It’s murder again in Barnaby’s Midsomer

www.markbourdillon.com  07831605033''Midsomer Murder Specials 08

www.markbourdillon.com 07831605033''Midsomer Murder Specials 08

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Just like you probably wouldn’t go whale fishing with anyone called Jonah or check into a motel run by anyone with the surname Bates, there would be no good reason for cashing in your redundancy (hah!) and upping sticks to the picturesque area of Midsomer.

Just like you probably wouldn’t go whale fishing with anyone called Jonah or check into a motel run by anyone with the surname Bates, there would be no good reason for cashing in your redundancy and upping sticks to the picturesque area of Midsomer.

As far as crime rates go it’s got to be up there with the Bronx and some of the seamier sides of Los Angeles.

So the few remaining living residents are probably breathing a sight of relief that after investigating nearly 200 murders, suicides and suspicious deaths, DCI Tom Barnaby is soon to hand his police badge.

Or rather actor John Nettles is leaving the long-running show later in the year - to be replaced by Neil Dudgeon.

First, though, Britain’s nicest TV detective is embroiled in a skirmish over plans to build “a monstrous carbuncle” of a development of the outskirts of the picturesque village of Pelfe (Midsomer Murders, ITV1, 8pm).

Given the area’s track record, when a leaflet inviting you to an open-garden event drops through your door in Midsomer, it would probably be a good idea to resist the temptation to pop along.

But, heigh-ho, it seems the residents of these unlucky villages will never learn.

If that weren’t enough of a starter to a decidedly middle-class plot, the weapon used to dispatch the inevitable first victim is an empty mineral water bottle taken from the recycling box, while the second is a set of Grand Designs-style floor-to-ceiling sliding patio doors. Sounds like the police should head to Ambridge to find the culprit - where they will probably be baking a quiche and plotting another killing.

Of course, it’s all unashamed tosh but Midsomer Murders is so charming and so pretty to look at it that it can get away with murder. Literally.

John Nettles’ penultimate – and pitch-perfect - performance as DCI Tom Barnaby, is a tale of planning permission and disputes over new builds which unfolds with the inevitable murderous consequences. With heaps of accusations flying around, not to mention political wranglings.

Will Barnaby and Jones crack the case by the end of the day (or at least the episode)? Well what do you think?