Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Midsomer Murders: Set 20 (Master Class / The Noble Art / Not in My Backyard / Fit for Murder)
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon February 19, 2012
Series 20's 4 episodes continue the perfection in crime drama perfected by CI Barnaby (John Nettles.) He' crime tough, humorous, softly romantic, but makes every episode always suspenseful murders in the plural. Never one murder mystery in Midsomer County, a quaint picturesquely filmed area of village sets.
If you are new to Midsomer Murders and CI Barnaby there are years of award winning episodes to view. My favorite is ALWAYS the one I just viewed.

Wife Joyce (Jane Wymark), daughter Cully (Laura Howard) & DC Stephens (Kirsty Dillon) all make this set their exit from this long-running British TV show, as does Nettles. Cast regulars DS Jones (Jason Hughes) and Dr. Bullard (Barry Jackson) will remain for future episodes with DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) leading those investigations. John Barnaby is involved in this set's last episode. A smashing series but there will be those upset and downplaying the future once Nettles is gone. He does leave large shoes to fill, as does the departing cast that exits behind him. But that's set 21, not 20, so why worry now, and the shows will yet be based on Caroline Graham novels, and the writing has been a huge factor in the longevity which started in 1997.

SUBTITLES available in all 4 longer-than-feature-length episodes
Guest stars (too numerous to mention them all) are as characteristic of Midsomer Murders as the multiple murders and multiple plots mixing humor, crime, and relationships, and beautiful scenes. I've heard on bonus materials in the past that stars beg to kill or be murdered in Midsomer.

Episodes:
~~~~MASTER CLASS -a Barnaby déjà vu mystery suicide-drowning and baby abandonment with a musical twist.
~~~~THE NOBLE ART -does the title refer to boxing or all of the local adulterous activity, gender mix, in the small community? Whatever, it results in numerous murders.
~~~~NOT IN MY BACK YARD -new development plans have supporters, participants, opposition, everything but apathy, and that's a recipe for community strife not to mention murder.
~~~~FIT FOR MURDER -a death in a health and fitness spa may be murder, Barnaby at the scene, and the episode will best be known as the final episode with John Nettles.

6 2/3 HOURS of time-tested British Mystery Drama entertainment acclaimed around the world. Multiple murders but usually not violently shown nor graphically filmed. The emphasis is on the plots, not shocking blood and violence. About as family friendly as you can get with murder.
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on March 5, 2012
Good news: the excellent actor Neil Dudgeon, featured in earlier episodes of Midsomer, and The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, among many other roles, will lead as John Barnaby, a relative of irascible, inimitable Tom Barnaby/John Nettles. He doesn't enter until the last episode, when his visit to Tom's home is interrupted by yet another murder in that particularly dangerous corner of Midsomer, Badger's Drift, when a vicar is found hanging by a bell-rope. And now we all anticipate "Set 21," the wait will be worth it. As always, the intrepid Jason Hughes is a wonderful foil as Detective Sergeant Ben Jones, his wry humor adds another level of complexity to the series. The U.K. boasts so many fine, often underrated actors. Jane Wymark as Joyce Barnaby is perfection (catch this gifted actress in an early, tragic role in the second series of Poldark), as is Laura Howard as their understanding daughter.

Midsomer County is oddly rife with uncanny mysteries, so it's good that John Barnaby is gifted with the same powers of keen observation and memory as his cousin Tom. A "similar-looking" man was a gifted gardener in an early Midsomer mystery; DCI John Barnaby is likely as good with plants as his look-alike. This is a Midsomer family after all, they often feature peculiar, recurring family resemblances (recall the duo in first Midsomer Mystery, "The Killings of Badger's Drift"). Sharp dialogue makes this collection a real treat. Don't assume this is lace doily stuff, no indeed! We even love the weird and unique music. Note the badger emblem on the police cars. The Brits have knack for mixing classic stories with ghoulish humor and sharp observations of the flawed human character. Historically, penny-dreadfuls were published at Christmastime, as in Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens.

This series is a virtual escape to the beautiful but dangerous environs of Midsomer county. We're happy to fall through the cracks of normal reality, into Midsomer, whose denizens inflict and suffer numerous creative malaises. The cleverness of this series is addictive.

Master Class: Lydia Wilson is superb as Zoe Stock, a gifted pianist, haunted by strange visions. Competition is deadly for positions in Sir Michael Fielding's master class. Long buried secrets are unearthed, several denizens seem to have issues with bright lights, and the dead contact the living. The theme of eugenics is shown in all it's ugliness.

The Noble Art: Who knew that with boxing and gambling, we'd get a chance to see Jackie Tyler again, Rose's mom from Doctor Who?! Camille Coduri does a luscious turn, with one of the best Midsomer lines ever, to an odious prig: "Is that a smile, or your lips just sliding off your teeth?"

Not in My Backyard: Oh, those dratted contemporary designs besmirching our villages. Some of the best, most improbable innovative Midsomer murders take place here, via sliding doors and cement. But what do you expect when Jekyll/Tom Jackman's mama makes a guest appearance.

