Midsomer Murders: Season 8, Episode 8

Midsomer Rhapsody (2 Oct. 2005)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 214 users  
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Deaths follow the discovery of a valuable musical manuscript sold cheaply at an auction.



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Title: Midsomer Rhapsody (02 Oct 2005)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Hopkins ...
Jane Wymark ...
Laura Howard ...
Barry Jackson ...
June Whitfield ...
Peggy Alder
Charlie Speight
Belinda Sinclair ...
Melody Thorpe
David Lyon ...
Alan Thorpe
Nicholas Amer ...
Arthur Leggott
John Farrow / Hedge
Frank Middlemass ...
Noah Farrow
Michael Maybury
Laura Crawford
Christopher Benjamin ...
Harvey Crane


When an early copy of Midsomer's beloved (and dead) composer Joan Alder's most famous work surfaces, people start dying. Barnaby is an old friend of the family and investigates the deaths, plus delves into the mystery surrounding Joan's love life and the reasons she left the village years earlier. Questions about the authenticity of the work threaten Joan's ex-husband's claim to the royalties still generated by the music. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

2 October 2005 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


While speaking to his wedding quests, Charlie Speight (Trevor Peacock) jokes that his family are all in prison then says "...no, no, no, no, no..", much like the character Jim Trott, played by Peacock in The Vicar of Dibley. See more »


[first lines]
Charlie Speight: Good night, Arthur.
See more »


References The Great Escape (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Average Midsomer Murders.

Midsomer Murders: Midsomer Rhapsody is set in the small Midsomer village of Badgers Drift where late one night retired music teacher Arthur Leggott (Nicolas Amer) walks out of Cedars Care Home to go back to his old house to find something before all the contents are auctioned off, someone else is there though & bashes Arthur's skull in. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Sgt. Dan Scott (John Hopkins) are on the case, they quickly come to the assumption that it has something to do with music composer & former student of Arthur the late Joan Alder whose most famous piece of music called the Midsomer Rhapsody brings in a fortune in royalties. The auction of Arthur's possessions go ahead & antiques dealer Harvey Crane (Christopher Benjamin) buys an assorted lot of old manuscripts in which he finds the original hand written working manuscript for Alder's Midsomer Rhapsody, he quickly sells it for £120,000 but it turns out to be a forgery & the man who brought it Owen Swincoe (Stephen Boxer) is found drowned as the case starts to take some unexpected twists & turns...

Episode 8 from season 8 this Midsomer Murders mystery was the final story from the eighth season, directed by Richard Holthouse I must admit it left me rather unimpressed, while not totally out-and-out bad Midsomer Rhapsody wasn't one of the show's better episodes in my opinion. The script by Richard Cameron is not so much a murder mystery as a collection of family reunions, long lost daughters, apparently dead son's turning up alive, dad's discovering they have daughter's they didn't know anything about & it becomes bogged down in all these family drama's which are frankly dull & when all said & done have very little impact on the plot & amount to virtually nothing. The actually murder here isn't that great either, while the ending reveals most of the why's, where's & how's the basic plot point of why someone would forge the Midsomer Rhapsody manuscript is lost a bit, not that well explained & actually mentioned much earlier on so if you miss that little bit then the ending might confuse you. There are also too many co-incidences here for my liking, I mean the investigation is going nowhere & then Barnaby just happens by chance to listen to a conversation & just happens to volunteer his wife Joyce to help & then he just happens to read a piece of paper given to her that just happens to be the same used by the killer to forge the manuscript that just happened to be used by someone they knew. Midsomer Rhapsody is alright, it's still a pretty solid murder mystery but not one of the show's better episodes.

Midsomer Rhapsody has a nice wintry feel about it, while no-one actually mentions Christmas & we don't see any Christmas decorations anywhere the second half of this is set in a snow covered Badgers Drift. I loved the scene when the guy was walking across the old stone bridge at night with flakes of snow lightly falling before he gets pushed into the river, it's a very atmospheric scene & you can almost feel the chill of the wind! Midsomer Rhapsody also features one of the most memorable murders from the entire series, someone is decapitated by some wire strung up across the road while he is riding a motorbike, there's a great shot of Barnaby & Scott following him in their car & they see his head shoot off his shoulders! This one looks great as usual with some nice looking snow covered locations, Islip in Oxfordshire was used as the location for the Badger pub & the stone bridge scene when someone is pushed off it, Noah Farrow's stately house was in Little Haseley in Oxfordshire & was the same one used in Who Killed Cock Robin? (2001) while Watlington also in Oxfordshire was also used. There are three murders in this one, the best one being the decapitation which isn't graphic but cool anyway. The acting is very good as expected, June Whitfield makes an appearance as does Clare Higgins probably better know to horror fans as the evil Julia from the first two Hellraiser films.

Midsomer Rhapsody is average Midsomer Murders in my opinion, it's not terrible but it's not that good either with too much dull soap opera style family reunion nonsense & a relatively bland murder case. One for the die hard fans rather than the casual viewer & I still have one question, was Joe Smeeton ever allowed back in the pub or was he barred for life forever destined to drink his beer sitting in the back of his van?

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