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Midsomer Murders
Midsomer murders logo.jpg
Genre Crime drama
Created by Caroline Graham
Directed by Peter Smith
Sarah Hellings
Jeremy Silberston
Richard Holthouse
Renny Rye
Starring John Nettles
Jane Wymark
Barry Jackson
Laura Howard
Composer(s) Jim Parker
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 72 (as of 10 February 2010) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brian True-May
Producer(s) Brian True-May
Betty Willingale
Editor(s) Derek Bain
Cinematography Colin Munn
Graham Frake
Running time 120 minutes
(including adverts)
Broadcast
Original channel ITV1
Picture format Super 16
Audio format Stereo
Original run 23 March 1997 – present
External links
Official website

Midsomer Murders is a British television drama that has aired on ITV1 since 1997. A detective drama,[1] it focuses on the main character of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, and his efforts to solve the numerous crimes that take place in the fictional English county of Midsomer. It is based on a series of crime novels by the author Caroline Graham and was previously adapted by Anthony Horowitz.

Contents

Cast

Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby (John Nettles) (1997-present)

Joyce Barnaby (Jane Wymark) (1997- Present)

DS Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) (1997-2003, 2008)

DS Dan Scott (John Hopkins) (2003-2005)

DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) (2005-Present)

DC Gail Stephens (Kirsty Dillon) (2007-Present)

George Bullard (Barry Jackson) (1997- Present)

Cully Barnaby (Laura Howard) (2000- Present)

DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) (2010-present)

Characters

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby - A senior member of the Midsomer Constabulary's Causton CID, Barnaby handles the considerable number of murders that occur in the county. A patient, tolerant man whose style of investigation is methodical and fair. However despite his methodical nature he is an extremely sagacious and perceptive individual, able to recognise seemingly obscure clues in order to close an investigation. He also formerly worked for MI6. Much of his social life seems to revolve around his wife and daughter. In fact, they both often provide a personal connection with the crimes that he is investigating. His other relatives are his parents, who by the episode "Blue Herrings" are both deceased. Though only his mother is referred to, he also has an aunt Alice Bly who appears only in the aforesaid episode, to whom he is devoted.

Joyce Barnaby - Barnaby's long-suffering wife. She is enormously tolerant of her husband, despite his being a workaholic who spent their honeymoon solving the case of the 'Pimlico Poisoner', which suggests that they met in London, where they both possibly lived and worked. Joyce is an easy-going and friendly woman who likes to get involved in community activities. She has long possessed a desire to move out of their Causton home and into one of the picturesque Midsomer villages - only to be put off by the grisly murders that occur there.

Cully Barnaby - Tom and Joyce's only child and takes her first name from the village on Lake Geneva in Switzerland in which she was conceived when her parents were on honeymoon. She is an inquisitive and bold young woman, who seems to have inherited many of her parents' friendly attitudes and community spirit. Early in the series she attended Cambridge University and dated a drama student, Nico. This fell through and she returned to live with her parents in Causton. She is an actress and frequently takes temporary jobs in the Midsomer area when "resting" between assignments. Like her mother, her tendency to do community work often leaves her personally involved with the murders that take place. She meets Simon in the Axeman Cometh, and marries him in Blood Wedding. Actress Laura Howard was said to have left the show after "The Magician's Nephew"[2], but Cully appeared again in "The Glitch".

Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy - Barnaby's first deputy. He is a local man and attended a local comprehensive. He is young to be a detective sergeant, a point often commented on. He is very bright and ambitious, though it is usually his boss who solves the crime, often after Troy has made the wrong conclusion. In contrast to the tolerant Barnaby, Troy is one to make non-politically correct remarks, often concerning his disdain for homosexuals. He is known to make other inappropriate comments, often at the least fortuitous of times. He was promoted to Inspector and transferred to Middlesbrough at the end of the sixth series. His relationship with Barnaby has always been warm and the two make a formidable pair. He makes a one off re-appearance in the Series 11 episode "Blood Wedding", to attend the wedding of Cully Barnaby.[3]

