Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Midsomer Murders - Set Four|
Actors: John Nettles (II), Daniel Casey
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
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 serie... more »
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A well done mystery series of exceptional complexity
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 09/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many of you might have watched "Midsomer Murders" over the commercial-ridden A&E channel and have joined millions on both sides of the Atlantic in becoming devoted fans. For you, good news. Acorn Media has issued the fourth set that includes five more episodes in a boxed set of 5 DVDs.
Briefly, the first story "Tainted Fruit" is about the death of an old man through the alleged negligence of the young and sexy landlady. "Ring Out Your Dead" is a Dorothy Sayers-type tale of bell ringers, but this time about their being killed off. "Murder on St. Malley's Day" tells about a sinister elite Club in a strange school. "Market for Murder" finds some ladies secretly doing very well on the stock market, too well perhaps. Finally, "A Worm in the Bud" centers around a suicide note sent by e-mail after the body has been found.
I found the first two series just a little less striking, a little more low-key, than those I have raved about in the Wimsey, Poirot and Miss Marple series. I added that "Midsomer Murders" seems a recycling of the Inspector Morse series but without that character's idiosyncrasies. But by the third series, I found myself pretty hooked on the show, and although I find the plots extremely complex, that will make you want to view them at least a second time. But that is the point in owning recordings.
I should interject here that some television series are rich and enjoyable enough to deserve repeated viewings: Poirot for its humor and period settings, Marple for its characters, Wimsey for all three of those elements, and now "Midsomer Murders" for the reasons stated.
John Nettles plays Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby with a droll sense of humor that is most appealing and most of his ongoing problems in the early episodes stem from his job's keeping him away from his lovely wife (Jane Wymark) and daughter (Laura Howard). His sidekick, Sergeant Troy (Daniel Casey) is simply Barnaby's sidekick but there is a humorous interplay between them.
And it is very good to see that gorgeous English scenery with its old inns and the like. Oh yes, and very minimal foul language, but some unnecessary nudity of the "we may do it so we must do it" variety in the third series adds nothing to the quality of the show. Still I can highly recommend all four series.
The best yet.....
Dianne Foster | USA | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every now and then I do something I regret, and one thing I did recently was to give away all my earlier purchases of the Midsomer Murder sets #1 and #2 on DVD. True, I had a good cause to support and they sold well, but I ended up repurchasing the earlier sets as well as sets 3 and 4 which we have just finished viewing for the first time. That's how much I enjoy this series it is worth repurchasing and we will watch it more than once.
I've noticed the stories in Set #4 as more violent than I remember Sets #1 or Set #2. However, that could be the type of murder - lots of blood. All these murders are "hands on" so to speak, and one episode "Ring out your Dead" of Set #4 is a particularly violent tale involving a set of bell ringers (shades of the `Nine Tailors') preparing to compete in a local bell-ringing contest. Have they been done in by the competition? Or, does someone in their own village have a grudge against them? Gemma Jones serves as a local historian who soon sheds light on the mystery.
If you recall the A&E version of `Pride and Prejudice' you will soon recognize one of the book club members in `Market for Murder' as the overbearing Aunt of Mr Darcy (and the justice of the peace who married the lead characters in 'As Time Goes By').
Dectective Barnaby (John Nettles) and Sgt. Troy (Daniel Casey) are likeable policemen who always have something going on in their personal lives that makes its way into the tale, whether it be Barnaby's wife's latest recipe or Troy's latest love interest.
One of the things I like best in addition to the mysteries that often baffle me until the end is the appearance of favorite British character actors. The other is that all the stories are shot on location in England making the series is eye candy for Anglophiles."
Midsomer Murders, Set Four, continues to keep DCI Tom Barnab
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Make the call, Troy." When Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) says this to his police sergeant, Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), you can be sure he's found another body in one of 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. Barnaby must apply all his experience, skepticism, persistence and unflappability to catch the culprits.
For the record, Set Four's mysteries are: Tainted Fruit (death by injection), set in the village of Midsomer Malham; Ring Out Your Dead (shootings), set in Midsomer Mellow; Murder on St. Malley's Day (knifing), set in Devington School near Midsomer Parva; Market for Murder (car fire) set in Midsomer Market; and A Worm in the Bud (drowning), set in Midsomer Worthy.
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. In Set Four, I particularly liked one very black comedy (Ring Out Your Dead), one well-constructed look at the corrupting pleasures of an old-boy network (Murder on St. Malley's Day), and one examination of overlapping motives (A Worm in the Bud). The mysteries also play fair with the viewer. The clues Barnaby discovers all have been there for us to find as well as for him. 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. In Set Four, which consists of five programs of about an hour and forty minutes each, there are Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Gemma Jones, Anton Rogers, Graham Crowden, Carmen du Santoy, Ian Hogg and Desmond Barret.
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 loser 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 mysteries are consistently well developed and puzzling, and the acting is solid.
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."
Murders in imaginary rural England
Cosy Zoe | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Delightful imaginary villages (probably mostly filmed in Surrey) are rocked by series of murders always solved by Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby (who never looses his cool)with the help of his assistant Troy who is a terrible driver. The dialogue is pleasant, the relationship between the main detective and his assistant is that of kindly master and pupil, the detective work is interspersed with clues, so you can (maybe) guess the culprit, and the scenery is delightful. What more could you want of a detective series? I also love the eery theme tune.
It has no intellectual pretensions, like a Morse might. It has no really fast action, like an MI5 has. It is not complicated like the CSIs. It is not as funny as a Rumpole. It does have some 'ancient history' of characters, like some Agatha Christies. Only drawback: sensitive souls (esp. children) might be a little shocked by some of the gruesome murder scenes - not that you see much of them at all. All in all, a very civilized detective.
In case you are looking for particular episodes, the episodes in this series are: Tainted Fruit, Ring out your Dead (featuring villages Church Bell Ringing competition), Murder on St Malley's Day (featuring an English private school),Market for Murder (about a lady's reading group), and A Worm in the Bud."