Midsomer Murders, series 17

A-Midsomer 17“Midsomer Murders” Needs More Colorful Leads

   I asked my contact at Acorn Media why “Midsomer Murders 25” was followed up by MM 17 and was told that the 25 referred to the season while 17 means the 17th series. All this because they decided to redo all of the episodes but using the series numbering. They did the same with the Poirot re-releases but no harm was done..

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Morse interesting, Lewis not
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Hathaway interesting, Lewis not

Again, I find the two leads—Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby and Gwilym Lee as DS Charles Nelson—simply uninteresting. The interesting Inspector Morse has a colorless assistant in his Lewis; Lewis has a very unusual assistant in his DS James Hathaway (who steals all the scenes from the star); George Gently has his funny DS John Bacchus; and John Nettles himself is so likeable that his many assistants seem equally pleasant if not deeply characterized.

With Dudgeon and Gwilym, I feel the plot alone has to carry the day. And giving the Barnabys a new baby does not help at all. Nor do frequent shots of their dog.

And the four stories in this 2-disc set do just that.  One deals with a missing manuscript, one with a magician and a local group of cultists, one a folk festival, and the last with a winery. They are all new spins on old plots, but what else can one do without going into X-Files territory?

Each episode runs 93 minutes and there are very welcome subtitles.