Midsomer Murders: County Case Files
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The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in this hit British mystery series that has earned a worldwide following. In this collection of Series 16, 17, and 18—which includes the 100th episode of Midsomer Murders—DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon, Life of Riley) solves macabre crimes with the help of his new assistant, DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee, Jamestown). Guest stars include Hayley Mills, Amanda Burton, Clarke Peters, Michael Jayston, Sharon Small, Robert Bathurst, Ann Eleonora Jørgenson, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Joe Absolom, Andrew Lee Potts, Claudie Blakley, Diana Quick, Helen Baxendale, Julia Sawalha, Pip Torrens, Cherie Lunghi, Malcolm Sinclair, and Claire Bloom.
THE MYSTERIES: The Christmas Haunting Let Us Prey Wild Harvest The Flying Club The Killings of Copenhagen The Dagger Club Murder by Magic The Ballad of Midsomer County A Vintage Murder Habeas Corpus The Incident at Cooper Hill Breaking the Chain A Dying Art Saints and Sinners Harvest of Souls
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This is not season 20, for those of us waiting for a newly released series. Be warned. This package includes past series 16, 17, & 18. It’s great for anyone who has not yet purchased. This new packaging comes much more compact, saving 3/5 of the shelf space of the previous releases of these episodes.
SDH SUBTITLES are provided for those needed them for all 23 hours of viewing, even the bonus stuff.
Here’s an easier read listing of the feature-length mystery episodes:
The Christmas Haunting
Let Us Prey
The Flying Club
The Killings of Copenhagen
The Dagger Club
Murder by Magic
The Ballad of Midsomer County
A vintage Murder
The Incident at Cooper Hill
Breaking the Chain
A Dying Art
Saints and Sinners
Harvest of Souls
The county of Midsomer seems to be fraught with murder and when one occurs it’s up to DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) to make sure that the culprit is apprehended. With the help of DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) each episode finds the duo looking into the latest murder to occur.
The series also presents Barnaby as just another guy, a man who knows how to do his job and do it well but who also has a home life. There he and his wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman) are dealing with their newborn child while trying to live life as normally as a detective’s life can be. In some episodes she even helps him with information he’s seeking.
The series isn’t like what we expect to find here in the US. Rather than hour long dramas that actually run closer to 45 minutes each, this series is composed of what would qualify as feature length film episodes, closer to 90 minutes running time. In so doing it gives us plenty of time to digest the actions taking place and to sift through the clues presented in each new case.
This collection brings together all 15 cases from Series 16, 17 and 18 which is when the character of John Barnaby took over his position. Each one offers their own little quirks that make them different from one another. One might have a magician performing in a local church to help raise money for its restoration, another a book club promoting the latest work of a deceased pulp fiction author that finds two people electrocuted by a roulette wheel like characters in his first book were. Whatever the facts of the case are you can be sure they won’t be your everyday average murder.
The series does what it must do to last this long and that is entertain. It does that in spades here with cases that hold your attention and the development of ongoing characters that you come to care for. That’s a point that some series never strive for and in so doing they short change the viewer. Here we care about them and want to know more about what goes on when not solving murders.
As with a number of series like this only one thing bothered me. Sure, we expect numerous murders in big cities like London but these are small villages here. If you are to believe shows like this the most dangerous place to live is a small village in England. Then again if these murders weren’t happening then we wouldn’t be enjoying a series that focuses on looking for those murderers would we?
The production values here and great to look at. They capture the look and feel of these villages in Midsomer County and portray what appears on the surface to be a calm and laidback style of living. At least if it wasn’t for people getting killed each episode.
The acting is top notch with each person involved making their characters believable. Dudgeon and Dolman actually feel like a married couple enjoying their new child and working together to make sure that feedings and rocking to sleep happen by one or the other. Hughes portrays a right hand man to perfection never overstepping his role but providing just the right amount of assistance needed.
While I’d heard of the series I’d never had a chance to see it until this set arrived. I’m glad it did. Now I can sit back and enjoy watching these over and over again, knowing the second time around who the guilty party is and watching for those tell-tale signs of guilt as the story unravels. And when I finish I’ll have to go back and seek out previous seasons to see if they match in quality. With little doubt in my mind I’m guessing they will.