Midsomer Murders-Season 11-Part 2 (2008)

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Released 20-Jul-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Series Main Menu Audio
Alternative Version
Gallery-Photo
Additional Footage
Audio Commentary-John Nettles & Jane Wymark - 1 episode
Featurette-Map of Midsomer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 279:13 (Case: 285)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter Smith
Sarah Hellings
Jeremy Silberston
Richard Holthouse
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring John Nettles
Jane Wymark
Case Slip Case
RPI ? 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 No
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 a number of British cop and crime shows including New Tricks and Waking the Dead, however, Midsomer Murders really fits better when bracketed with older style murder mysteries such as Poirot or Miss Marple. Unlike those it is set in the modern day, however, the settings and plot style are very similar. These stories are 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. Similar to Agatha Christie's work, the plots are full of twists and turns and numerous red herrings and suspects.

    So far, 70+ movie length episodes (over 12 seasons) have been made in this series all starring John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of Corston CID. He has been ably assisted by various offsiders. These episodes feature his latest offsider, Detective Sergeant Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) who has been Barnaby's offsider since Season 9. This set includes three movie length episodes which are in fact episodes 4-6 of Season 11 (excluding the Christmas Special from that season). These episodes were made and first aired in 2008. 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. Times quoted below are without the bumpers.

    The three episodes, which are all of good quality, included (on three discs) are

  1. Midsomer Life (93:04) - A complex case (aren't they all) involving the local country life magazine editor, infidelity, 4WD fanatics and murder (naturally).
  2. The Magician's Nephew (93:03) - A group of devil worshippers are implicated when a magician's assistant dies during a performance from frog poison.
  3. Talking to the Dead (93:06) - A psychic clashes (Jeroen Krabbe) with the local clergy while antiques and people go missing.

Fans of the series will certainly enjoy these episodes, however, they will probably not draw a new audience. Recommended for fans of English mysteries.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good with no major issues to report. Unlike a previous issue of this series, each episode is on its own disc.

    The feature 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.

    The colour was excellent.

    There were no obvious artefacts.

    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 contains one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s (not including the commentary on Episode 2). This audio transfer is perfectly suited to the material.

    Dialogue was 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

     Lots of stuff here, two significant ones.

Menu

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

Disc 1

Photographic Evidence

    A photo gallery including publicity and behind-the-scenes stills.

Textless Title Sequence (1:44)

    The title should give away what this extra is.

Alternate Footage (0:40)

    Footage used to create less violent daytime versions of the shows. No sound.

Disc 2

Commentary - John Nettles & Jane Wymark

    A moderated commentary which is amusing with lots of interesting information about the history of the series, how the actors got involved, locations, Barnaby's sidekicks, methods of murder used and some fun anecdotes. Good extra.

Photographic Evidence

    A photo gallery including publicity and behind-the-scenes stills.

Textless Title Sequence (1:15)

    The title should give away what this extra is.

Disc 3

Map of Midsomer Murders (44:16)

    This starts out seeming like a good idea but after 15 minutes you have had enough. After 45 minutes it has really outworn it's welcome. John Nettles and Jane Wymark host a tour of locations used in the series in the home counties.

Photographic Evidence

    A photo gallery including publicity and behind-the-scenes stills.

Textless Title Sequence (1:29)

    The title should give away what this extra is.

Alternate Footage (1:40)

    Footage used to create less violent daytime versions of the shows. No sound.

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. Season 11 is due for release in Region 2 in December and Region 1 is still waiting for some of Season 10. For now at least Region 4 is the way to go.

Summary

    Three quality episodes of a long running mystery series from England.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are plentiful but only one is really worthwhile, the commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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