In the run-up to Christmas, Barnaby and Jones find themselves, thanks to their very young 'wonder boy' chief superintendent, on a team-building exercise at the local Territorial Army Centre, run by Matt Parkes. Colonel Parkes is a highly respected man, unlike his womanizing waster of a son, Jamie, who is hated by all,even Caroline, his grand-mother, whose daughter died giving birth to him. Especially bitter is Penny Galsworthy,wife of another T.A. officer and garage owner Tim, whose daughter killed herself after being impregnated by Jamie, and she stalks him obsessively. George Barkham, another soldier, missed out on being promoted to a partnership at Matt Parkes' haulage firm, thanks to Jamie, who is also black-mailing George's daughter. The Parkes' yard is torched, causing an explosion and a watch-man almost killed. Then a criminal associate of Jamie and Jamie himself both meet their maker in quick succession. Ultimately Barnaby has the sad duty of arresting somebody who has rid the... Written by
don @ minifie-1
Cotton, Jones and Barnaby are handcuffed together, standing on the stumps on the obstacle course. When Jones steps over to Barnaby's stump, they fall backward together, still cuffed - but in the very next shot the handcuffs are removed from all three. See more »
I quite enjoyed this festive outing from Barnaby and the gang. There were some great performances from stalwart actors Tim Pigott-Smith and Judy Parfitt, and the returned-to-form Nettles/Hughes duo.
This Christmas story is set against the backdrop of a haulage firm owned by ex-Army type Matt Parkes (played by Pigott-Smith) and his wayward son James. As a sideline, Parkes is involved in running 'team-building' Army games for various organisations, which is where Barnaby and Jones come in. Son James is involved in a sideline of his own...
There are some comedic moments as we see dyed-in-the-wool Barnaby go through the exercises with less enthusiasm and ability than his younger police colleagues, providing light relief from a festive tale of subterfuge and classic Midsomer murder.
There are plenty of carols to keep you in the Yuletide spirit, and as it was filmed at the beginning of the year, it looks festively cold too.
I won't go into much detail as I understand this is the Christmas 2008 episode for the UK, but I think Series Eleven is a great return to form after some disappointing story lines and ham-laden performances - Shot At Dawn, Picture Of Innocence - had me convinced that this franchise was past its sell-by date.
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