|Genre||Crime drama, mystery fiction|
|Based on||Chief Inspector Barnaby
by Caroline Graham
|Directed by||Luke Watson
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||16|
|No. of episodes||100
(as of 12 February 2014) (List of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||Jo Wright (89+)
Brian True-May (1–88)
|Running time||120 minutes
|Picture format||16 mm film:
576i 4:3 (SDTV)
Super 16 mm film:
576i 16:9 (SDTV)
High Definition Digital:
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Dolby Digital 5.1
|Original run||23 March 1997 – Present|
Midsomer Murders is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on the books by Caroline Graham, as originally adapted by Anthony Horowitz. The current lead character is DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon), who works for Causton CID. Dudgeon's character is the younger cousin of former lead character DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles). Dudgeon first appeared as randy gardener Daniel Bolt in the Series 4 Episode "Garden of Death". Dudgeon permanently joined the show in 2011 following Nettles' departure.
The stories revolve around the Barnabys' efforts to solve numerous murders that take place in the idyllic picturesque but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer. The Barnabys have worked with several different sergeants throughout the run of the show: Sgt Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Sgt Dan Scott (John Hopkins), Sgt Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), and currently Sgt Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee).
- 1 Production
- 2 Episodes
- 3 Characters
- 4 Cast
- 5 Setting
- 6 Controversy
- 7 International sales
- 8 Soundtracks
- 9 DVD releases
- 10 Books
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Filming of Midsomer Murders began in the Autumn 1996, with the first episode entitled "The Killings at Badger's Drift" broadcast in the United Kingdom on 23 March 1997. Viewing figures for the series were healthy initially and still consistently exceed 6 million. The feature-length drama attracts a number of actors from the stage and screen in guest-starring roles.
The majority of the early episodes were adapted by Anthony Horowitz from the original works by Caroline Graham. Horowitz and the original producers, Betty Willingale and Brian True-May, created the series. Current writers include Paul Logue, Michael Aitkens and Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths. John Nettles retired at the end of 2010, after the 13th series of eight episodes, John's last episode was "Fit for Murder".
Neil Dudgeon replaced him in the 14th series, playing Tom Barnaby's cousin, DCI John Barnaby. The character is first seen in the episode "The Sword of Guillaume". Filming for the 17th series started in April 2014 and the new series will broadcast in 2015.
The pilot episode of Midsomer Murders was shown on 23 March 1997. Since then 100 episodes have been broadcast, comprising 16 series and 3 Christmas specials (as of 12 February 2014). New series episodes have in recent years usually been screened during the autumn and winter months.
|Characters||Portrayed by||Actor status||Years|
|DCI Tom Barnaby||John Nettles||starring; former||1997–2011|
|DCI John Barnaby||Neil Dudgeon||starring; present||2010–present|
|Sgt Gavin Troy||Daniel Casey||starring; former||1997–2003, 2008|
|Sgt Daniel Scott||John Hopkins||starring; former||2003–2005|
|Sgt Benjamin Jones||Jason Hughes||starring; former||2005–2013|
|Sgt Charlie Nelson||Gwilym Lee||starring; present||2013–present|
|DC Gail Stephens||Kirsty Dillon||starring; former||2006-2011|
|Dr George Bullard||Barry Jackson||starring; former||1997–1998,2000-2011|
|Dr Dan Peterson||Toby Jones||starring; former||1999|
|Dr Kate Wilding||Tamzin Malleson||starring; present||2011–present|
|Joyce Barnaby||Jane Wymark||starring; former||1997–2011|
|Cully Barnaby (later Dixon)||Laura Howard||supporting; former||1997–2000, 2003–2011|
|Sarah Barnaby||Fiona Dolman||starring; present||2011–present|
|DCI Tom Barnaby||John Nettles||Main|
|DCI John Barnaby||Neil Dudgeon||Guest||Main|
|Sergeant Gavin Troy||Daniel Casey||Main||Guest|
|Sergeant Daniel Scott||John Hopkins||Main|
|Sergeant Benjamin Jones||Jason Hughes||Main|
|Sergeant Charlie Nelson||Gwilym Lee||Main|
|Constable Gail Stephens||Kirsty Dillon||Recurring||Main|
|Dr George Bullard||Barry Jackson||Main||Main||Recurring||Main|
|Dr Dan Peterson||Toby Jones||Recurring||Main|
|Dr Kate Wilding||Tamzin Malleson||Recurring||Main|
|Joyce Barnaby||Jane Wymark||Main|
|Sarah Barnaby||Fiona Dolman||Main|
Midsomer is an English fictional county. The county town is Causton, a middle-sized town where Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby lives with his wife, and where the Criminal Investigation Department is located. Much of the popularity of the series arises from the incongruity of sudden violence in a picturesque and peaceful rural setting. Individual episodes focus on institutions, rituals, and customs popularly seen as being characteristic of rural English counties.
