Midsomer Murders – the new Inspector Barnaby

My fellow Cornishman John Nettles has very much enjoyed being Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders. “Good actors and great storylines” he says. Only good actors, you notice. Not great ones. Only great storylines. Meow. Just look at the list of actors who appeared in the series. It includes Richard Briers, Honor Blackman, Joss Acland, Lynda Bellingham, Niamh Cusack, Nigel Davenport, Tim MacInnery, Anna Massey, Tim Piggott-Smith, Leslie Phillips, Frank Middlemass and Donald Sinden. But these are “good” actors, not great ones.

So we saw the new Inspector Barnaby last night.Neil Dudgeon (photos here, biography here) plays John, cousin of Tom. I must say I was impressed. I can see him continuing the Midsomer idyll for many years to come.

We love it. It’s up there with Taggart and Morse/Lewis for us. We love it like an old cardigan.

I particularly like the theme music with the “daddila daddilas” at the beginning. The main tune is played on an extraordinary instrument called a “Theremin”. You can see it being played below. The “daddila daddilas” are played by a bass clarinet. In fact, you can always tell when a murder is about to be discovered on the show – the woodwind starts swelling up in the background music. Always happens.

Oh, and by the way, Inspector Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles) will quietly retire at the end of a future episode. That’s unusual isn’t it? With so many gruesome murders in Midsomer, and so many murderers with a grudge against the man, you would have thought it was natural that he would be murdered, wouldn’t you? Ah, but you have to consider the repeat cycles, darling. Midsomer Murders’ episodes get shown hundreds of times all over the world, often several times on the same channel, several years after they were first aired. Think about it. If a viewer sees Tom Barnaby being killed in one episode and then watches an old repeat the next week with him still alive and kicking, it will seem strange won’t it? That’s the reason why Tom Barnaby isn’t being literally “killed off”. How do I know? Well I saw the producer explaining it on one of those behind-the-scenes shows on one of the cable channels. So there. 

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2 thoughts on “Midsomer Murders – the new Inspector Barnaby

  1. Midsomer is my guilty pleasure too, including the grace notes of the Barnaby marriage.

    But the new episode was a travesty in terms of understanding of how local government works! Non-executive robed mayors running councils as chief executives, Mayors putting devious motions to ‘planning committees’ and not a mention of the Standards Board…

    OK it is a fantasy along with the extraordinary death toll in a corner of rural England. But no wonder nonpolitical people dont engage in politics if they seriously think this Midsomer version is how it is… a bit of a wasted opportunity in a way.

  2. Agreed, Edis. Interestingly, for once they actually mentioned a real place – Brighton. Doesn’t often happen (a bit like with the Archers).

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