|Genre||Crime drama, mystery fiction|
|Created by||Caroline Graham|
|Directed by||Andy Hay
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||95
(as of 30 January 2013) (List of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||Jo Wright (89+)
Brian True-May (1-88)
|Running time||120 minutes
|Original channel||ITV, STV, UTV|
|Picture format||16 mm film:
576i 4:3 (SDTV)
Super 16 mm film:
576i 16:9 (SDTV)
35 mm film:
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 Tom Barnaby (John Nettles). Dudgeon joined the show in 2011 following Nettles's departure. The stories revolve around the Barnabys' efforts to solve the numerous murders that take place in the fictional English county of Midsomer. The Barnabys have had a few sergeants throughout the run of the show: DS Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), DS Dan Scott (John Hopkins) and DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes).
|Characters||Portrayed by||Actor status||Years|
|Chief Inspector John Barnaby||Neil Dudgeon||starring; present||2010–present|
|Sgt Charlie Nelson||Gwilym Lee||starring; present||2013–present|
|Doctor Kate Wilding||Tamzin Malleson||starring; present||2011–present|
|Joyce Barnaby||Jane Wymark||starring; former||1997–2011|
|Doctor George Bullard||Barry Jackson||starring; former||1997–2011|
|Sgt Gavin Troy||Daniel Casey||starring; former||1997–2003, 2008|
|Sgt Daniel Scott||John Hopkins||starring; former||2003–2005|
|Cully Barnaby (later Dixon)||Laura Howard||supporting; former||1997–2000, 2003–2011|
|Constable Gail Stephens||Kirsty Dillon||supporting; former||2007–2011|
|Sarah Barnaby||Fiona Dolman||starring; present||2011–present|
|Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby||John Nettles||starring; former||1997–2011|
|Sgt Benjamin Jones||Jason Hughes||starring; former||2005–2013|
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 and practices popularly seen as being characteristic of the 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 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. 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. Humour is a main feature of the series, with many of the actors playing up their high-camp characters. This causes some black comedy, such as a woman being murdered by a wheel of cheese, and many scenes being examples of "dramedy" (comic drama or dramatic comedy).
List of villages in Midsomer
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. Beconscot Model Village in Beaconsfield features in one episode, and Twyford railway station repeatedly features as the fictional Causton railway station.
The Six Bells, a pub in Warborough, Oxfordshire, repeatedly features as the Black Swan in the Midsomer village of Badger's Drift.
Initial filming of Midsomer Murders was undertaken in autumn 1996 and the first episode was transmitted in the United Kingdom on March 23, 1997. Viewing figures for the series were healthy, and the feature-length drama attracted 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 David Lawrence, Michael Aitkens and David Hoskins.
In early 2009 John Nettles announced he would retire after the 13th series of ten episodes, at the end of 2010. 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".
The pilot episode of Midsomer Murders was shown on March 23, 1997. Since then 95 episodes have been broadcast, comprising 15 series and two Christmas specials (as of 30 January 2013). The episodes within each series are often aired many months apart.
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 U.K. 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|
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 the series was originally aired on the Nine Network. First-run episodes from series 11 onwards were screened on ABC1, which as of 2009 began showing in prime time older episodes previously screened on Nine Network. Repeat screenings are also aired on the subscription channels UKTV and 13th Street. Series 14 began on ABC1 in July 2011.
- In Belgium the series is shown subtitled on the Flemish-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 July 25, 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 2009 is showing Series 9 to series 10. series 13 is scheduled to begin showing on October 30, 2010 on Knowledge.
- 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 shortly broadcasted 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 and is shown by DR (Danmarks Radio). DVDs are currently being sold with a weekly magazine called Billedbladet.
- In Estonia the series is known as Midsomeri mõrvad (Midsomer Murders) and is broadcast on national public television channel ETV 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 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 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 Japan the series is shown on the "AXN Mystery" Cable Channel. It is called "Banabi Keibu" (Inspector Barnaby) and shown with Japanese subtitles.
- In the 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 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.
- 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 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 Jun 2012
- 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. Older series are currently aired on TV3 and TV8. DVDs of the episodes were previously sold weekly with copies of a tabloid newspaper.
- It is also aired in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia on the Hallmark Channel every week.
- 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 & Entertainment Television for a time, and is sporadically broadcast by various Public Broadcasting affiliates. As of 2012 the first 13 series are available for streaming through Amazon; as of March 2013, episodes through series 13 are available for streaming through Netflix, and series 1 through 13 are available for DVD rental.
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 season saw the series' first Asian characters appear, in the episode "Written in the stars".
The first thirteen series thus far of Midsomer Murders have been released in Australia and New Zealand (Region 4). All 65 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.
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 20 DVD sets of Midsomer Murders in North America, as well as a 19-disc collection available as The Early Cases. This set, which restores the episodes to their UK broadcast order, includes Acorn's set one, two, three, and five, as well as a bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary. The North American releases lag well behind UK releases.
- 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 2008-04-09.
- "More or Less, How extraordinary is Ye Shiwen?". BBC. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Midsomer Murders Locations". Midsomermurders.org. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- Falconer, Kieran (2008-07-19). "Midsomer Murders: A very English setting". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- "Midsomer Murders - The New Barnaby Joins John Nettles on Exclusive Acorn Media DVD Release". Prlog.org. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- "Neil Dudgeon to replace John Nettles in Midsomer Murders.". Itv.com. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- "Strong DVD Market Boosts UK TV Export Revenues". Culture.gov.uk. May 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- Mark Easton (2011-03-15). "Midsomer Murders producer suspended over race row". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
- John Plunkett (23 March 2011). "Midsomer Murders co-creator to step down at end of current series". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Midsomer producer to 'step down' after current series". BBC News. 2011-03-23.
- Singh, Anita (2012-09-14). "Midsomer Murders gets two Asian characters". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-04-16.