MidSomer Murders: Set 16 (Acorn Media DVD Set)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Episodes: B-
wouldn’t know it at first glance, but crime is rampant in the rural UK county
of MidSomer, and death
seemingly lurks around every corner!
This boxed set includes four separate mysteries featuring detectives Tom
Barnaby (John Nettles) and Ben Jones (Jason Hughes). Each mystery follows a similar pattern,
introducing a cast of potential victims and villains in the opening minutes,
usually including someone getting murdered by an unseen assailant. It is then left up to the inspectors to
determine whom among a hamlet’s cast of colorful characters is the guilty party
once again in MidSomer Murders – Set 16!
and Hughes know their characters well and handle the varied and sometimes zany
plots with professional aplomb.
Inspector Barnaby is the older, more experienced hand, and Sergeant
Jones provides plenty of energy as his much younger partner. This chemistry works particularly well in “Days of Misrule”, where the pair must
endure a series of horrendous team-building exercises while trying to get to
the bottom of a mysterious explosion and the subsequent murders radiating out
from it. Each episode features a series
of complex plot twists that generally involve a town’s recent or even distant
past. There are usually enough viable
suspects to keep the audience guessing, but in some instances, it becomes less
about the mystery and more about the motive.
of the four episodes is “The Magician’s
Nephew”, a sordid tale involving a cult of pagan nature worshippers who
just may have a killer among them.
Barnaby and Jones have to work out the mystery as the victims pile up,
and the survivors search for what they believe to be an ancient book of arcane
power. This story offered the most
surprises, revealing a most unlikely killer at its end.
include only a single commentary and some production notes, along with the
option for subtitles. It would have been
nice to see some cast or production interviews included, but we’re left wanting
in this area. MidSomer Murders does the mystery drama in a very workman-like
fashion. The main characters are
well-played, but at times the performances and plots lack a certain
dynamism. Fans of British television and
the mystery genre will surely enjoy these episodes, but casual viewers may just
be left asking why anyone would ever want to live in a place as dangerous as MidSomer County.
- Scott Pyle