Many of the villages and small towns of the county have the word "Midsomer" in their name; this is inspired in part by the real county of Somerset, and specifically the town of Midsomer Norton. The fictional county of Midsomer is notable for its particularly high crime rate, causing the Midsomer Constabulary to be inundated with the number of murder cases that come their way—estimated at 32 per million, around double that of London. This has even become a running joke among the British public, as well as within the show. When Mrs Barnaby proposed they move out of Causton and suggested various villages, her husband countered with recollections of particularly grisly murders that occurred in each community. Likewise, when Sgt. Dan Scott asked if the body count was, "always this high around here, sir?" - Barnaby replied, "It has been remarked upon."
Humour is a main feature of the series, with many of the actors playing up their high-camp characters. There is often black comedy, such as a woman being murdered with a wheel of cheese, and many scenes are examples of "dramedy" (comic drama or dramatic comedy).
List of villages in Midsomer
- Aspern Tallow
- Badger's Drift
- Bow Clayton
- Burwood Mantle
- Calham Cross
- Ferne Basset
- Fletcher's Cross
- Ford Florey
- Goodman's Land
- Great Pelfe
- Great Worthy
- Little Upton
- Little Worthy
- Lower Warden
- Luxton Deeping
- Malham Bridge
- Malham Cross
- March Magna
- Marsh Wood
- Martyr Warren
- Midsomer Abbas
- Midsomer Barrow
- Midsomer Barton
- Midsomer Chettham
- Midsomer Deverell
- Midsomer Florey
- Midsomer Herne
- Midsomer Holm
- Midsomer Langley
- Midsomer Magna
- Midsomer Malham
- Midsomer Mallow
- Midsomer Market
- Midsomer Mere
- Midsomer Morchard
- Midsomer Morton
- Midsomer Mow
- Midsomer Newton
- Midsomer Parva
- Midsomer Pastures
- Midsomer Priors
- Midsomer Sonning
- Midsomer St. Claire
- Midsomer St. Michael
- Midsomer Stanton
- Midsomer Vertue
- Midsomer Wellow
- Midsomer Worthy
- Midsomer Wyvern
- Milton's Cross
- Monks Barton
- Morton Fendle
- Morton Shallows
- Newton Magna
- Upper Warden
Causton was represented by Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Causton police station was represented by the former RAF Staff College, Bracknell. Favourite filming locations include Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire, Beaconsfield, Amersham, Great Missenden, Prestwood, The Lee, Wendover, Stoke Poges, Princes Risborough, Turville, Long Crendon, Penn, Marlow, Denham, Bledlow, the Ashridge Estate, Aldbury, Little Gaddesden, Chesham, Latimer, Folkingham, Chenies, Hambleden, Haddenham, and Waddesdon; in Hertfordshire, Hemel Hempstead town, Chipperfield, Flaunden, Bulbourne, Hadley Wood, Sarratt, and Watford; and, in Oxfordshire, Warborough, Islip, Nettlebed, Henley on Thames, Dorchester-on-Thames, Waterstock, Stoke Talmage, Stonor Park, Thame, Thame Park House and Aston. Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield features in one episode, and Twyford railway station repeatedly features as the fictional Causton railway station.
In March 2011 the producer of the series, Brian True-May, was suspended by All3Media after telling the TV listings magazine the Radio Times that racial diversity in the programme was non-existent because the series was a "bastion of Englishness." When challenged about the term "Englishness" and whether that would exclude different ethnic minorities, True-May said "Well, it should do, and maybe I'm not politically correct." He later went on to say that he wanted to make a programme "that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed." True-May's comments were investigated by the production company. He was reinstated, having apologised "if his remarks gave unintended offence to any viewers," but he has since stepped down as producer.
The following series (series 15) saw Asian characters appear on the show in the episodes "The Dark Rider" and "Written in the Stars," though an Asian character had previously appeared in "Orchis Fatalis." Also, series 15 introduces more black characters although previously they had been seen in background scenes, but had not had many speaking roles except for the Crown Prosecutor in the episode "Last Year's Model" (Series 9, episode 8) who was a black female, and in the episode "Dance With The Dead," two black men were among the dancers at a 1940s-themed party. Also, in episode 3 of season 11 ("Left for Dead"), the character Charlotte/Charlie (played by Indra Ové as the adult version and Jade Gould as the younger version) appeared to be of mixed race.
