Thursday, 27 February 2020

MIDSOMER MURDERS - SERIES 21, EPISODES 3 & 4: THE STING OF DEATH & WITH BAITED BREATH

The 21st series of Midsomer Murders (four 90-minute episodes) premiered last December in the United States on streaming services Britbox and Acorn TV

In the United Kingdom, episodes 1 and 2 aired on ITV in January and on February the 4th respectively. The venerable detective drama stars Neil Dudgeon (DCI John Barnaby), Nick Hendrix (DS Jamie Winter), Annette Badland as pathologist Dr. Fleur Perkins, Fiona Dolman (Sarah Barnaby). Isabel Shaw plays Betty Barnaby.

- The Sting of Death (Episode 3): There's a potentially dangerous swarm on the loose after a case of bee rustling with violence. DCI Barnaby and DS Winter visits the victim, master beekeeper and historic honey producer Ambrose Deddington. Sarah finally convinces a reluctant John to attend a yoga class. An excellent episode written by Julia Gilbert (Agatha Raisin) and directed by Matt Carter.

With Bryan Dick (Cyrus Babbage), Jack Fox (Jude Deddington), Derek Griffiths (Reverend Nigel Bookthorpe), Griff Rhys Jones (Ambrose), Ben Starr (Noah Moon), Imogen Stubbs (Tamara Deddington), Nina Toussaint-White (Hannah Bookthorpe), etc.

- With Baited Breath (Episode 4): Fishermen are eager to catch a giant fish supposed to lurk in a lake during the Solomon Gorge "Fishaton". Their plans are threatened when hundred of participants, including Jamie and Sarah Barnaby, arrive for the Psycho Mud Run. Most regrettably, the slow and clumsy With Baited Breath is a weak way to conclude this 21st series. 

The fish thing and the mud run weirdly sound like two distinct scripts. Maybe they shouldn't film Barnaby and Winter off duty after all. With Aneurin Barnard (Freddie Lamb), Eleanor Fanyinka (Jade-Marie Pierce), Nitin Ganatra (Eric Skye), Miles Jupp (Cornelius Tedbury), Nicola Stephenson (Izzy Silvermane), etc. Written by Jeff Povey. Directed by Jennie Darnell.

Produced by Bentley Productions (an All3Media company) for ITV.  Produced by Guy Hescott. Co-produced by Ian Strachan. Exec produced by Michele Buck and Louise Pedersen. Music composed by Evan Jolly. Midsomer theme composed by Jim Parker. Editing by Simon Starling (Episode 3) and Peter Williams (Episode 4). Cinematography by Al Beech. Costumes designed by Sue Thomson

Based upon the books by Caroline GrahamDistributed by All3Media International. France 3 will show Episode 1 on March 8.



Monday, 24 February 2020

CAPTAIN MARLEAU (CAPITAINE MARLEAU): VEUVES MAIS PAS TROP (FRANCE 3)

France's favourite gendarme meets the mortician.

No matter that Capitaine Marleau was once a brilliant detective drama created by Série Noire author and crime fiction expert scriptwriter Elsa Marpeau for director/producer Josée Dayan. What the fans enjoy most is neither the plots nor the guest actors (even David Suchet or Isabelle Adjani). It's when Corinne Masiero, its star, delivers Marleau's one-liners and social commentaries.

With 7 to 8 million viewers, the series can afford everything. Like shoehorning the capitaine in an aborted film project of Dayan (Double Jeu) or in a novel of Marc Eisenchteter, the story editor of Capitaine Marleau since 2018 (Ne plus mourir, jamais). Corinne Masiero can afford a lot too. The actress is reputed to ad lib, to the point that she's also credited with the writers: "Avec la complicité de Corinne Masiero". Not sure that the scribes asked for it.

Capitaine Marleau has become a one-woman show full of easy jokes, meta-references, free antics and the political views of Corinne Masiero. They are well-known in France as she's very vocal about them. Pace è Salute, the irritating previous episode, caught almost 7 million viewers (31.4%!) so you'd think the forces behind France's most watched drama don't mind that it turned into stand-up comedy. Well, for Veuves mais pas trop it looks that they were a tad worried.

