complaint as this series continues to drag on. The various plots do not hold up to even mild scrutiny. There are simply too many plot holes, too many repetitious killers, victims, and murder circumstances, too many unsympathetic characters, and little to no chemistry among the regular cast members who appear bored beyond belief. The names of the victims and killers may be changed but there is no real originality in the recycled plots. The dynamics has shifted. The quaint English countryside is no more. The quirky characters are less quirky and rather more clichéd and ultimately less uninteresting. Even the new dog who replaced long-time favorite Sykes has nothing interesting to do. He, too, seems bored with his role.
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