DS Dan Scott - is a bit cockier than his predecessor DS Troy; he is a Londoner who was not thrilled at being transferred from the Metropolitan Police Service to Midsomer, which he regards as the 'sticks'. His relationship with Barnaby was prickly at first but it mellowed into a slightly awkward marriage of convenience, with Barnaby still disapproving of Scott's methods and Scott grudgingly starting to respect him. In 'The Straw Woman,' Scott develops a love interest who is subsequently brutally murdered. This episode is notable for Barnaby's lack of sympathy with Scott's situation. Scott's departure from the show was also abrupt. In 'The House in the Woods,' Barnaby describes Scott as being ill. Barnaby invites Jones to assist him on that case. After this incident, no more is heard from Scott and Jones becomes the new assistant.

DS Ben Jones - the third character to act as Barnaby's assistant. Unlike the his predecessors (DS Troy and DS Scott), who first appeared on the series as sergeants, Jones was a uniformed police constable when first introduced. He was promoted first to DC (after assisting Barnaby in DS Scott's absence), then to sergeant by the end of his first series. Jones is considerably less naive than his predecessors, often possessing an insight into cases that neither Scott nor Troy would have. He is Welsh, and remarks about his love for Wales when he and Barnaby travel there in the episode "Death and Dust". He is formerly a Freemason, as revealed in "King's Crystal". In the episode "Death in Chorus" Jones exhibits a remarkable vocal talent and is recruited to sing tenor in the Midsomer Worthy choir.

Doctor George Bullard - Causton's resident pathologist. Bullard goes about his work with a professional skill and a cheery demeanour. He is a good friend of Barnaby. He has been a regular throughout the series (save for a brief spell, when his place was taken by Dr. Dan Peterson played by Toby Jones). In later episodes he has often played a greater role in the plot, even making a stirling appearance in the Midsomer Worthy Choir in 'Death in Chorus.'

DC Gail Stephens - a colleague of Barnaby and Jones who often helps them in their cases, sometimes providing valuable insight. Stephens is cheery but emotional, breaking down in tears when she was promoted from WPC to DC. There was the brief potential for a relationship between her and Jones, but Jones made a decision which went against it on the grounds that she was a work colleague.

Other minor characters have also spanned their appearances across more than one episode. Olive Beauvoisin, the estate agent, (played by Eileen Davies) appeared in Death's Shadow and Dead Man’s Eleven. She also appeared in "Hidden Depths" but in this particular episode she was credited as "Estate Agent ". Charles Jennings (played by Terence Corrigan) also featured in the same two episodes. David Whitely (played by Christopher Villiers) appeared in the pilot episode The Killings at Badger's Drift and also in Death's Shadow.

Setting

Midsomer is an English fictional county. The county town is Causton, a middle-sized town where Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby lives with his wife and where the Criminal Investigation Department is located. Many of the villages and small towns of the county have the word Midsomer in their name. The county is notable for its particularly high crime rate, the Midsomer Constabulary inundated with the number of murder cases that come their way.

List of villages in Midsomer

  • Aspern Tallow
  • Badger's Drift
  • Bow Clayton
  • Broughton
  • Burwood Mantle
  • Calham Cross
  • Draycott
  • Dunstan
  • Elverton-cum-Latterley
  • Ferne Basset
  • Finchmere
  • Fletcher's Cross
  • Goodman's Land
  • Haddington
  • Little Upton
  • Little Worthy
  • Lower Warden
  • Luxton Deeping
  • Malham Bridge
  • Malham Cross
  • Marsh Wood
  • Martyr Warren
  • Midsomer Barton
  • Midsomer Chettham
  • Midsomer Deverell
  • Midsomer Florey
  • Midsomer Holm
  • Midsomer Magna
  • Midsomer Malham
  • Midsomer Mallow
  • Midsomer Market
  • Midsomer Mere
  • Midsomer Morton
  • Midsomer Newton
  • Midsomer Parva
  • Midsomer Priors
  • Midsomer Sonning
  • Midsomer St. Michael
  • Midsomer Wellow
  • Midsomer Worthy
  • Morton Fendle
  • Morton Shallows
  • Newton Magna
  • Upper Warden


