MIDSOMER MURDERS Series #19 (2017-2018)

 

Producer: Jo Wright

Director(s): Nick Laughland, Renny Rye, Matt Carter, and  Steve Hughes       

Writer(s): Rachel Cuperman & Sally Griffiths, Paul Logue, Jeff Povey, and Lisa Holdsworth

(Based on the characters of Caroline Graham)

Regular Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Nick Hendrix, Fiona Dolman, Manjinder Virk...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated.

Runtime: approx. 90 minutes per episode.

Genres: Crime drama/Mystery

List Price: $34.99  (Substantial savings may be found at various online sources.)

 


Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(July, 2017)

 

I still feel the series is running mostly on its reputation and the long-suffering patience of its loyal and dedicated viewers. The old spark is still missing. The plots are overly complicated and not well resolved. Throughout these episodes most of the characters seem too clichéd and quite uninteresting.

There are usually about three deaths per episode. I can’t recall any characters that I was truly concerned about or interested in – except maybe one, Jack Morris. I just sat there, watching, waiting for someone to die…and eventually they did. Even the methods employed by the various killers throughout the episodes seem too contrived. However, that said, it is fun to see the familiar faces of the guest actors and actresses and try to figure out which TV series episodes they appeared in before, whether it’s New Tricks, Poirot, or even a previous Midsomer Murders episode.

DS Winters (Nick Hendrix) is the new partner for DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and though not as interesting a character, so far, as Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), or DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee), I suppose he has some potential though for the most part, I find him annoying. I also find his “relationship” with Dr. Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk), the pathologist, boring. As was the implied “relationships” or hints at such possibilities between pathologist Kate Wilding (Tamzin Malleson) and Ben Jones or later, Charlie Nelson.

 

Only four episodes in Series 19 – Part One. (There are two more episodes in Series 19 – Part Two which are not yet available on DVD but will be shown on Acorn TV on July 17th.)

 

“The Village That Rose from the Dead” – The military is returning the ownership rights of a small village they confiscated during the war. Just prior to its re-opening, and amid squabbles about how to develop the village, a body is found within the perimeter of the closed off village. Why was he inside the deserted village and why would anyone want to kill him?

“Crime and Punishment” – The Bleakridge Watch patrols the streets of their remote village with a heavy hand. Perhaps too heavy a hand, bordering on persecution of villagers who so much as post “unsightly” sandwich board signs in front of their business or violate the speed laws by even a fraction. Yet they seem surprised when someone begins killing them off, one by one.

“Last Man Out” – When the star cricketer of the Panthers is killed during a tournament, the investigation becomes rather complicated for Barnaby as he tries to sift through the meager clues and negotiate with a surprise visitor.

 “Red in Tooth & Claw” – Competition is stiff at the annual Bellville Hall small pets show.  The discovery of a body covered in live rabbits begs the question “Is winning worth killing for?” 

 

As long as viewers tune in to watch and/or purchase the DVDs when released, Midsomer episodes will continue to be churned out. Though some episodes seem to improve with a second viewing (unless it’s more a case of lowered viewer expectations during the second viewing?) at least viewers can watch their favorite older episodes over and over again, thanks to modern DVDs.


Copyright © 2017 Cherie Jung. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!


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