Midsomer Murders-Season 16-Part 1 (2013)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Nov-2013

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Series Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Photo
Additional Footage
Alternative Version
Interviews-Cast-Multiple
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 270
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Smith
Sarah Hellings
Richard Holthouse
Renny Rye
Studio
Distributor
Bentley Productions
Madman Entertainment
Starring Neil Dudgeon
Jason Hughes
Case Slip Case
RPI $39.95 Music Jim Parker


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     I have reviewed quite a few seasons of Midsomer Murders in the past and they have all followed a very familiar pattern, however from Season 14 things changed quite a bit. Season 14 from 2011 changed the main character from DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) to his cousin DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) but the name is really the only similarity between the characters. In this new season, No 16, a new offsider starts, DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) completing the transition from the John Nettles era. DS Jones was promoted to DCI at the end of the previous season. The show is based on a set of novels by Caroline Graham. They are all set in an area of England known as Midsomer, consisting of a larger town, Corston where the main character lives, and numerous small villages where people seem to get murdered at an alarming rate.

     This series hits 100 movie length episodes by the end of this current season. The tone has changed with the new cast with some of the folksiness of the previous stories being stripped away and the murders are delivered earlier in the story and can be more gruesome. It is great to see a show as long in the tooth as this one reinventing itself and trying something different. One addition to this series is that change is coming in the Barnaby household with his wife being pregnant with their first child.

     This set includes three movie length episodes which are episodes 1-3 of Season 16. These episodes were made in 2013 and first aired in 2014. Each episode can either be watched with or without advertisement break bumpers. This adds approximately 40 seconds to the playing time of each episode if turned on. The set is packaged in two standard cases which are then housed in a cardboard slipcover.

     The three episodes are of good quality. Included are

  1. The Christmas Haunting - Only the second Christmas themed episode in this long running series. Someone is murdered during a paranormal investigation into an old house and the new detective team investigates.
  2. Let Us Prey - A body of a young woman is found in a river but the way she is dressed is very reminiscent of an old mural recently discovered under the local church.
  3. Wild Harvest - A wealthy farmer is mauled to death by a wild boar but the trail leads to a local restaurant and its celebrity head chef.

    Recommended for fans of English mysteries.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is good.

     The series is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

     The picture was quite sharp and clear without being really crisp. Shadow detail is decent. There is some light grain at times and some mild MPEG artefacts during fast motion.

     The colour was very good.

     Other artefacts included some mild aliasing and edge enhancement.

     There are no subtitles.

     There are no noticeable layer changes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

    These DVDs contain one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. This audio transfer is perfectly suited to the material.

     Dialogue was mostly easy to understand and clear throughout. There were no sync problems.

     The music by Jim Parker is mostly variations on the theme tune which is distinctive and a little creepy.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A few more extras than is normal with this set.

Menu

     The menu is well done and allows for set-up (with or without ad bumpers) and scene selection. It includes music and dialogue.

Disc 1

Interview with Gwilym Lee (1:01)

     Interview snippet with new actor.

Interviews with Guest Stars (2:53)

     Short interviews with two guest stars Les Dennis & Mark Heap.

Photographic Evidence (8:20)

     A photo gallery including publicity stills.

Alternate Footage (1:10)

     Footage used to create less violent daytime versions of the shows.

Disc 2

Introducing Gwilym Lee (8:31)

     The most substantive extra is an interview intercut with scenes from the shows. He covers the popularity of the show, the casting process and his character.

Let Us Prey Trailer (1:04)

     Trailer for one episode.

Photographic Evidence (15:40)

     A photo gallery including publicity stills.

Textless Title Sequence (1:15)

     The title should give away what this extra is.

Alternate Footage (1:59)

     Footage used to create less violent daytime versions of the shows.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This seems to be the only release of this series in this particular format. These episodes seem to be being released differently in Region 2. For now at least Region 4 is the way to go.

Summary

    These episodes start Season 16 of this long running mystery series.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are better than usual.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE