Thursday, 3 April 2014


Series 16 of Midsomer Murders, aired on ITV from last Christmas to mid-February, arrives this sunday in France on pubcaster France 3.

The latest Midsomer Murders series starts with a Christmas special, The Christmas Haunting (Frissons de Noël in French), whose sole interest is to introduce stage and TV actor Gwilym Lee as Charlie Nelson, the new DS of DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). It also tries to give a proper exit to DS Ben Jones because actor Jason Hughes left after the previous series. Nelson looks like the little brother of Broadchurch's DI Alec Hardy and Lee quickly finds his feet.

DS Nelson is not the only change in this series as John's Wife Sarah, played by Fiona Dolman, is pregnant. Let Us Prey (Colère divine) is far better than the "special". Charlie tries to cope with lodging in the messy house of pathologist Dr Kate Wilding (Tamzin Malleson). There are some "medieval" murders and a severe flood alert. Rebecca Front (Lewis, another favourite of France 3's sunday nights) plays a scheming vicar vs the great Michael Jayston.

Though writers Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths did the splendid "Hammer" episode for Series 15, boredom is the crime weapon in Wild Harvest. The rather decent The Flying Club, written by Michael Aitkens (The Dark Rider), has an elegant tribute to North by Northwest and two legends in the guest cast: June Whitfield and Bernard Cribbins.

The Killings of Copenhagen, the 100th Midsomer Murders, was filmed partly in Denmark. Ann Eleonora Jørgensen (Forbrydelsen) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Borgen) are amongst the guest stars in this average episode centered around the murder of the boss of a Badger's Drift biscuit company on a business trip to Copengagen. There's also Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars, The Indian Doctor) and a Willy Wonka-esque factory.

This sixteenth series is produced by Louise Sutton and exec produced by Jo Wright. Midsomer Murders is produced by Bentley Productions, an All3Media company, for ITV. Series 15 was released on DVD in France by Koba Films in January (

See also: (Review of Let Us Prey) (Series 15 French Region 2 DVD review)

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