Midsomer Murders has been sold to a large number of countries and territories around the world—in 2004 it was among the three most-sold British TV shows worldwide whether as TV Programming or DVD.
- In Australia first-run episodes and repeats are screened on national free-to-air network ABC1 with repeats also shown on sister station ABC2. The series was originally aired on the Nine Network. Repeat screenings are also aired on the subscription channels UKTV and 13th Street. A measure of the success of the series in Australia is that repeats of the series still rate highly and often feature in the nation's top twenty shows in national surveys.
- In Austria the channel ORF2 airs the series as Inspector Barnaby.
- In Belgium the series is shown subtitled on the Dutch-language channel Eén and dubbed in French on RTL-TVI, Club RTL, where it has also been retitled Inspecteur Barnaby.
- In Bulgaria the literal translation of the title Убийства в Мидсъмър is used. The series first appeared subtitled on the Hallmark Channel, which continues to premiere the newest episodes and repeat the older ones. A Bulgarian distributor has selected the show and aired it dubbed on TV7, and after that on numerous other cable or regional channels. On 25 July 2011, the series began on Nova Television from Monday to Friday at 14:30.
- In Canada the series is broadcast on TVOntario and Book Television in Ontario, and on Knowledge in British Columbia, which in 2014 is showing Series 16.
- In Croatia the series is broadcast on HRT, typically in the Friday late evening slot, about a year after the original airing, with the title translated as Umorstva u Midsomeru. Most of the series have been rerun. Various cable channels that carry the series are also available (such as Hallmark Channel Croatia and BBC Prime).
- In the Czech Republic the series is known as Vraždy v Midsomeru (Murders in Midsomer), and it is broadcast on TV Prima, one of the four major TV channels there. It was also broadcast for a brief time by Nova Cinema, 2nd channel of the largest commercial TV company in CZ, Nova TV. In 2012 the series also is broadcast on Universal channel.
- In Denmark it is called Kriminalkommisær Barnaby (Detective Inspector Barnaby) and is shown by DR primary channel DR1. DR are regularly airing older episodes in the afternoons and new episodes "as they come" at prime time Saturdays. It was a big event when the one hundredth episode - The Killings of Copenhagen (partly co-produced with DR, partly filmed on location in Copenhagen and starring some Danish actors) was aired on Easter evening 2014. It was immediately followed by the first ever episode, The Killings at Badger's Drift. Unlike other Scandinavian national Public Service channels, DR has always maintained the airing rights in Denmark for themselves. Though, DVDs have, on several occasions, been sold with a weekly magazine called Billedbladet, subtitled in Danish.
- In Estonia the series is known as Midsomeri mõrvad (Midsomer Murders) and is broadcast on national public television channel Eesti Televisioon and on channel TV3 with Estonian subtitles.
- In Finland the series is known as Midsomerin murhat (Midsomer's Murders) and is shown on the channel YLE1 with Finnish subtitle.
- In France the series is shown on France 3 and has been retitled Inspecteur Barnaby.
- In Germany the channels ZDF and ZDFneo air the series as Inspector Barnaby without adhering to the chronological order of the episodes.
- In Hungary the series is shown on the Universal Channel (former Hallmark Channel) and on Film+/Film+2 Channels. It is dubbed in Hungarian in two different versions. Its title is Kisvárosi gyilkosságok (Small-town Murders) on Universal, and A Midsomer gyilkosságok (The Midsomer Murders) on Film+/Film+2.
- In Iceland the series is aired as Barnaby ræður gátuna (Barnaby Solves the Puzzle) on RÚV.
- In Iran the national television channel Channel 2 airs the series as Razhaye Dehkade (county's mysteries).
- In Ireland the series is shown by the state broadcaster, RTE.
- In Italy it is called L'ispettore Barnaby (Inspector Barnaby) and is one of the most viewed shows on the private channel La7. Reruns also air on satellite channel Fox Crime.
- In India the series is shown on the BBC Entertainment Channel.
- In Japan the series is shown on the "AXN Mystery" Cable Channel. It is called "Banabi Keibu" (Inspector Barnaby) and shown with Japanese subtitles.