Filming locations

Causton was represented by Wallingford, Oxfordshire.[4] Popular filming locations include Buckinghamshire, Beaconsfield, Amersham, Great Missenden, Prestwood, the Lee, Wendover, Stoke Poges, Princes Risborough, Turville, Long Crendon, Penn, Marlow, Denham, Bledlow, the Ashridge Estate, Aldbury, Little Gaddesden, Chesham, Latimer, Chenies, Hambleden, Haddenham, and Waddesdon; in Hertfordshire, Chipperfield, Flaunden, Bulbourne, Hadley Wood, Sarratt, and Watford; and, in Oxfordshire, Islip, Nettlebed, Henley on Thames, Dorchester, Waterstock, Little Haseley, Stoke Talmage, Stonor Park, Thame and Aston. Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield features in one episode, and Beaconsfield railway station repeatedly features as the fictional Causton railway station. See midsomermurders.net for a list of filming locations for every episode.

Production

Initial filming of Midsomer Murders was undertaken in autumn 1996 with the first episodes transmitted in the United Kingdom in March 1997. Viewing figures for the series are healthy, and the feature-length drama attracts a number of actors from the stage and screen in guest-starring roles. The majority of the early episodes were adapted by Anthony Horowitz from the original Caroline Graham works. Horowitz and the original producers Betty Willingale and Brian True-May, created the series. Current writers include David Lawrence, Michael Aitkens and David Hoskins.

In early 2009 John Nettles announced he will retire after the 13th series of 10 episodes, at the end of 2010. Neil Dudgeon will replace him in the 14th series playing Barnaby's cousin DCI John Barnaby[5]. The character is first seen in the episode 'The Sword of Guillame' [6].

Episodes

Midsomer Murders first aired as a pilot on 23 March 1997. Since then, 72 episodes have been aired from 13 series and 2 Christmas specials (as of 10 February, 2010). The episodes within each series can often be aired many months apart.

Soundtrack

Composed by Jim Parker, the soundtrack is performed (though not exclusively) with an unusual electronic musical instrument: the theremin. The theme is a moderate-tempo waltz that would sound quite pleasant on a more normal instrument, such as a violin or piano, but sounds quite eerie on the theremin, which was used in some mid 20th-century horror films.

Other countries

Midsomer Murders has been sold to a large number of countries and territories around the world—in 2004 it was sold in 204 countries[7] whether as either TV Programming or DVD.

In Australia, the series originally aired on the Nine Network. First-run episodes from series 11 onwards screened on ABC1, which as of 2009 began showing in prime time older episodes previously screened on Nine Network. Repeat screenings are also aired on the subscription TV channel UK.TV. Series Twelve commenced screening on ABCHD and ABC1 on 23 August 2009. Showing one episode weekly, they are now screening episodes prior to their first screening in the UK.

In Belgium, the series is shown subtitled on Dutch language channel Canvas and dubbed in French on RTL-TVI, Club RTL, where it has also been retitled Inspecteur Barnaby.

In Canada, the series is broadcast on public broadcaster TVOntario and the Book Television in Ontario, and on Knowledge in British Columbia, which in 2009 is showing Series 9 through series 10.

In Croatia, the series is broadcast on public station HRT, typically in the Friday late evening slot, about a year after the original airing, with the title translated as Umorstva u Midsomeru. Most of the seasons have been rerun. Various cable channels that carry the series are also available (such as Hallmark Channel Croatia and BBC Prime).

In the Czech Republic, the series is known as Vraždy v Midsomeru (Murders In Midsomer), and it is broadcast on TV Prima, one of the four major TV channels there.

In Denmark, it is called Kriminalkommisær Barnaby and is shown by DR (Danmarks Radio). DVDs are currently being sold with a weekly magazine called Billedbladet.

