Two years previously in the village of Milton Cross, a feudal estate owned by benevolent landlord Edward Milton, tailor Gerald Woodley died of a heart attack. Now his widow Sonia is keen to confess to the Reverend Morland that she did not call the ambulance immediately when her abusive husband collapsed but she is knocked unconscious and stabbed to death on the way to see him. It becomes apparent that she stumbled upon a deadly secret and when she passed this on to a second person they both became the victims of the made-to-measure murders. Written by
don @ minifie-1
As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.
'Midsomer Murders' has a number of classics and a larger number of solid episodes (with a few average ones, mostly in the show's middle period particularly Seasons 10-13), but once in a while the Tom Barnaby-era has mediocre episodes and even less. "The Made-to-Measure Murders", one of the worst Tom Barnaby episodes and one of the show's overall worst, is one of them.
"The Made-to-Measure Murders" has very little to recommend, but every 'Midsomer Murders' episode has at least one redeeming merit even the worst ones and the same is said for "The Made-to-Measure Murders" (even if the flaws far outweigh the good things). The production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography, with a creepy look in the murder scenes, the murders being significantly less tame and fairly interesting. 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.
Barnaby and Jones have the occasional bit of humorous rapport and their chemistry as ever is spirited and charming. John Nettles and Jason Hughes come over well as usual, and the supporting cast do what they can with lacking material (though James Wilby's material is too weak for him to do a whole lot with it).
However, the script is shoddy and the characters pretty lifeless. Dooming "The Made-to-Measure Murders" completely is the story, an intriguing idea squandered by embarrassing execution. Pacing-wise it's a dull episode, but the episode also manages to be disjointed and ridiculously convoluted with the motives for the killings being both irrelevant and laughable (pretty much the equivalent of killing people for no reason) and a lot of things feeling woefully under-explained.
The letter and the death of Gerald ideas had potential but went nowhere and ended up head-scratch-worthy rather than intriguing. Even the murders are pretty ordinary, even with a suitably spooky location.
Overall, love 'Midsomer Murders' but this is something of an embarrassment. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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