Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DVD Review: Midsomer Murders: Series 17

Returning with four all new mysteries, MIDSOMER MURDERS, Series 17 debuts on DVD and Blu-ray on September 15, 2015 from Acorn, an RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand. The idyllic villages of Midsomer County reveal their most sinister secrets in these four feature-length mysteries from the perennially popular British series. Neil Dudgeon (Life of Riley) returns as the capable DCI John Barnaby, with Gwilym Lee (Land Girls) as his partner, DS Charlie Nelson. The 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets each feature four mysteries, plus bonus featurettes and behind-the-scenes ($49.99 DVD/$59.99 Blu-ray, AcornOnline.com). ITV premiered the series earlier this year in the U.K., and Acorn TV featured its U.S. premiere in June 2015. Acorn TV is the premier British TV streaming service in North America at www.Acorn.TV. Series 1-17 are now available to stream at any time on Acorn TV.

The English village mystery gets a contemporary spin in this hit British television series that has earned a worldwide following. Bucolic settings harbor macabre crimes and eccentric characters that are no match for DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his assistant, DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee). Guest stars include Claudie Blakley (Pride & Prejudice, The Driver), Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech), Clarke Peters (The Wire, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime), Andrew Lee Potts (Primeval), Deborah Findlay (Jane Eyre, Vanity Fair), Una Stubbs (Sherlock), and Georgia Taylor (Law & Order: UK)

The Dagger Club—When a hot new manuscript is stolen and its cover illustrator murdered, Barnaby and Nelson wonder who would kill to get their hands on the book.
Murder by Magic—A magic trick gone wrong exposes simmering tensions between members of St. Cyprian’s Church and a local pagan group.
The Ballad of Midsomer County—When the head of the Lower Crosby Folk Festival is killed, the detectives must determine if the motive was financial or far more personal.
A Vintage Murder—Sabotage of a party at Midsomer Vinae Winery appears to be the latest attempt to discredit the vineyard—until a dead body turns up on the premises.

BONUS: Featurettes about the actors (9 min.), the magic tricks in Murder by Magic (8 min.), and behind the scenes (10 min.)

 My Thoughts

If you are a fan of Law & Order, you're going to love its British rural counterpart, "Midsomer Murders". In the county of Midsomer, things aren't always what they seem, and there is murder lurking behind many of the well trimmed hedges. The series, which was inspired by the novels by Caroline Graham, offers a selection of murder mysteries filled with intrigue and drama. I received the Midsomer Murder Series 17 to review, and although I have only seen the series in bits and pieces,  I was able to follow along with no trouble. Each episode stands on its own and offers its own unique and suspenseful story-line. The season reunites a great cast with lots of British humor and four wonderfully written mysteries. Here's a little about each one:

The Daggar Club - An illustrator for a popular book is murdered and the new manuscript has vanished.

Murder by Magic -  A local church is at odds with a group of pagans and someone dies when a magic trick goes horrible wrong.

The Ballad of Midsomer County -  The head of a festival is murdered and the team must figure out it was about money or something more personal

A Vintage Murder- A party at a local vineyard is sabotaged and a body shows up.

 In addition to the full season of episodes, the DVD set also includes a featurette about the actors, magic tricks and some behind the scenes footage. If you want to get the advantage of a full set of amazing  stories that will leave you on the edge of your seat, than this is the box set for you. You can order Midsomer Murders Series 17 for only $49.99 at Acorn Media or online at Amazon.