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"Midsomer Murders" Dark Secrets (2011)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I miss John Nettles

Author: blanche-2 from United States
7 September 2015

Neil Dudgeon was better in this episode as Barnaby's cousin and replacement, but I still miss John Nettles and Barnaby's wife and daughter. Luckily, we still have Jones (Jason Hughes) who is hilarious and keeps things moving.

You can call just about any episode Dark Secrets, but in this one, they weren't kidding. In the opening scene, done in black and white to indicate it's in the past, we see a couple banished from a home and driving off. The car winds up in the water, and the people are believed drowned.

In the present, a social services officer is unsuccessful in seeing William and Mary Bingham, an elderly couple, and after having another problem, he complains to Barnaby. Two days later, he is found dead.

It doesn't take Barnaby and Jones long to figure out, via village gossip, that this murder is somehow tied to the Binghams' ousting of their son and daughter in the past, and they set off investigating. It's not easy to find the paperwork, but when he does, Barnaby finds out there was only one autopsy - the woman's body was never found.

Guilt enters the picture, and as a result, there will be one more murder.

I thought this was a very good episode. Midsomer Murders over the years have had their denouements based on past secrets, often of a sexual nature. This one didn't deviate from the pattern, but it was still good.

I'm sure Neil Dudgeon will grow on me, but the show will never be the same. You can't watch someone for fourteen years and just accept another lead. I can't, anyway.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Keeping it in the family

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
30 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

New lead Neil Dudgeon is quickly settling into the role of DCI John Barnaby even if his character is taking a little longer to settle in Midsomer. After spending the previous episode talking to the dog while at home he is now joined by his wife who has become head mistress of the local school; much to the chagrin of her deputy. The guest stars this week seemed like a 'Drop the Dead Donkey' reunion with Haydn Gwynne, Neil Pearson and Jeff Rawle appearing; although the last of these didn't last long, He played an officious social worker who managed to upset one couple by enquiring about the woman's parents then get thrown in a pond after irritating a local artists' community. As Barnaby and Jones investigate his murder both groups come under suspicion and it becomes clear that there are quite a few secrets being kept; the most important relating to a fatal accident in 1975.

This was another good episode for Neil Dudgeon who was able supported by a quality cast; this being Midsomer there was a fair amount of silliness and the motive for the murders could be guessed a while before it was revealed. As is usual the episode featured one unusual death; a victim was killed when crushed by a huge pile of old copies of the Daily Telegraph… I'm sure that will help the episode get a good review in that paper!

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

New guy has little charm but show's bulletproof

Author: phlbrq56 from Philadelphia
31 October 2013

I'm watching new guy episodes on Acorn TV after watching all previous on Netflix. It's still a British Eden menaced by people you'd never suspect of murder and that still works. The new guy seems miscast and quite unlikable. Brits might have a more comfortable take on this actor but being totally unfamiliar with him I shake my head in bewilderment. I'll keep watching but he makes me wince. I miss John Nettles along with his character's family. It just surprises me that a show that casts such great guest stars and feature actors could go with this new guy. I'm watching another episode now and you can see him mug,not listen, but wait to get out his next line.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An improvement but a long way from a return to form

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
26 February 2017

When in its prime (a vast majority of Seasons 1-9), 'Midsomer Murders' was a great show and one that is watched and re-watched frequently. Seasons 10-13 became more uneven, with three of the show's worst episodes coming from Seasons 11 and 13, but there were a few solid episodes and "Blood Wedding" and especially "Master Class" were gems.

After John Nettles retired and Neil Dudgeon and the new character of John Barnaby took over, 'Midsomer Murders' just hasn't been the same, most of the reasons being detailed later in this review. Not all the John Barnaby-era episodes are awful, but too many were average at best and some were lame. "Dark Secrets" is an improvement over the okay at best "Death in the Slow Lane". But classic 'Midsomer Murders' or a return to form? No.

There are plenty of good things here. The production values as usual are wonderful, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Jason Hughes does his best to give an amusing charm and Fiona Dolman is pleasant enough in her debut. In support, an enjoyably hammy Edward Fox (if at times overdoing it) and wonderful Phyllida Law stand out. Sykes once again steals every scene he appears in, that's one adorable and funny dog. There is also one of the show's most imaginative murder methods in some time involving a pile of newspapers.

Neil Dudgeon looks more comfortable and a little less pompous and demeaning, but still plays the role a little too heavily and humourlessly. His chemistry with Jones, who is still a bit dumbed down but nowhere near as much a dolt as in the previous episode, is still bland but fares a little better with Dolman. The supporting characters are either bland or over-the-top, instead of being colourful and eccentric most of them are just nasty. Jeff Rawle isn't in the episode long enough to make much of an impression.

The script also feels too heavy and charmless, while the story is preposterous (yes even for latter years 'Midsomer Murders') while not only taking things too seriously and dragging out familiar themes too long but also for such dark themes doesn't feel dark enough. The ending, motives and murderer (all suspectable very early on) are all too obvious too soon.

In conclusion, better than "Death in the Slow Lane" but a return to form it isn't. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A little too close for comfort

Author: Inspector Barnaby from Ireland
14 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think the new DCI Barnaby has settled in marvelously and Jones is brilliant as ever, funny. I love the addition of Sykes the dog!

Regarding this episode, it was decent, but there seems to be a bit of an obsession with incent among the midsommer writers, its not the first time it has popped up, is it a way of depicting what really goes on among these recluse dysfunctional toffs or just pure fantasy?

With these people, from the outside, it always seems rosey, wealth, success property etc however deep beneath it all, there are always dark secrets...

Aside from that, I always enjoy the scenery and the interactions between barnaby and jones, an enjoyable two hours spent

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