Tuesday, 29 August 2017


["Mini reviews"] From december 2016 to January 2017, ITV aired four out of the six episodes from the 19th series of its long-running detective drama Midsomer Murders. But for some reason they kept the remaining two for "later in the year". 

Oddly, Death By Persuasion and The Curse of the Ninth, surfaced this summer in some countries like Australia. These episodes are even included in the French Region 2 DVD set from Koba Films, though France 3 didn't show them with the others last spring.

- Death by Persuasion (Episode 5): A young woman slips away from a Jane Austen weekend dressed in period attire when she's stabbed in the woods with a feathered quill. A delivery drone becomes a most dangerous anachronistic element in this reconstitution of Georgian times where DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) must "blend in". Sarah Barnaby (Fiona Dolman) is writing a novel and there's another temp pathologist (1) while Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk) is away. Her name is Petra Antonescu (Anamaria Marinca).

An excellent episode penned by a very inspired Chris Murray and directed by Alex Pillai. It seems that both (and director of photography Al Beech) had some fun with this Midsomer version of a period drama, filmed in superb locations. Susie Blake, Abigail Cruttenden, Nicholas Gleaves, Claire Skinner, Karl Theobald and Samuel West are amongst a perfect guest cast.

- The Curse of the Ninth (Episode 6): The winner of a music award is strangled with a violin string and a piece of paper is found in his mouth. Barnaby and Winter are confronted to "the Curse of the Ninth", a well-known superstition in the classical music world: once a composer performs his ninth symphony, he's destined to die.

Sarah has writer's block. Kam returns and she has something very important to tell to Jamie. Another excellent episode, which reminds a bit of Death and the Divas (Series 15). The guest cast includes the great Simon Callow, Robert Daws, James Fleet, Caroline Langrishe and Cyril Nri. Written by Julia Gilbert (Holby City, EastEnders) and directed by Matt Carter, who also helmed the absolutely brilliant Last Man Out for this series.

Based upon the books by Caroline Graham. Produced by Bentley Productions (part of All3Media) for ITV. Exec produced by Jo Wright and produced by Ella Kelly. Co-produced by Ian Strachan. Music composed by Jim Parker. The Series 19 DVD box set from Koba Films will be available from tomorrow.

(1) After Oliver Marcet (Michael Obiora) in Red In Tooth And Claw, the previous episode.


Monday, 28 August 2017


But first please accept our apologies for this long break mostly due to health issues.


- Columbo: Meurtre sous prescription (France 4):

- El Ministerio del Tiempo - Series 3, Episode 1 (La 1):


Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie (Agatha Christie's Criminal Games) returns this friday on French pubcaster France 2 with three brand new episodes + a documentary for the 10th birthday of this very popular TV series. 

You can find advanced reviews of the first two episodes on this little blog:

Note that France 2 will air L'homme au complet marron before Le miroir se brisa.

This summer we received two DVD box sets from Koba Films for the blog. One of them is the 6-episode 19th series of Midsomer Murders. [Update - August 29, 2017]  The both excellent episodes 5 and 6, kept for "later in the year" by the scheduling geniuses of ITV, already surfaced in some countries and are, I'm told, included in the French set. Except that I didn't receive all the test DVDs. I will get the last one soon.