- In Latvia the series is shown on LTV 1 and has been retitled Midsomeras slepkavibas.
- In Lithuania the series is shown on TV1 and has been retitled Midsomerio žmogžudystes.
- In Macedonia the literal translation of the title Убиствa вo Мидсoмeр is used. The series first appeared (subtitled in Serbian) on the Hallmark Channel, which continues to premiere the newest episodes and repeat the older ones. A Macedonian TV channel Sitel has selected the show and it started to air from the very first episode in June 2011 .
- In the Middle East it is aired on the Saudi channel MBC 4.
- In the Netherlands KRO on channel Nederland 1 airs the series as Midsomer Murders, the series is subtitled in Dutch.
- In New Zealand the series has been broadcast for a number of years on the free-to-air channel Prime.
- In Norway the series is called Mord og Mysterier (Murder and Mysteries) and has developed a steady and loyal fanbase. It is broadcast on the second-largest TV channel, TV 2. VOX (Norwegian TV channel) is re-running old episodes. Subtitled in Norwegian.
- In Poland the series is called Morderstwa w Midsomer (Murders in Midsomer) and is aired on the Hallmark Channel (currently called 13th Street Universal).
- In Portugal the series is shown on FOX Crime as Midsomer Murders, with Portuguese subtitles.
- In Romania the series is called Crimele din Midsomer (Midsomer Murders) and is aired on Diva Universal and, more recently, on Pro TV.
- In Russia it is called Чисто английские убийства ("Very English Murders") and has been repeatedly shown on various channels. The reason for such an unusual choice of title is the great success of the Soviet film Чисто английское убийство (A Very English Murder, 1974 ), adapted from the novel An English Murder (1951) by Cyril Hare.
- In Serbia the series is called "Ubistva u Midsomeru" and is aired on Fox televizija and the Hallmark Channel.
- In Slovakia the series is aired on JOJ Plus as Vraždy v Midsomeri (Murders in Midsomer).
- In Slovenia the series is aired on POP TV and its sister channel POP BRIO and the Universal Channel, and is called Umori na podeželju (Murders in the Countryside). DVDs of the series have been sold via newspapers. The first 14 series will be aired on RTVSLO1 and starting on 3 June 2012
- In South Africa the series is aired on the Universal Channel on DStv.
- In South Korea the series is aired every Friday evening on the BBC Entertainment channel on Sky. It has been seen from series 12 onwards on channel number 334.
- In Spain the series is called Los asesinatos de Midsomer (Midsomer Murders). Only the first episodes were aired on City TV.
- In Sri Lanka the series is aired on Channel Eye every Sunday Night.
- In Sweden the series, translated to Morden i Midsomer (The Murders in Midsomer) and airing on SVT1, is hugely popular and has become a traditional part of summer television schedules. Unlike DR in Denmark, SVT cares little about re-airing. Hence the older series are aired on TV3 and TV8. DVDs were previously sold weekly with a tabloid newspaper. In order to buy the DVD, the purchaser had to pay for the newspaper as well. Subtitled in Swedish (all channels).
- In Switzerland the series is dubbed in the three national langues and aired simultaneously in the local regional language and English as Inspector Barnaby.
- It is also aired in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia on the Hallmark Channel every week.
- In Turkey it was called Midsomer Cinayetleri (Midsomer Murders) and it was shown on Hallmark Channel before 2013.
- In Ukraine the series is called "Суто англійські вбивства" (Very English Murders), and has been shown on some channels, most recently (since 2009) on НТН Channel. The reason for the choice of title is the same as in Russia.
- In the United States, the series was aired by Arts and Entertainment Network for a time, and is now syndicated by American Public Television for broadcast on public television stations. As of 2012[update], the first 13 series are available for streaming through Amazon; as of September 2014[update], episodes through series 15 are available for streaming through Netflix.
Composed by Jim Parker, the iconic main theme is a moderate-tempo waltz, performed (primarily though not exclusively) on an unusual electronic musical instrument, the theremin, which has a sound not unlike a low whistle or a human voice. The theremin part is played by Celia Sheen. From the 14th series onwards the soundtrack was altered so that during the closing titles a standardised version of the theme is played on a solo violin in place of the theremin.
Three soundtrack CDs have been released so far, containing musical cues from various series. The first two sold out quickly and are now out of print, making them extremely hard to find. The most recent soundtrack is currently being given away to subscribers of the Midsomer Murders DVD/Magazine package in the UK and the Netherlands.
|Soundtrack album by Jim Parker|
|Label||Oceandeep Soundtracks Ltd|
The first soundtrack release contains music from the first two series.