Fit for Murder: Poor Joyce, she just wants to take her Tom to a retreat, to calm him down. But murder and mayhem ensue, because when Joyce arrives on the scene, Midsomer's citizens meet untimely, gruesome ends. Tom Barnaby finds himself confronting his birthday and visions of his difficult father. Appearances by Cully and DCI John Barnaby enrich this delightful episode. Surprise: guest-star appearance of excellent actor Shaun Dingwall, who perfectly played Pete Tyler, errant husband of Jackie (above, in "The Noble Art"), father of Doctor Who's Rose. Perhaps a few Midsomer occurrences can be attributed to an occasional alignment with Doctor Who: the alien crop-circles, weird murders and unearthly body-count.
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on February 27, 2012
My husband and I have all the sets of Midsomer Murder, and are looking forward to set 19 coming out on 2/28. We are in the process of re-watching all of them now. Although I love John Nettles as Barnaby, I'm interested to see if his replacement brings a new pizzaz to the series. I hope that Jones will still be around to lend a hand!

We love murder mysteries, and the British mysteries are the best! We have all the Morse, Lewis, Frost, Poirot, Dalgliesh, Lynley, Holmes, and Foyle's War series, as well as a few other miscellaneous sets (Lark Rise to Candleford is a favorite!!), and we treasure them all.

Thanks to Amazon for bringing us good entertainment! You're my favorite website!
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I have been very confused by the listing of this dvd but finally read a review of it in the New York Times which answered my questions. When this is referred to as the "season of the show", as it would be when it airs on tv, this IS SEASON 13. However, if you have been buying sets of the shows in America, it is referred to as SET 20.

The picture on the box is also confusing. The figure on the left is John Nettles who has starred in all 13 seasons. He stopped at the end of the season 13 and the actor on the right took over the Barnaby role as his cousin. This actor is shown in this season but it is Ben who remains Barnaby's partner and who should really be shown on the box. The actor on the right has played the lead in the rest of the series which has already aired in the UK as season 14 and two episodes of season 15. These numbers have nothing to do with the sets of dvds numbering as they are being released in the USA.

You may find this useful as it can be very confusing if you are following this show in more than one viewing resource.

This concluding season for John Nettles is every bit as good as the prior seasons. The high camp humor continues throughout. The concluding one is rather poignant as we learn then that John Nettles is retiring as Chief Inspector Barnaby. The show as a whole has cast a satiric gaze on the UK murder mystery which features the grisliest murders in the most bucolic and idyllic village settings. Throughout their polite, purpose filled days in leading proper lives, these people are capable of quite compelling bits of violence and the detectives find them out with their own inventive and amusing ways.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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on May 23, 2012
We own, and have watched multiple times, ALL the Midsomer Murders series. The characters are rich and well developed, the plotting is intricate and the settings are compelling. Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby is wonderfully downplayed and delights through the first 20 seasons ( of which there are only 4 episodes each). In set 20, Tom Barnaby begins to ease toward retirement for the series and a new Inspector Barnaby, his cousin is introduced.

Wonderful series. Hope it goes on forever.
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on May 14, 2012
I have all 19 and am waiting for 20. Its so sad that barnaby is leaving. He is so very good in the part. and his wife in the series is great. I will miss them very much. BHBea@aol.com
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on July 8, 2012
I just received NO. 20. When watching one of Set 19 I thought, and hoped, that Neil would be picked as the new "Barnaby" He was very good in the Mrs. Bradley Mysteries and he will deliver the same high quality performance as Barnaby. I have all of them, and am watching them the fourth time around and still can't guess the murderer most of the time. Each viewing I discover something I missed the first time around. Just keep them coming and I will be first in line to pre-order.
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on September 4, 2012
It was a very disappointing farewell. How can the writers think that we are going to believe such a transfer? If they tried to lower expectation for the next series they did it. Only one really good story on par with the past.
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on September 30, 2014
I'm a big fan of Midsomer Murders, though I prefer the earlier seasons with Gavin Troy much better. This is another great set of episodes in the Midsomer Murders. If you're a fan of British TV and particularly crime dramas, there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy this collection. Sadly, these later seasons are not so difficult to figure out as the earlier seasons won, but they're still enjoyable. The great part about this set is when cousins DCI's John and Tom Barnaby work together on a case.
The sad part of this set of episodes is the farewell to DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and his wife Joyce. I've tried watching a few of the new episodes, several actually to give the new characters a fair chance, but I can't get into them. The humor and camaraderie that existed up to now is gone from set 21 forward. When Set 20 ended, in my opinion so did the show, but BBC keeps it going.
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on September 20, 2014
My husband and I find ourselves enjoying English mystery series lately. We've just about finished this collection and look forward to settling into a mystery with detective Barnaby. It's nice to find a main character with a "normal", happy family life. The characters are a bit quirky. The plots are intricate and have a definite English twist to them, which makes it nice for something different from our American series (which we also enjoy). Very entertaining!
The only drawback is that every now and then we get a disk that sticks. I hate to miss any of the stories due to this. Still giving it 5 stars because we enjoy the series so much.
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