Midsomer Murders-Season 16-Part 2 (2014)

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Released 15-Oct-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Series Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Photo
Additional Footage
Alternative Version
Interviews-Cast-Multiple
Interviews-Crew
Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 180
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alex Pillai
Studio
Distributor
Bentley Productions
Madman Entertainment
Starring Neil Dudgeon
Gwilym Lee
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

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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 started, 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 last DVD set for the 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 heavily pregnant with their first child, a situation which is resolved by the end of the series.

     This set includes two movie length episodes which are episodes 4 and 5 of Season 16, 5 being the 100th episode of the series. These episodes were made 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 two episodes are somewhat variable in quality with the first being a little tedious and the 100th episode standing out because of the overseas connections where the detectives actually travel to Copenhagen (I believe the first time this series has ventured outside the UK). Included are

  1. The Flying Club - A local airfield manager is knocked over the head and then dumped from a plane at 400ft, posing a difficult case for the detectives.
  2. The Killings of Copenhagen (100th episode) - A Midsomer businessman is murdered by a box of his own biscuits whilst visiting Copenhagen and Barnaby must co-operate with some Danish detectives. The case leads back to Midsomer , of course, and Barnaby's wife starts her labour.

    Recommended for fans of English mysteries.

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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 these sets.

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 Guest Star June Whitfield (1:11)

     Interview snippet with guest actress about her character and the story.

Interview with executive producer Jo Wright (1:19)

     Short interview with episode producer about the story and why they chose the setting.

Photographic Evidence (6:00)

     A photo gallery including publicity stills.

Alternate Footage (1:56)

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

Textless Title Sequence (3:20)

     The title should give away what this extra is.

Disc 2

Interview with Director Alex Pillai (16:25)

     Pillai discusses the series in general, this 100th episode, the cast, overseas location and more in this more in depth interview than generally seen on these sets. Worth a look.

Trailers for The Killings of Copenhagen (2:01)

     Trailers for one episode.

Behind the Scenes - Series 16 (22:09)

     EPK style making offs for the episodes in the season including many scenes and interviews.

Photographic Evidence (12:00)

     A photo gallery including publicity stills.

Textless Title Sequence (3:20)

     The title should give away what this extra is.

Alternate Footage (1:11)

     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 first global release of this series on DVD. These episodes seem to have been released differently in Region 2. For now at least Region 4 is the way to go.

Summary

    These episodes complete Season 16 of this long running mystery series including the 100th episode.

    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?)
Monday, January 05, 2015
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

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