An anonymous tip brings Captain Marleau in the funeral parlor of Stanislas Turner after the disappearance of a dead body and an accusation of murder. The quite confused plot is less interesting than a curious case of countless cut clues. The editing seems to be used to restrict the effects of Corinne Masiero's freewheeling and in Veuves mais pas trop it shows right from the start. Anyway a couple of scenes cannot be saved.

Turner is played by Édouard Baer with a bit of Otis, his character in Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Bruno Lochet (Le crime lui va si bien) plays Adjudant Michel Pichon. He's the second member of the Deschiens theater company to be a deputy of Marleau after Philippe Duquesne in Pace è Salute. Belgian actor and French television legend Jean-Claude Drouot makes a welcome return as the Falstaffian pathologist Leopold Salaun

With Anne Brochet (Martine Lemaître), Isabelle Candelier (Juliette Massoni)Maïra Schmitt (Ariane Turner), Nicolas Robin (Melchior Turner)Valentine Cadic (Virginie Lemaître)Olivier Broche (Dr. Morel), Noémie Lenoir (Marguerite Vitali), etc. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. Co-produced by Passionfilms and Bel Ombre Films with France Télévisions, Pictanovo and the support of Région Hauts-de-France.

With the participation of RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse and R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge). Olivier Schmitt is the production manager. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Music composed by Catherine Lara and Cyrille Lehn. Capitaine Marleau is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Captain Marleau. Written by Sylvain Saada with Corinne Masiero. Directed by Josée Dayan.


Veuves mais pas trop will premiere on France 3 on February 25th.

See also:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2020/02/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau-pace.html (Pace è Salute)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau.html (Quelques maux d'amour)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/capitaine-marleau-grand-huit-france-3.html (Grand Huit)

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

CAPTAIN MARLEAU (CAPITAINE MARLEAU): PACE È SALUTE (FRANCE 3)

Capitaine Marleau is France's favourite gendarme and she knows it.

The bottom line: L'Enquête corse.

Captain Marleau is in a Corsican forest when she's accidentally wounded by a hunter. She's brought to the home of a retired GP, Dr. Paul Crivelli. There's a smell of gas in the house and Crivelli is found dead near his wife Marie, who's unconscious. Marleau interrogates Lesia Crivelli, their daughter, who left Paris where she was a surgeon to become the successor to her father. Lesia's ex-fiancé, who was meant to succeed to Paul, didn't take her return well. A man who beat his wife wants to take revenge on Lesia Crivelli because of her intervention. 

What the fans of Capitaine Marleau like most is neither the plots nor the guest actors (even David Suchet or Isabelle Adjani). It's when Corinne Masiero, its star, delivers Marleau's one-liners and social commentaries. With almost 8 million viewers, the series can afford everything. The actress is reputed to ad lib, to the point that she's also credited with the writers. Pace è Salute is heavy on easy jokes, meta-references and Corinne Masiero's views (well-known in France). Even the postcard shots of the beautiful Corsica cannot prevent the feeling that those 90 minutes last three hours (including 30 minutes of clichés).

With Mélanie Doutey (Lesia Crivelli), Philippe Duquesne (Major Fortin), Catherine Rouvel (Marie Crivelli), Brigitte Sy (Victoire Bracconi), Maria Ducceschi (Restitude Corsa), Laurent Capelluto (Pierre Russo), Cédric Appietto (Ange Castola), Daniel Martin (Dr. Luc Martinez), Jean-Pierre Bouvier (Jacques Ardouin), Didier Landucci (Hubert Ricciardi), Jean-Marc Michelangeli (Henri Ricciardi), etc. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. Co-produced by Passionfilms and Gaspard & Co with France Télévisions and the support of Collectivité de Corse.

With the participation of RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse and R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge). Jean-Christophe Cardineau is the production manager. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Music composed by Catherine Lara and Cyrille Lehn. Marc Eisenchteter is the story editor. Capitaine Marleau is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Captain Marleau. Series created by Elsa Marpeau. Written by Marc-Antoine Laurent and Jean-Marc Taba with Corinne Masiero. Directed by Josée Dayan.

Pace è Salute will premiere on France 3 on February 18th.

See also:

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/captain-marleau-capitaine-marleau.html (Quelques maux d'amour)
https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2019/10/capitaine-marleau-grand-huit-france-3.html (Grand Huit)