Plot: What’s it about?
The countryside of Midsomer County should be idyllic, a beautiful rural landscape that looks serene and uneventful. But as Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby (John Nettles) could tell you, things might seem peaceful, but darkness lurks even in this kind of scenic locale. The area is home to numerous villages, each with their own quirks and customs and when a crime occurs, Barnaby is dispatched to uncover the truth. Barnaby is a good detective who enjoys his profession, but he also has a good home life, with a loving wife and daughter in his life. When he is called to solve the crimes, he uses standard deductive reasoning and his years of experience to put together the pieces. But even in Midsomer County, the crimes can be complex and have roots that run deep, so even Barnaby has to dig around quite a bit to find answers. Can Barnaby solve another round of Midsomer’s darkest deeds, or will the evil remain hidden behind well kept hedges and gardens?
In this seventh set of Midsomer Murders, we have four new mysteries to explore. These are the first four episodes from the show’s seventh season, which was ran from 2003-2004. I’ve been impressed by the episodes I’ve seen up until this point, but would this next volume continue the trend? As I am going backwards in the series, at least as far as Acorn’s set numbers are concerned, what is new to the series is known to me. So when the Dan Scott character joins the show, I wasn’t surprised, since he has been in the episodes I’ve seen from the future sets. Even so, it is cool to see how Scott was brought in and learn about Barnaby’s previous partner, who I have not seen until now. I enjoyed The Fisher King and Sins of Commission episodes the best out of these four, as the other two were more driven to say goodbye to one character, then hello to another. But all four are worthwhile and for fans of Midsomer Murders, this is more of the same great content we’re used to.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The show looks excellent here, the lush visuals shine and I was quite impressed. The scenery looks terrific in this treatment, with rich greens and browns, while all hues look solid. The contrast is sharp, so black levels are accurate and no detail is lost. Speaking of detail, the print looks clean and the image has superb clarity, no real softness in the least. These episodes look fantastic, not much else I could say about the transfers.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is rather basic, but all the needs of the material are covered. This is a dialogue driven show, so there isn’t much need for expansive presence or dynamic range. The elements sound clear and natural, from the music to the sound effects. The main element is dialogue and it sounds flawless, no volume or clarity issues to mention. Not the kind of soundtrack you’ll rave about, but it gets the job done and that is what matters.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes a map of Midsomer, a biography on author Caroline Graham, and some cast filmographies.