In Estonia, the series is known as Midsomeri mõrvad (Midsomer Murders) and is broadcast on national public television channel ETV.

In Finland, the series is known by its translated name in Finnish Midsomerin murhat and shows on the channel YLE1.

In France, the series is shown on France 3 and has been retitled Inspecteur Barnaby.

In Germany, the channel ZDF airs the series as Inspector Barnaby.

In Hungary, the series is shown on the Hallmark Channel. It is dubbed in Hungarian, its title is Kisvárosi gyilkosságok (Small-town Murders).

In Ireland, the series is shown on the state broadcaster, RTE.

In Italy, it is called L'ispettore Barnaby (Inspector Barnaby) and is one of the most viewed shows of the private channel La7. Reruns also air on satellite channel Fox Crime.

In India, the series is shown on the Hallmark Channel.

In Japan, the series is shown on the "AXN Mystery" Cable Channel. It is called "Ba-nabi Keibu" (Inspector Barnarby) and shown with Japanese subtitle.

In Lithuania, the series is shown on TV1 and has been retitled Midsomerio žmogžudystės.

In the Middle East, it airs on the Saudi channel MBC 4.

In the Netherlands, Nederland 1 airs the serie as Midsomer Murders, the serie is subtitled in Dutch.

In New Zealand, the series has been broadcast for a number of years on free-to-air channel Prime.

In Norway, the series is called Mord og Mysterier (Murder and Mysteries) and has developed a steady and loyal fanbase. It is broadcast on the second-largest TV channel, TV 2.

In Poland, the series is called Morderstwa w Midsomer and is aired on the Hallmark Channel.

In Romania, the series is called Crimele Din Midsomer (Midsomer Murders) and is aired weekly on the Hallmark Channel, Pro TV, and Pro Cinema.

In Russia and Ukraine, it is called "Purely English Murders" and has been repeatedly shown on various channels. The reason for such an unusual choice of title is the great success of the 1974 Soviet film Purely English Murder adapted from the novel An English Murder (1951) by Cyril Hare.

In Serbia, the series is called "Ubistva u Midsomeru" and is aired on Fox televizija and the Hallmark Channel.

In Slovakia, the series is aired on JOJ Plus as Vraždy v Midsomeri (Murders In Midsomer).

In Slovenia, the series is aired on Kanal A and the Hallmark Channel and is called Umori na podeželju (Murders in the Countryside). DVDs of the series have been sold via newspapers.

In South Africa, the series is aired every Sunday on the Hallmark Channel on DStv, channel number 108.

In Sri Lanka,the series is aired on Channel Eye every Sunday Night.

In Sweden, the series, translated to Morden i Midsomer (The Murders in Midsomer) and airing on SVT1, is hugely popular and has become a traditional part of summer television schedules. DVDs of the episodes were sold weekly with copies of a tabloid newspaper, but not anymore.

It is also aired in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia on the Hallmark Channel every week.

In the United States, the series was aired by Arts and Entertainment Television for a time and is now being broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area by Public Broadcasting station KTEH, Channel 54 in San Jose. Beginning on October 9, KTEH began airing Midsomer Murders from the first episode, "The Killings at Badgers Drift." Each episode is aired four times a week on Fridays at 900pm, Saturdays at 300am, Tuesdays at 700pm, and Wednesdays at 100am.

DVD releases

All eleven series thus far of Midsomer Murders have been released in Australia (Region 4). All 65 episodes that have been aired so far have been released in the UK (Region 2) including the 2008 Christmas Special "Days of Misrule" released 2 February 2009.

In January 2006, Midsomer Murders started a DVD & Magazine Collection, available at newsagents in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

Acorn Media has released 13 DVD sets of Midsomer Murders in the US as well as a 19-disc collection available as The Early Cases. This set, which restores the episodes to their UK broadcast order, includes Acorn's set one, two, three, and five, as well as a bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary. US releases lag well behind UK releases.

Books

The following list is a collection of published works connected with the series.

References

External links








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