Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Midsomer Murders - Set Five|
Actors: John Nettles, Jane Wymark, Barry Jackson, Laura Howard, Jason Hughes
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
The cozy villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these contemporary British television mysteries. Based on the novels by Caroline Graham, modern master of the English village mystery, the series s... more »
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This set is number one.....
Dianne Foster | USA | 04/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As we watched the episodes in Set Five, I said to my husband, "Doesn't Barnaby look younger?" Sure enough this set of films was made arond 1996-7 and therefore predates some of the earlier sets released by Acorn Media. This is not a problem, but I am concious of Barnaby's entire family appearing much younger, and Sgt Troy so new to the force he is still pointing out the obvious to Barnaby, and failing to notice some things he should. Barnaby's daughter is back in school and trying to decide whether to change her school major to acting. (Often her acting provides a clue toward solving a murder.) Everyone has longer hair and is thinner.
The second episode (of five) is my favorite so far. (These episodes are so good I am not going to rush through them just so I can tell you about them.) At one point, Barnaby's daughter brings home a Russian kitty she has named 'Killmouski' who soon takes over Barnaby's bed, chair and everything else--if you live with a cat you can imagine the interaction.
The plots in these episodes are the best in the series and I have watched all the films in the other sets. These early stories seem more like the early Morse episodes in complexity, and like them must have been based on real books, not relatively underdeveloped screen plays. The characters are well developed. Each of the mysteries in the MidSomers series is set in a different mythical village in Southern England and constitute what Diana Rigg calls "cozy" mysteries that could be updates of the Marple novels (the plots are different).
Morse fans will recognize JoAnna David, as well as several other supporting actors, and 'Rebbecca' fans will recognize Anna Massey. Jonathan Firth (who has many facial tics similar to those of Colin Firth--are they related?) appears in an episode involving a shocking discovery by an older retired teacher (who ends up dead). One of the great delights of these stories is the acting which is always absolutely fabulous."
I love this series.
Rayhne | Madison, WI USA | 03/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really, really do but can anyone explain to me why they put these dvds out so out of order? Set Five is actually the first season while set one is the second season, etc, etc."
DCI Barnaby solves two great, dramatic murder cases and thre
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 08/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are bodies aplenty in the cosy, peaceful villages located in Midsomer County. All of the little picture-perfect villages and small towns have a wide and varied assortment of English citizens, ranging from wealthy magistrates and high Church of England prelates to milkmen and shopkeepers, wives and lovers, thieves and...a lot of murderers. The corpses are just as varied as the living. Barnaby must apply all his experience, skepticism, persistence and unflappability to catch the culprits.
In Set Five, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and his sergeant, Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) deal with two cases which are uncommonly complex and satisfying. In one, it is the case, itself, which is so good. In the other, it is the excellent performance by one of Britain's best actors, Bernard Hepton.
In Death of a Hollow Man, Hepton plays Harold Winstanley, an aging, flamboyant man of the theater, now reduced to directing a regional play in the community theater of Causton. There are red herrings, private passions and young ambition. Through it all, Winstanley remembers what he believes were his glory days. He can almost taste vindication for himself in his new play. Bernard Hepton brings a wide range of emotions to the part, and they all are believable. He was 73 when he made this program. To get an idea of his range and skill, watch him in The Charmer (1987) as Donald Stimpson, an apparently mild man who plots revenge; in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982) as Toby Esterhaze, a weak, sly department head in The Circus; and as Archbishop Cranmer, a man of the cloth you'd be most unwise to make your confession to, in Elizabeth R (1971) and The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970).
In The Killings at Badger's Drift, Barnaby finds himself in the middle of a series of murders that involve a level of ruthlessness which is startling...not to mention cosy blackmail, revenge, neediness and sexual shenanigans that are both lusty and sad. Surprisingly, there are no red herrings here. Every bit of murder, blackmail, poisonous mushrooms and shotgun blasts has a purpose, and still the final revelation comes as a shock.
For the record, Set Five's other three mysteries are: Faithful Unto Death, set in the village of Fawcett Green, Death in Disguise, set in the Lodge of the Golden Windhorse, and Written in Blood, set in Midsomer Worthy. Each program runs about 100 minutes.
The charm of this series lies partly in its setting. Midsomer County is a very pretty place, green and cared for. The towns are tidy, filled with competent and knowledgeable tradesmen; the villages tend to have a few eccentrics and a lot of thatched roofs. This could be much too cosy except for three things. First, the performance by John Nettles. He's a fine actor who is completely at home in the role. Watching his Barnaby think his way through clever mysteries, unfailingly polite and unfailingly unintimidated, is a pleasure. Second, the mysteries themselves. This series has been going on through eight seasons. DVD sets are out for six of them so far. The mysteries are almost always real puzzlers; not flashy, but well disguised. They are consistently interesting and well written. Third, the quality of the production and the actors. I suspect a substantial budget has been allocated for each episode. The series looks first-rate. The actors are first-rate, too, which is typical of British productions which find their way over here. Daniel Casey does a fine job as Barnaby's assistant. He respects his boss and is smart enough to learn from him. But he also can be exasperated at Barnaby's penchant for not sharing everything. And he occasionally gets put out when an apparently important car trip (Troy almost always drives them) turns out to be a trip for a bacon sandwich Barnaby's been thinking about. Barnaby's wife is played by Jane Wymark, and it's a pleasure to observe how much at ease the two actors are with each other. They play a long-married couple, still in love and with a comfortable kind of middle-aged affection for each other. All the actors do outstanding jobs, and there usually is a sprinkling of well-known names.
If you're in the mood for civilized British television mysteries, where the mean streets have more cobblestones than crushed beer cans, where the occasional drug user is not a grubby petty thief but an upper-class wife, where the chief copper has a happy home life and no angst to share with the viewers, Midsomer Murders might be just the thing.
The programs in each set do not reflect very accurately the order in which the programs appear in each season's series. It doesn't make any difference since each mystery is self-contained. The DVD picture is excellent. There are a few extras such as a map of Midsomer County showing the towns and villages, cast filmographies of the major players and a biography of Carolyn Graham, the author of the books the series is based on."
John Nettles is the Best
Mimi | Florida | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can one say? This is a terrific Series. The acting is wonderful...and showing the family life in-between the "murders" gives a feeling a reality. Cannot say enough about this set...except to say I have watched it three times!!"