All music composed and conducted by Jim Parker
|4.||"An Irish Boy"||3:14|
|9.||"Discovery of a Dead Body"||3:55|
|11.||"The Alcoholic Fox-trot"||1:41|
|13.||"The Madonna's Statue"||2:47|
|15.||"Scratching The Paintwork"||2:44|
|17.||"Looking For Clues"||2:08|
|18.||"Death on Stage"||2:35|
|20.||"The Village Band"||1:57|
|24.||"Hunt And Kill"||3:37|
|25.||"Meeting in the Dark"||2:22|
The Best of Midsomer Murders
|The Best of Midsomer Murders|
|Soundtrack album by Jim Parker|
|Released||16 September 2002|
The second soundtrack release contains music from the first five series of Midsomer Murders, featuring both recycled cues from the previous release, as well as some new material.
All songs written and composed by Jim Parker.
|8.||"Discovery of a Dead Body"||3:55|
|11.||"The Alcoholic Fox – trot"||1:41|
|13.||"The Madonna's Statue"||2:47|
|18.||"Looking For Clues"||2:08|
|20.||"The Village Band"||1:57|
|21.||"An Irish Boy"||3:14|
|26.||"Meeting in the Dark"||2:22|
The Music of Midsomer Murders
|The Music of Midsomer Murders|
|Soundtrack album by Jim Parker|
|Label||Bentley Productions Ltd|
This third release was given away to anyone subscribing to the series' DVD/Magazine package, and once again contains a few new cues, while largely recycling old material.
All songs written and composed by Jim Parker.
|6.||"Discovery of a Dead Body"||3:55|
|8.||"The Alcoholic Foxtrot"||1:41|
|9.||"An Irish Boy"||3:14|
|17.||"The Village Band"||1:54|
All 100 episodes that have been aired so far have been released in the UK (Region 2) including the 2008 Christmas Special "Days of Misrule" released 2 February 2009. The first fifteen series of Midsomer Murders have been released in Australia and New Zealand (Region 4).
In January 2006 Midsomer Murders started a DVD and Magazine Collection, available at newsagents in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Acorn Media has released 24 DVD sets of Midsomer Murders in North America, as well as several collections. The Early Cases 10 disc collection of eighteen episodes includes the pilot episode and those of series one, two, three, and four (except the last episode), as well as a bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary. Acorn's "Barnaby's Casebook" 10 disc collection has seventeen episodes, including the last episode of series four, followed by those of series five, six, and seven. Acorn's "Village Case Files" 8 disc collection includes the sixteen episodes of series eight, and nine. The North American releases have been catching up with the time of original screening in the UK and the latest release (Set 24 released in July 2014) includes episodes first screened in January 2014.
- Caroline Graham, The Killings at Badger's Drift, 1987.
- Caroline Graham, Death of a Hollow Man, 1989.
- Caroline Graham, Death in Disguise, 1993.
- Caroline Graham, Written in Blood, 1995.
- Caroline Graham, Faithful unto Death, 1998.
- Caroline Graham, A Place of Safety, 1999.
- Caroline Graham, A Ghost in the Machine, 2004.
- Jeff Evans, Midsomer Murders: The Making of An English Crime Classic, 2003.
- The Guardian (2 January 2008). "Midsomer shines for ITV". London. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
- "Midsomer Murders – The New Barnaby Joins John Nettles on Exclusive Acorn Media DVD Release". Prlog.org. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Neil Dudgeon to replace John Nettles in Midsomer Murders.". Itv.com. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "More or Less, How extraordinary is Ye Shiwen?". BBC. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Midsomer Murders Locations". Midsomermurders.org. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Falconer, Kieran (19 July 2008). "Midsomer Murders: A very English setting". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Mark Easton (15 March 2011). "Midsomer Murders producer suspended over race row". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- John Plunkett (23 March 2011). "Midsomer Murders co-creator to step down at end of current series". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Midsomer producer to 'step down' after current series". BBC News. 23 March 2011.
- Singh, Anita (14 September 2012). "Midsomer Murders gets two Asian characters". Telegraph. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "Strong DVD Market Boosts UK TV Export Revenues". Culture.gov.uk. May 2005. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Knox, David (29 December 2013). "Ratings". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- Knox, David (22 December 2013). "Ratings". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- "Midsomer Murders DVD sales". ABC Shop. ABC Online. 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.