Midsomer Murders is
a British television drama
that has aired on ITV1 since 1997.
detective drama, it focuses on the main character of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby
, played by John Nettles
, and his efforts to solve the
various crimes that take place in the fictional English county
. It is based on
a series of crime novels
by the author
and was originally
adapted by Anthony Horowitz
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.
Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy
- Barnaby's first
and longest-serving 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
remarks, often concerning his disdain for homosexuals
. He is known to make other
inappropriate comments, often at the least fortuitous of times.
promoted to Inspector and transferred to Middlesbrough at the end of the sixth series.
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's long-suffering wife.
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.
- 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. Thought to have made her last appearance in the show
in the episode "The Magician's Nephew. she also appears in "The
DS Dan Scott
- is a bit cockier than his
predecessor Gavin Troy; he is a Londoner who was not thrilled at
being transferred from the Metropolitan Police Service
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
- is the third character to act as
Barnaby's assistant. Unlike the other two (Gavin Troy and Dan
Scott) who both appeared on the series as sergeants, Ben Jones was
an acting detective constable when first introduced to the viewer;
he was subsequently promoted to sergeant. Jones is considerably
less naive than his predecessors, perhaps down to his local roots.
Many episodes emphasise his attachment to the area in ways that
neither Scott or Troy could be. In an episode first broadcast in
January 2007, it is revealed that Ben Jones was a Freemason
. Freemasonry is central to the plot of
this episode and Jones assists with many references to masonic ritual
and regalia, and is shown
attending a lodge meeting. In the episode "Death in Chorus" Jones
shows his vocal skills by singing tenor
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.'
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
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
in the pilot episode The
Killings at Badger's Drift
and also in Death's Shadow
. Miles Tully (played by
) appears in both Shot at Dawn
and The Dogleg Murders
, however his
appearance in Shot at Dawn is very brief.
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 8 episodes, at the end of 2010. A new DCI will appear in
the 14th series.
first aired as a pilot on 23 March 1997.
Since then, 70 episodes have been aired up to series 12 (as of 30
October 2009). The episodes within each series can often be aired
many months apart.
Composed by Jim Parker
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
sounds more or less like a soprano singing without words.
has been sold to a large number of
countries and territories around the world—in 2004 it was sold in
204 countries whether as either TV Programming or DVD.
, the series originally aired
on the Nine Network
. First-run episodes
from series 11 onwards screened on ABC1
as of 2009 began showing in prime time older episodes previously
screened on Nine Network
screenings are also aired on the subscription TV channel UK.TV
. Series Twelve commenced screening on ABCHD
on 23 August 2009.
Showing one episode weekly, they are now screening episodes prior
to their first screening in the UK.
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
Canada, the series is broadcast on public broadcaster
TVOntario in Ontario, and on
Knowledge in British
Columbia, which in
2009 is showing Series 9 through 10.
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
Ubojstva 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
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.
Denmark, it is
called Kriminalkommisær Barnaby and is shown by DR (Danmarks Radio).
currently being sold with a weekly magazine called
Estonia, the series is known as Midsomeri mõrvad
and is broadcast on national public television channel ETV.
Finland, the series is known by its translated name in
Finnish Midsomerin murhat and shows on the channel
France, the series
is shown on France 3 and has been retitled
Germany, the channel ZDF airs the
series as Inspector Barnaby.
Ireland, the series is shown on the state broadcaster,
Italy, the series is known as Ispettore Barnaby
and airs on La7 and FoxCrime
Hungary, the series is shown on the Hallmark Channel.
It is dubbed in Hungarian,
its title is Kisvárosi gyilkosságok (Small-town Murders).
India, the series is shown on the Hallmark Channel.
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
Lithuania, the series is shown on TV1 and
has been retitled Midsomerio žmogžudystės.
Middle East, it airs on the Saudi channel
Netherlands, Nederland 1 airs the serie as Midsomer Murders, the
serie is subtitled in Dutch.
Zealand, the series has been broadcast for a number of
years on free-to-air channel Prime.
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
Poland, the series
is called Morderstwa w Midsomer and is aired on the
Romania, the series is called Crimele Din Midsomer
(Midsomer Murders) and is aired weekly on the Hallmark Channel, Pro
TV, and Pro Cinema.
Russia and the
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
(1951) by Cyril
Serbia, the series
is called "Ubistva u Midsomeru" and is aired on Fox televizija and the Hallmark Channel.
Slovakia, the series is aired on JOJ
Plus as Vraždy v Midsomeri (Murders In
Slovenia, the series is aired on Kanal
A and the Hallmark Channel and
is called Umori na podeželju (Murders in the
DVDs of the series have been sold via
In South Africa
, the series is aired
every Sunday on the Hallmark
, channel number 108.
Lanka,the series is aired on Channel Eye every Sunday
series, translated to Morden i Midsomer (The Murders in
Midsomer), 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.
also aired in Thailand, Malaysia, the
Indonesia on the Hallmark Channel every week.
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
filming locations for Midsomer Murders include, in 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, Wallingford, Dorchester, Waterstock, Little Haseley,
Park, Thame and
Aston, Bekonscot Model Village.
for a list of filming locations
for every episode.)
All eleven series thus far of Midsomer Murders
released in Australia (Region 4). All 65 episodes which have been
aired so far have been released in the UK (Region 2) including the
2008 Christmas Special "Days of Misrule" released 2 February
In January 2006, Midsomer Murders
started a DVD &
Magazine Collection, available at newsagents in the UK and
Acorn Media has released 13 DVD sets of Midsomer Murders
in the US as well as a 19-disc collection available as The
. 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
The following list is a collection of published works connected
with the series.
- Caroline Graham, "The
Killings at Badger's Drift", 1987.
- Caroline Graham, "Death of a
Hollow Man", 1989.
- Caroline Graham, "Death in
- Caroline Graham, "Written
in Blood", 1995.
- Caroline Graham, "Faithful unto
- Caroline Graham, "A Place of
- Caroline Graham, "A Ghost in
the Machine", 2004.
- Jeff Evans, "Midsomer
Murders: The Making of An English Crime Classic", 2003.