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Midsomer Murders: Series 1

Midsomer Murders: Series 1

Series 1
On DVD: 
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Midsomer Murders comes full circle as the series see’s a re-release of the first series on DVD. Unlike the original 2003 release, this series contains all five episodes of the series: The Killing At Badger’s Drift, Written In Blood, Death of a Hollow Man, Faithful Unto Death, and Death In Disguise.

I have been covering Midsomer Murders for quite some time now and I find it strange that the first series, as most earlier renditions of anything, kind of pale in comparison with what the show has become. It’s just a bit gimmicky and the mysteries, though filled with quirky and interesting characters, feel borrowed.

Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is joined by his generically written assistant Sergeant Troy. One of the running gags in the firsts series is that Troy is a terrible driver, though it doesn’t stop Barnaby from allowing him to do all the driving. It’s kind of like the equivalent of the running gag later in the series about Barnaby’s wife not knowing how to cook, though she does a pretty excellent job in the first series.

The mysteries were pretty easy to figure out, which is not something that I was used to with Midsomer Murders. Either you figured them out after the first ten or fifteen minutes or the mysteries felt like run on, overstaying their welcome and throwing everything at you in desperation. Death In Disguise was on such episode that felt like it was running on forever and lacked the sophistication and great writing the show is better known for.

Despite the sow not really being up to par with itself it was interesting to see some familiar faces in some of the episodes. Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom), Jessica Hynes (Spaced), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Judy Cornwell (Keeping Up Appearances), John Shrapnel (Gladiator), and more keep it interesting, in one of those name that face kind of ways. Otherwise the series was simply just sub-standard to me. Nettles as usual offers up a superb performance but the rest of the show obviously had room to grow, thank goodness it did. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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