MIDSOMER MURDERS Series #18 (2016)
Producer: Jo Wright
Director(s): Alex Pillai, Renny Rye, Rob Evans,Matt Carter and Nick Laughland
Writer(s): Rachel Cuperman & Sally Griffiths, Paul Logue, Chris Murray, Jeff Povey, Lisa Holdsworth, and Caleb Ranson
(Based on the characters of Caroline Graham)
Regular Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Gwilym Lee, Fiona Dolman, Manjinder Virk...
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated.
Runtime: approx. 90 minutes per episode.
Genres: Crime drama/Mystery
List Price: $28.93 (Price varies depending on purchase source)
The series is running on empty, as they say. The small English village charm has been exchanged for a more modern, all inclusive, almost “big city” feel. The numerous villages (How many villages can there be in one county?!?) are still populated by odd, quirky characters but just because someone is old, odd, and quirky doesn’t make them interesting. With the addition of so many token Asian actors and Black actors and young people Midsomer Murders has turned into just another mediocre modern crime TV show, in my opinion. Many of the plots seem vaguely familiar whether rehashed from previous Midsomer Murders episodes or other crime shows (New Tricks…).
Throughout these episodes many of the plots, as well as the motives seem overly convoluted. Many of the characters seem one-dimensional, unsympathetic, and/or boring. Mostly it’s a matter of the viewer, in this case me, just sitting in front of the telly, watching and waiting for someone to die…and eventually they do. There is also an unevenness to the episodes ranging from subpar to decent to fairly good and back again.
A new pathologist is introduced, Dr. Kam Karimore (Minjinder Virk). She seems adequate but is certainly no Dr. Bullard (Barry Jackson)!
My favorite character is still Sykes, the dog.
“Habeas Corpus” – Why does the corpse of a dead man disappear from his deathbed? Not only why, but how? The resolution of quandary was very unsatisfactory. The solution to how and whodunit was not believable. An interesting premise but poorly handled.
“The Incident at Cooper Hill” – Did aliens kill a forest ranger in an area the locals claim UFOs have been sighted? A bit of a rehash here. The villagers love their UFO sightings don’t they? I prefer the episode with the crop circles from several seasons ago.
“Breaking the Chain” – The death of a champion cyclist minutes after winning a race provides Barnaby with plenty of suspects – both the cyclist’s rivals and his teammates.
“A Dying Art” – On the opening night of an outdoor sculpture park, a body is found positioned in one of the artworks.
“Saints and Sinners” – An archeologist who made a startling find is discovered at the dig site, having been buried alive.“Harvest of Souls” – The investigation involves the death of a man, apparently trampled by a horse, near the Whitcombe Mallet funfair. The actual murder weapon, a large dose of ketamine, has been used before.
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