Wednesday, 18 January 2017

ADVISORY

Health stuff + No school for Junior until next monday.

Please do accept my apologies for the snail's pace. Thank you  for your comprehension, your interest, your fidelity and your trust.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

MIDSOMER MURDERS - SERIES 19, EPISODE 3: LAST MAN OUT (ITV)

[Spoiler-Free] Cricket is a ground for murder as DCI Barnaby and DS Winter investigate the death of a star batsman.

The bottom line: The face should be familiar...

After the very good A Dying Art last year, scriptwriter Jeff Povey and director Matt Carter return to Midsomer Murders with the absolutely brilliant Last Man OutLeo Henderson, captain of the Lower Pampling Panthers, wins the latest match of the Midsomer C10 Slam cricket competition, and leads his team to the tournament semi-final. But his triumph is short, as he's pummeled to death by cricket balls in the practice area.

« His alibi checks out, Jones.
- I'm Winter, sir. »

DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) are about to interrogate the man who found the body: Jack Morris, the 12th player of the team. But Morris is actually Barnaby's old DS Ben Jones, working undercover to infiltrate a large-scale match fixing operation. Except that John cannot tell Jamie, who quickly puts "Jack Morris" on the suspect list! Another captain dies near a tree, the same tree where someone who went missing 20 years ago reappears.

« That's taking tree hugging a bit far, isn't it? »
 
Last Man Out is creative, ingenious and funny. It's a real pleasure to see the excellent Jason Hugues back as Ben Jones, former right-hand man of two DCI Barnaby. The reunion with John, the "duel" with Winter and Ben's confrontation with the match-fixer on the cricket ground are some of the great moments of this episode. John Bird and Susan Jameson are amongst the guest stars. Like Natasha Little, who also appeared in Midsomer County's tropical counterpart Death in Paradise this month (1).

Also starring Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby and Manjinder Virk (Dr Kam Karimore). Produced by Bentley Productions (part of All3Media) for ITV. Exec produced by Jo Wright and produced by Ella Kelly. Music composed by Jim Parker

(1) Amusingly, Jason Hughes guest stars in an episode of Death in Paradise this year. 

http://midsomermurders.org/

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

EINSTEIN IS BACK ON SAT.1

He took his time but he's finally back. Following the success of a TV movie aired in March 2015 (!) on German private channel Sat.1, crime comedy Einstein returns tonight with the first two episodes of a 10-episode series.

Actor and singer Tom Beck (Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahn Polizeï) stars as Felix Winterberg, great-great grandson of Albert Einstein and scientific genius himself, who unwillingly ended up as a police consultant in the 2015 film.

Far from being another procedural with the inevitable eccentric sleuth, Einstein (the TV movie) didn't take itself seriously at all and caught us with Tom Beck's undeniable gift for fast-paced comedy.

You can read our review of the 2015 film for television here:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/07/einstein-sat1.html

See also:

http://www.sat1.de/tv/einstein

[Update] A very good, entertaining first episode in line with the TV movie. Regrettably followed by a terrible second episode.

Monday, 9 January 2017

MIDSOMER MURDERS - SERIES 19, EPISODE 2: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (ITV)

[Spoiler-Free "mini review"] The butcher of Bleakridge, the most remote village in Midsomer, is found dead in the cold room of his shop by his fellow members of the local Neighbourhood Watch group. 

The man was investigating a wave of burglaries in the village, but hadn’t identified the culprit yet.

It's a little bit like Hot Fuzz without the comedy for DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) in this episode written by Paul Logue and directed by Renny Rye. Crime and Punishment appears to be quite an improvement over the sleepy series premiere, though we could do without the production's insistence to match up the DS with the pathologist, Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk).

Also starring Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby. Frances Barber plays Ingrid Lockston, leader of "the rural Stasi" (as Barnaby calls the Bleakridge Watch). Katy Cavanagh (Lena Ferrara), Neil Morrissey (Mitch McAllister), Vicki Pepperdine (Barbara Walton), Sara Powell (Maxine Lockston), Clive Swift (Felix Hope) and Sam Troughton (Henry Marsh) are amongst the other guest stars. Produced by Bentley Productions (part of All3Media) for ITV. Exec produced by Jo Wright and produced by Ella Kelly. Music composed by Jim Parker.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

DEATH IN PARADISE - SERIES SIX, EPISODE ONE (BBC ONE)

[Spoiler-Free] Stephen Langham, chief volcanologist at the Saint Marie Volcano Observatory, is found dead halfway up the Mont Esmee live volcano

The apparent cause of death is an heart attack but DI Humphrey Goodman notices something is missing in the equipment of the scientist.

The new series of Death in Paradise, the globally popular feel-good detective drama, premiered this week on BBC One. Kris Marshall returns as DI Humphrey Goodman, alongside Danny John-Jules (Officer Dwayne Myers), Joséphine Jobert (DS Florence Cassell), Tobi Bakare (Officer J.P. Hooper), Élizabeth Bourgine (Catherine Bordey) and Don Warrington as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson. Set in the fictional island of Saint Marie, Death in Paradise is actually filmed in the French overseas region of Guadeloupe

The plot of this episode feels like a pretext to showcase the magnificent scenery. The romance between Humphrey and Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton) (1) and a masterclass in comedy from Don Warrington and Danny John-Jules fill the rest of the hour. A slow start for this sixth series but a nice treat for a cold January evening. Murielle Hilaire (Justine Tremblay), Douglas Hodge (Daniel Langham), Natasha Little (Victoria Baker), Cyril Nri (Mayor Joseph Richards), Adrian Rawlins (Stephen Langham) and Emily Taaffe (Megan Colley) are the guest stars.

Written by Dana Fainaru and directed by Claire Winyard. Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC, with the support of Region of Guadeloupe and Film Commission of Guadeloupe. Music composed by Magnus Fiennes. Created by Robert Thorogood.

(1) See http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/02/death-in-paradise-series-five-episode_25.html