As seen on A&E and The Biography Channel
WHAT EVIL LURKS BEYOND THE WELL-TRIMMED HEDGES OF MIDSOMER . . .
The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mysteries. Inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, the series stars John Nettles (Bergerac) as the unflappable Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby with John Hopkins (Love in a Cold Climate) as his brash young assistant, Sergeant Dan Scott. Guest stars include Oliver Ford Davies, Annette Crosbie, Owen Teale, June Whitfield, Geoffrey Whitehead, and David Burke.
Second Sight -- A mysterious death brings the detectives to Midsomer Mere, where villagers claim psychic powers.
Hidden Depths -- Barnaby and Scott face a bizarre crime scene when a local oenophile gets killed by a combination of catapult, croquet, and Chateau Lafite.
Sauce for the Goose -- After a visitor dies while touring Plummers relish factory, Barnaby and Scott investigate the local food wars.
Midsomer Rhapsody -- Barnaby links a long-deceased local composer with odd events that crescendo to a murderous conclusion.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE Caroline Graham biography and cast filmographies.
Gruesome doings in bucolic villages make Midsomer Murders
an addictive British detective series. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby (John Nettles), a staunch, determined policeman with a nose for sniffing out motives and crucial mistakes, investigates murders in this bizarrely homicidal rural district, accompanied by the younger, not as insightful, but still dutiful Sergeant Scott (John Hopkins). Set 10
features three superb episodes and one disappointing one (which, confusingly enough, are from the show's eighth series on the BBC). Each episode is a 90-100 minute movie, cunningly structured so the solution always seems just out of reach yet tantalizingly close. The characters are well-developed and rarely feel like mere puppets designed to distract viewers from an inevitable solution; the psychological richness of the show is crucial to its appeal. In Second Sight
, a young lad may have died from electric shocks delivered during tests of his extrasensory powers. As Barnaby struggles to separate science from superstition, he comes across an ominous caged chair, a psychic baby, and a man who fears he's foreseen his own death. Hidden Depths
features some truly spectacular revenge killings, including one using a catapult and many bottles of wine; the episode is practically a genteel (and less pretentious) version of Saw
. Sauce for the Goose
turns the prosaic setting of a relish factory into a swirling crucible of madness, secrets, lost love, and boiled flesh. Only Midsomer Rhapsody
, in which the possibly forged manuscript of a dead composer results in a variety of head traumas, founders in melodramatic backstory. But even when the show isn't at its sharpest, Nettles drives each episode forward with his charismatic blend of compassion and doggedness. Viewers usually resistant to crime-show formulas may find Midsomer Murders
more compelling than most, while any fan of mysteries will be hooked in seconds. --Bret Fetzer