For public television fans of Midsomer Murders, you undoubtedly know how difficult it is to survive life in a small English village. With a overall body count that has, ultimately, risen above 400 during filming of the 23rd season of the extraordinarily popular British drama, the long-running series was adapted by Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, Magpie Murders) and Douglas Watkinson from the novels in the Chief Inspector Barnaby book series created by Caroline Graham.
The fictional English county of Midsomer as patroled by the fictional Midsomer Constabulary headed first by Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and then by Tom’s younger cousin DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) began in 1997 and is comprised of 23 series and 138 episodes.
In this increasingly unfortunate 21st century world of ‘one and done’ mysteries that we all seem to live in these days, Midsomer Murders continues to chug along like the little engine that could with its expert storylines, wonderful acting and picturesque small English village countryside as a supporting cast member.
According to producers, this special anniversary program will take viewers “…behind the scenes of the filming of series 23, as well as taking a trip down memory lane with a Midsomer coach tour looking back at some of the show’s iconic locations, paying homage to the beautiful but equally deadly English countryside, which has played such a huge part in the success of the series”.
It also promises to take a look back at the guest appearances of future A-listers such as Orlando Bloom and Henry Cavill, who both appeared in the crime drama before they became household names.
Other cast members set to feature in the documentary include: Nick Hendrix (Detective Sergeant Jamie Winter, 2016-2022), Annette Badland (Dr Fleur Perkins, 2018-2022), Daniel Casey (DS Gavin Troy, 1997-2003), Jason Hughes (DS Ben Jones, 2005-2013) and Jane Wymark (Joyce Barnaby, 1997-2011).
Rounding out the featured cast members are Tamzin Outhwaite (guest star in “The Lions of Causton” from 2018), Manjinder Virk (Dr Kam Karimore 2016-2017) and Fiona Dolman (Sarah Barnaby, 2011-2022).
You may want to think twice before heading out to the picturesque but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer with its accompanying high body count as much like its fictional Carribean island cousin of Saint Marie, paradise isn’t always….well, paradise.
A much safer bet to visit Midsomer is to look for Midsomer Murders: 25 Years of Mayhem coming to your local public television station courtest of American Public Television in late February/early March. FYI, KERA in North Texas will air on Thursday, March 2 at 7pCT.