|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Midsomer Murders: Beyond the Grave is set in the Midsomer village of Aspen Tallow & starts as Alan Bradford (Malcolm Sinclair) the curator of the Aspen Hall museum is just finishing the Jonathan Lowrie death tour with some tourists when he discovers a valuable 17th century painting of local legend Lowrie has been slashed with a knife, local painting restorer Sandra MacKillop (Cheryl Campbell) is commissioned to fix it. DCI Tom Barnaby & Sgt. Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) are called in but decide it's a matter for uniform, however that soon changes when Marcus Lowrie (Charles Simon) the great, great, great, great, great Grandson of Jonathan is found dead in the museum with his head based in. Local legends claim that the ghost of Jonathan Lowrie walks the corridors of Aspen Hall & several strange things begin to happen, could a ghost be responsible for the murder & is Aspen Hall museum haunted as Barnaby quickly discovers the case is far more complex than he had first thought... Episode 4 from season 3 this Midsomer Murders mystery was the final story from that very short season & was directed by Moira Armstrong who turns in another fine British crime drama with a spooky twist. The script by Douglas Watkinson has all the usual intrigue & mystery but there's slightly more to Beyond the Grave than just a standard whodunit, I really liked the supernatural theme for starters & old British country houses lend themselves perfectly for such a story, I liked the complex ending here a lot as well & I seriously doubt anyone will be able to figure it out. In fact it kept me guessing right up to the very end & it had a nice unexpected climax with some good twists & turns, I also liked the last few seconds with the rocking chair which rocks back & forth on it's own & is a nice light hearted touch maybe indicating the presence of the ghost of Jonathan Lowrie. The killers motives are suitably over-the-top & aren't easy to work out. Even more than usual you need to watch & listen to this Midsomer Murders episode carefully because you can easily miss something which turns out to be vital & as a result the end explanations may not make as much sense as they should. This one also has some nice deadpan humour & an actor who is going to play a Sgt. in a TV soap opera gets to shadow Troy in an amusing sub plot. As usual this looks fabulous with it's distinctly English country locations, I really hope this show gets the HD (high definition) treatment sometime soon. Ewelme in Oxfordshire was used as the location for Aspen Tallow while Chenies Manor in Buckinghamshire was used as the Aspen Hall museum & was last seen in Judgment Day (2000) one episode ago as Edward Aladice's house! This one has two murders, someone is rather violently bashed over the head with bloody results while the other one is off screen, there's also a slightly higher profanity content than usual. This is extremely well made as one expects & believe me is one of the best looking things made for British TV, the acting is also great including a small role for Prunella Scales & for those who enjoy series continuity issues Joyce Barnaby changes her hair style in this one from her usual straight bob to some hideous styled monstrosity which doesn't suit her at all. Beyond the Grave is yet another great Midsomer Murders story in an exceptionally high quality first three seasons with only Blue Herrings (2000) letting things down slightly, top quality work from the whole production team but can they maintain it through season 4...
The portrait of a local Aspen Tallow figure, Jonathan Lawrie, housed in
the local museum, has been slashed, and Barnaby and Troy come to the
site to investigate. A restorer has been called in, a somewhat unstable
woman still grieving for the death of her husband. She reports some
strange ghostly doings at the museum.
There are two other murders, and one interesting clue: a package of mackerel found in the cemetery.
Barnaby and Troy aren't alone in their investigation, however. Cully's boyfriend, who has just been hired as an detective sergeant in a TV show, shadows Troy to learn the ropes. As Troy puts it, "He's making more money playing me than I make."Though he isn't welcome, it turns out he's actually quite smart and observant.
Despite the humor in this particular episode, there was too much going on, and if you didn't concentrate every second, you lost the thread of the interwoven plots -- in fact, I couldn't remember the motive for one of the incidents and had to rewind.
I think in this case, three bodies was perhaps one too many, and one subplot could perhaps have been omitted.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I disagree with the previous reviewer. While it is a decent episode, the story is rather convoluted. There are basically 3 different crimes going on at the same time. Only one of them is fully-explained, from beginning to end, who, what, when, where, why and how... and it's not even the murders. The first murder in particular makes no sense... Like why? Once you watch it, you'll understand my meaning. I get that the murderer was there but they don't really explain a motive. I mean the murderer puts himself in a situation, for no logical reason, that requires him to kill that person. It's bizarre. The other murder doesn't make that much sense either, just as far as the actual motive. Rather a weak story in my opinion, but I found it entertaining, so I can't complain too much.
I was a bit bored at the beginning of this episode, but it was worth hanging on for the developments. What starts out as a simple case of vandalism (the cutting up of a valuable portrait from a past century) develops into a case of anger and revenge. There are numerous characters from a woman who says she can get vibrations from the graves of people, including one who is buried right in the middle of a museum, to another, who begins to see spirits and who begins to doubt her sanity. This is a simple view of what takes place and there are numerous layers at work here. People are close mouthed about their involvements with one another, but we can see incredible tensions. The museum is at the center of everything. But there are some far more basic issues warranting investigation. Money and jealousy are often at the center of things and this is no exception to that. Some have criticized the supernatural implications of this offering, but Barnaby's clashing with his usual rational approach makes that just fine.
Despite getting through reviewing each episode of 'Midsomer Murders' in
order of airing, somehow (most likely tiredness or lack of
concentration) "Beyond the Grave" was omitted.
"Beyond the Grave" is not a favourite of mine. The storytelling isn't perfect. Sometimes there is too much going on, a lot of events and twists and a lot of characters and it did feel slightly cluttered. Things do get convoluted at times, especially in the latter half.
However, there is a lot to like, any fan of 'Midsomer Murders' will love that what is so great about the show is evident in "Beyond the Grave". The production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's darkness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.
The highlight of the script is the humour, which is deliciously wry and hugely entertaining, and Barnaby and Troy's chemistry is a joy.
John Nettles cannot be faulted as Barnaby, nor Daniel Casey, their spirited chemistry an enormous part of the show's charm. Jane Wymark is a good presence and her chemistry with Nettles shows a husband and wife in a loving marriage but due to his job getting in the way it's not always a perfect one. The supporting cast are strong.
Meanwhile, the script is smart and thought-provoking with some nice humour, a suitable dark grimness, a suitably spooky atmosphere and good characters. The story is compelling, with the strange but very spooky atmosphere being the most striking, the twists and turns nice enough.
Overall, a good episode if not a favourite, suffers somewhat from trying to do too much. 8/10 Bethany Cox
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|