Midsomer Murders: Set 16 (Midsomer Life / The Magician's Nephew / Days of Misrule / Talking to the Dead)
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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 Tom Barnaby, with Jason Hughes (This Life) as his earnest, efficient protégé, Detective Sergeant Ben Jones. Guest stars include Tim Pigott-Smith, Ronald Pickup, Pooky Quesnel, Simon Williams, Anton Lesser, Tom Goodman-Hill, Niamh Cusack, and Judy Parfitt.
Midsomer Life--After the unpopular editor of a local magazine is found dead, Barnaby stumbles upon a nest of bribery, adultery, and secrets kept too long.
The Magician’s Nephew--Barnaby must determine if witchcraft is to blame when several members of a pagan cult are killed in an unusual manner.
Days of Misrule--Christmas comes early for Barnaby and Jones when a suspicious explosion frees them from a dreaded team-building exercise.
Talking to the Dead--Two couples go missing from the sleepy village of Monks Barton; the locals blame ghosts, but Barnaby suspects a more earthly culprit.
- The Magician’s Nephew episode commentary by John Nettles and Jane Wymark
- Production notes
- SDH subtitles
Top Customer Reviews
Ep 63 Midsomer Life broadcast Jul 13, 2008
Ep 64 The Magician's Nephew b. Jul 27, 2008
Ep.65 Days of Misrule b. Dec 24, 2008 Christmas Special
Ep.66 Talking to the Dead b. Aug 05, 2008
(episode numbers may be off by one, as the original broadcast dates vary depending on source)
After close to 200 murders, I thought all possible ways of "dispatch" have been explored. Not so. The inventive MM writers manage to surprise again, as they introduce South American poison-dart frogs as a new murder weapon (in The Magician's Nephew)!
But, on to the good stuff:
As most are aware by now, John Nettles (66) is leaving the show in August this year. His last appearance will be in ep.82. His replacement has finally been revealed! The episode airing tonight on British TV (ep.75 The Sword of Guillaume) will see a new character introduced: John Barnaby, Tom Barnaby's nephew, will arrive in Midsomer, to help with a case while Tom is away. He will eventually take over as DCI, when Tom retires. The character is played by Neil Dudgeon (49), a hard working British TV actor, with a few screen films behind his belt; you may have seen him as Joshua in the 2008 comedy The Son of Rambow. So, there you have it! Only time will tell how the replacement works out. Most comments, regarding the actor's potential to succeed in Midsomer, have so far been positive. Taking into consideration the speed of Acorn releases in the US, we will have to wait till 2013 before we can judge for ourselves...Read more ›
Regardless, this series is worth the purchase. This set from Amazon is about half-price of other movies when considering individual episodes comparable to other feature-length mystery films. Packaged groups of the series "Midsomer Murders-The Early Cases Collection" and "Midsomer Murders-Barnaby's Casebook" cost only about $6 per episode. That's a value to me, coming out as fast as reported possible, and being the excellent mystery series that can't be figured out till the very end of each episode. The collections are an inexpensive way to get caught initiated into Midsomer crime if you are new to this world-acclaimed series.
DCI Barnaby (John Nettles) has taken on the fictional Midsomer County murder abundance, often multiple like war or massacre, since 1997. Killing chaos is the norm in Midsomer County but the visual sensuality of the setting offsets the blood and murder combos. Fantastic English village/country better than many travel DVDs.
Some comedy exists in every episode through expressions, statements, and unusual additions to crime scenes. It's a trademark of the show, as much as the murders piling up on one another.Read more ›
The Christmas episode was delightful and my favorite; for those of us faced with late life employment and youthful supervisors with little or no experience but with all sorts of "fresh ideas" that reinvent the wheel and bury one in paper work, it created great resonance. Its resolution was delightful. All I could say was "Yes!!!" At least the poor naive fool was well intended; an earlier one was rather nasty and I kept hoping someone would bump him off--they tried but Barnaby saved him!
"The Magician's Nephew" was well plotted and though the outcome was not entirely unsuspected, was quite clever. I certainly didn't have it until about mid-film. The mysterious ambiances and the odd relationships really made the thing. Certainly the visiting cast were wonderful. Here the importance of venue and the cooperation of "audience" in "mysticism" was oh so obvious in this one--as indeed the next--especially at the end.
The last entry--and my second favorite--is "Talking to the Dead." While it ranks my "second," I have to admit it was the most complex and content rich. It alone would be worth the price of the set. Here again the mis en scène of spiritualism, with its carefully engineered emotional components and the mental cooperation of the audience, was made very clear as it was in the "Magician's Nephew." Once its credulousness was exposed to it, the audience disappeared.Read more ›