Sunday, October 26, 2014

Midsomer Murders: The Magician's Nephew

My husband and I found this Halloween-themed Midsomer Murders episode to watch for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX challenge at Stainless Steel Droppings. From Series 11 and first aired in 2008, it stars John Nettles as DCI Tom Barnaby and Jason Hughes as Sgt Ben Jones. The story begins with Joyce, Barnaby's wife, preparing for a Halloween party, and ends with Barnaby dressed as Dracula.  A very fun show, with a decent mystery centering around witchcraft and past and present members of a cult.


This is the description of the episode from Wikipedia:
A children's magic show goes horribly wrong when one of the performers dies during a trick. Barnaby and Jones discover that the victim was poisoned with a rare toxin extracted from Ecuadorean poison frogs - so the hunt is on for a particularly ruthless and imaginative killer. The detectives soon learn that a feud is raging between local occult practitioner Ernest Balliol and famous writer Aloysius Wilmington. While some of the villagers - such as Ernest's daughter Isolde - believe that powerful magical forces are at play, others think the reasons for the bloodshed may have their roots in the distant past.
While watching the show, I was puzzled by the various groups of people and their relationships. But that is one of the many good points of Midsomer Murders episodes. With 90 minutes per episode, there is time to have a realistically complex plot and tie it all togethr in the end.

Wilmington's nephew, Simon, is going through his uncle's library in search of rare books. Balliol's daughter, Isolde, seeks a secret text about dark magic in that same library. His son, Tristan, is a solicitor and cares for his mother, who has mental problems. The group that runs the magic show is linked to the pagan cult called the Temple of Thoth. Very confusing, but gradually it all falls into place.

Even though this was my second viewing of the episode, I was again surprised to find out who the murderer was. There were some wonderful scenes of the Englefield House in Berkshire and its grounds. This episode has a commentary with John Nettles and Jane Wymark (Joyce Barnaby), an unusual extra on a set of Midsomer Murders episodes.

10 comments:

  1. Tracy - Some of these episodes really are decent aren't they? I have to admit to being a bit of a fussy purist, so I think I like best the episodes actually based on the Caroline Graham novels. But still, some of the others are good 'uns too. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, when I first heard about the Midsomer Murders series, it had been going on for several seasons, and I was horrified that they had continued the series with episodes not based on the books. Then, years later, we decided to give it a try, and fell in love with the series. I am usually not much a purist in that area, but I have never tried the Inspector Lynley series because I think the adaptations are too different from the books.

      Delete
  2. Glad you enjoyed. Nettles looks quite young there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Col, He does look young, doesn't he. Just this year we finished up the episodes with Tom Barnaby and returned to the Season 1 episodes. It was funny to see them so young.

      Delete
  3. Tracy, MIDSOMER MURDERS hasn't come to us yet but I'll check it out no sooner it does. A lot of contemporary American and British serials and sitcoms don't make it to South Asia. Some do eventually, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope these do come your way, Prashant. Mostly I love these shows because of John Nettles, who plays Inspector Barnaby. A nice uncomplicated policeman. Maybe unrealistic, but very entertaining.

      Delete
  4. I vaguely remember this one for Ronald Pickup - sounds like good seasonal fun TracyK - thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a memory, Sergio. I was not familiar with Ronald Pickup, but he and his daughter acted together in this one. He played Ernest Balliol, and she plays his daughter, Isolde.

      Delete
  5. I think I daren't start watching these, there's too many of them....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moira, I am surprised we have been so faithful to them, even rewatching shows. Of course we watched them all on DVD and took our time about it. And sometimes had to wait for a set to be released here. So it took us a while. We have such a backlog of unwatched TV shows on DVD.

      Delete