Wednesday, 27 January 2016


[Spoiler-Free] At last! Someone on this series remembered how to make a decent episode.

« I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride it where I like. » (Queen, Bicycle Race)

Last week's episode was great with all those celebs, Ant & Dec... Oh wait, actually there was no Midsomer Murders on ITV last wednesday because of the National Television Awards. Now Series 18 returns for its third episode, written by Chris Murray and directed by Rob Evans. Previously Murray killed people with a roulette wheel in the opener of the 17th series and wrote the 2013 Christmas episode.

« Tell me. How did Greg Eddon do in the race?
- He won it. »

A professional cycle road race comes to the Midsomer village of Burwood Mantle. Greg Eddon, the race winner, warms down when he's murdered by someone who puts a spanner in his rear wheel to throw him off his bike. DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) investigate, assisted by forensic pathologist Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk)

Rivalry is everywhere: on the road, within one of the teams and between two teams. Even (in a much nicer way) between John and Sarah Barnaby (Fiona Dolman), for the first word of Baby Betty, and between Charlie and Kam. An environmental activist is opposed to the race and someone receives a threatening package with a cow's heart (plus a note).  Another cyclist is murdered.

John, Sarah, Charlie and Kam go to a pub quiz and thankfully nobody is killed during the competition. Breaking The Chain makes a good use of professional cycling as a backdrop for the Midsomer routine. It brings back a little "nastiness" to the murdering habits of the county inhabitants, though it's both in shadow play and off-camera (« We get the picture, Kam. ») And for once in this 18th series, the dog and the baby are not the only members of the regular cast who seem awake.

The excellent English actor Joe McGann, who plays Jez Oliver, is well-known in the UK for his role in the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand (1990-1996), the British remake of the American sitcom Who's the Boss? (1984-1992). French actor Edward Akrout (Mr Selfridge, The Borgias) brings a touch of class and élégance to Midsomer County this week. The solid guest cast also includes Hari Dhillon (Holby City), Richard Graham, Tessa Peake-Jones (Unforgotten, Grantchester), Derek Ridell (Happy Valley), Olivia Vinall, etc.

Edward Akrout is not only an actor, he's an artist too. The official Twitter account of Midsomer Murders gives amusing and interesting Behind-the-scenes trivia during each episode. (An interview with Edward Akrout)

No comments: