Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Telemystery: John Nettles Selects His Top 10 Midsomer Murders Episodes

Midsomer Murders: Barnaby's Top 10

A new collection of Midsomer Murders mysteries is being released today by Acorn Media titled Barnaby's Top 10 featuring the best episodes of the series as selected by its star, John Nettles. None of the mysteries in this collection are new — all have been previously released — but they do include an introduction by Nettles, who shares anecdotes with the viewer and explains why these episodes are special to him.

Midsomer Murders is based on characters created by crime novelist Caroline Graham. Indeed, some of the early episodes are adaptations of her books, including the series pilot from 1997, "The Killings at Badger's Drift", which is included in this set. The setting itself is fictional — there is no Midsomer County in England — but so much detail about the county villages is woven into the storylines that it makes it feel real to the viewer.

John Nettles "retired" as DCI Tom Barnaby at the end of the 13th season, which aired in February 2011 in the UK, replaced by his cousin DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon). The producers felt they had to choose a character with the same last name to continue in the role as the series, which airs around the world, is often locally titled Inspector Barnaby or a variation thereof. The 14th season is currently airing in the UK and a 15th season has been commissioned. (Note: There is no correlation between the seasons of the series in the UK and the numbering of the DVD sets in the US. We're about a year behind, with the most recent DVD set including the final episodes of the twelfth UK season.)

Here are the 10 episodes that Tom Nettles has chosen as his favorites, and are included in Midsomer Murders: Barnaby's Top 10; all are from the first six seasons of the series, and feature Daniel Casey as Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy, Barnaby's first partner (of three during the series run to date).

• The Killings at Badger's Drift (episode 1)
• Blue Herrings (episode 11)
• A Worm in the Bud (episode 23)
• Dark Autumn (episode 18)
• Dead Man's Eleven (episode 10)
• Death of a Hollow Man (episode 4)
• The Electric Vendetta (episode 16)
• Murder on St. Malley's Day (episode 21)
• A Talent for Life (episode 24)
• Strangler's Wood (episode 6)

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