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Customer Review

226 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successful entry in a great British mystery tradition., 5 May 2006
This review is from: Midsomer Murders : A Collection of Ten Investigations (10 DVD Box Set) (DVD)
They are amateurs and pros, London dwellers moving equally comfortably in international society as in that of their occasional forays into the English countryside, and lifelong inhabitants of those rural settings. They investigate crimes in the Thames valley and cities as large as Oxford, midsize towns like a certain Kingsmarkham, and villages with such all-English names as St. Mary Mead or King's Abbot. And they have been portrayed by some of Britain's finest contemporary actors, from Jeremy Brett and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke (Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson) to Roy Marsden (Commander Adam Dalgliesh), Patrick Malahide and William Simons (D.C.I. Roderick Alleyn & D.I. "Br'er" Fox), John Thaw and Kevin Whately (D.C.I. Morse & D.S. Lewis), David Jason (D.I. "Jack" Frost), George Baker and Christopher Ravenscroft (D.C.I. Reginald Wexford & D.I. Mike Burden), Peter Davison and Brian Glover (Albert Campion & Magersfontein Lugg), Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter (Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane), David Suchet/Albert Finney (Hercule Poirot) and last but not least Joan Hickson as Miss Jane Marple, the grandmother of all English village detectives.

To that illustrious group, British author Caroline Graham in 1987 added another sleuthing couple, the middle-aged D.C.I. Tom Barnaby and his young colleague D.S. Gavin Troy, coppers in a cluster of villages which, collectively, make up an area known as Midsomer County, and which could easily rival Agatha Christie's very own St. Mary Mead in per-capita occurrences of treachery, crime, and bloodletting. The series' first entry, "The Killings at Badgers Drift," was so successful that it won a Macavity Award for best first mystery and, for its author, an instant loyal following. Before long, the books had spawned a television series, which at almost 40 episodes has long since outrun the number of its print originals. Starring as Barnaby and Troy are Royal Shakespeare Company alumnus John Nettles, best known to TV audiences as Jerseyan Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac in the 1980s' series of the same name (based on the books by Andrew Saville), and Daniel Casey, whose most notable other roles to date have been appearances in the BBC's "Our Friends in the North," ITV's "Steel River Blues" (for which he gave up "Midsomer Murders" in 2004), and the 1998 Catherine Cookson adaptation "The Wingless Bird." Nettles and Casey are an engaging team, not quite faithful to their characters' literary versions - which however works well to their advantage; particularly in the case of Daniel Casey's Troy, who despite a certain learning curve in political correctness is less brash than in the books, and who presents a good foil for Nettles's emphatic Barnaby; in turn overall more reminiscent of George Baker's Wexford than of Nettles's own Bergerac, whose domestic bliss is spoiled, again and again, by the callings of his job, to his regret as much as to that of his culinarily-challenged wife Joyce (Jane Wymark) and theater-bound daughter Cully (Laura Howard); yet, he is to much of a professional not to heed those callings every single time.

With the release of the series' individual episodes long underway and "region 1" box sets in the process of being marketed in the U.S. for quite a while, too, this first set in region 2 encoding is a most welcome opportunity for fans of the series to reacquaint themselves with this winning pair of detectives and the not-so peaceful, albeit wonderfully filmed setting of rural Midsomer County. Crucially, it also includes the TV version of "The Killings at Badgers Drift," which (re-)introduced the characters of Barnaby and Troy (as had Caroline Graham's book, ten years earlier), and among whose high profile roster of guest stars were screen luminaries and TV regulars such as Elizabeth Spriggs, Jonathan Firth, Rosalie Crutchley, Julian Glover, Christopher Villiers and Renee Asherson. In addition to the 1997 pilot, this set features the series's complete first two seasons (1998 and 1999).

Episodes included:

The Killings at Badger's Drift (1997)

Written in Blood (1998)

Death of a Hollow Man (1998)

Faithful Unto Death (1998)

Death in Disguise (1999)

Death's Shadow (1999)

Strangler's Wood (1999)

Dead Man's Eleven (1999)

Blood Will Out (1999)

Death of a Stranger (1999)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2009 13:02:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2009 13:03:19 GMT
Does this box have subtitles? I´m from Germany so they´d be very helpful. Thanks Nicole

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2009 21:27:00 BDT
Etze says:
sorry, this box has no subtitles at all!
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