Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midsomer Murders - The British 'Twin Peaks'?

That's the opinion of comedian and science lover Robin Ince. I had the pleasure of meeting him last week and, among other things, we fell to discussing Midsomer Murders and how deliciously bizarre it can be. 'In what other programme', said Robin, 'Would we see a man pegged out on a croquet lawn onto which has been drawn a target with a white lining machine. An unseen assailant then uses a replica mediaeval trebuchet to launch the man's valuable wine collection at him, bottle by bottle, until he's been bludgeoned to death. Meanwhile the victim's disabled wife watches from her wheelchair on a balcony above and smiles quietly to herself. I tell you ... it's the British 'Twin Peaks'!' He may have a point.

Here's the plot of tonight's brand new episode:

The supposedly dead daughter of two bonkers 1960s free love hippy types didn't die by crashing an Austin 1100 into a river in 1975 after all. She survived, kept this fact a secret, and had a child by her brother (who did die) and then became part of an artists' commune and a horse whisperer while her son unwittingly started sleeping with his own aunt and got engaged to her stepdaughter. Meanwhile the hippy parents went doolally and reclusive with grief and stocked their stately home with huge towers of newspapers and empty pizza boxes, and lived almost exclusively on tea, Battenburg cake and the aforementioned pizzas. A nosey social services type starts asking questions so he is forced into a kayak at shotgun point and set afloat unconscious to drown. Then the murderer - old doolally bloke - kills his own wife by pushing a tower of newspapers on top of her and then builds a bomb with which to kill himself. Meanwhile, the husband of the aunt who's bonking her nephew (unwittingly) is double book-keeping by using the maths skills of the deputy head mistress of the school that DCI Barnaby's wife has just become head of and ...

See what I mean? I think Robin may be right. Midsomer has been through a wholly unnecessary scandal recently that was much more about the producer's rather old-fashioned and borderline-racist views rather than the show itself. Long may it stay bizarre.

2 comments:

nightwishfreak said...

Oh yeah it was bizarre - I love the completely bonkers 1950's style of Midsomer after all - what other show can attract big names like Edward Fox and Phyllida Law. James Fox was in one of the last Tom Barnaby's era - playing an equally incestual bloke ... what is it with Midsomer and Incest???

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that the new DCI Barnaby once appeared in a previous episode as a gardener....