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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Midsomer Murders: Not in My Back Yard is set in the small Midsomer
village of Great Pelfe where local resident & potential local councilor
Norman Swanscombe (Peter Egan) is holding an open back yard party,
however things turn nasty when Maureen Stubbs (Joan Blackham) from the
Midsomer Conservation Society has a row with Swanscombe over his modern
house & a development to build new housing on local land. Later that
night Maureen Stubbs is stabbed to death & DCI Tom Barnaby (John
Nettles) is on the case, Maureen's death seems to be motivated by the
planned housing development & her opposition to it but with several
important people counting on it Barnaby has no shortage of suspects.
That is until those planning the building work also start turning up
Epsidoe seven from season thirteen this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Peter Smith & turned out to be John Nettles penultimate investigation before his character retires, to be fair to Not in My Back Yard I thought it was pretty good & better than a lot of the recent episodes. The title of this episode refers to a saying we have here in the UK Not in My Back Yard which is commonly abbreviated as NIMBY & therefore people are accused of bing NIMBY's, the theme of countryside development is an emotive issue & one which crops up in the media over here from time to time & now it's Midsomer Murders turn to highlight it. Of course the main aspect of Not in My Back Yard is the murder mystery which is quiet well done if a little familiar with various oddball character's, affairs, murder, blackmail & various red herrings. The motives for murder are plausible & it's not like no-one has ever been murdered for money & power but at the same time it does feel a bit routine, as usual there's a lot of exposition to sit through & take in but it does make reasonable sense at the end except maybe why the killer left Liz alive rather than kill her off despite the fact Liz could have named them but all in all Not in My Back Yard is fairly solid.
There's some imaginative murders in this one, a woman is stabbed in the back with a broken bottle, a guy has his neck broken by a faulty electronic door & someone is buried in concrete while in the back of his car. Although not gory the murders are quite memorable but the killer is never really given any reason or motive as to why they dispatch their victims so elaborately. Filmed in quaint English countryside locations this looks as nice as ever while the cast do a good job as always.
Not in My Back Yard is a watchable Midsomer Murders episode, it has a decent amount of kills & enough intrigue & mystery to keep one watching but I can't help but feel the series is going a little stale with recycled plots & character & locations. Fans of the show should enjoy this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Within minutes of this episode opening tempers flare at a garden party
being held by a local developer; plenty of villagers don't think his
modern house should have been built and certainly don't think he should
be allowed to build further houses and business premises in the
village. That night as one of the women who objected to him sneaks onto
his property she is murdered by being stabbed repeatedly with a broken
bottle, violent even for Midsomer! It soon becomes clear that many
people there have their secrets and motives; the developer's house had
been vandalised by the victim, the architect is blackmailing the
builder and the builder is sleeping with a member of the planning
committee for a start and there is also a former member of the special
forces who is standing against the developer in a local election. This
being Midsomer there isn't just one death and the second and third are
even more grisly than the first. While waiting for the killer to be
unmasked we have blackmail, burglary, betrayal, and more than one
sexual indiscretion exposed, all of which muddies the waters as to who
the killer will be.
This episode got off to a good start wasting no time in setting up and antagonistic situation, killing off one of the antagonists and setting up a variety of suspects and motivations. As usual the acting was good from both the regular cast and guest stars. The murders were suitably gruesome without being too shocking to watch, in fact the second wasn't too surprising; once we'd seen the malfunctioning door it was just a question of who and when it would kill somebody. If you are a fan of the series I'm sure you'll enjoy this episode and even if you haven't seen the series before this story is easy to follow.
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