Midsomer Murders-Season 13-Part 1 (2010)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2010|
|Running Time||355:46 (Case: 360)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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 13 seasons) have been made in this series all starring John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of Corston CID, although Season 13 will be his last. Season 13 introduces the character who will take over as the lead detective in Season 14, DCI John Barnaby, Tom's cousin. He has also 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 four movie length episodes which are episodes 1-4 of Season 13. These episodes were made and first aired in 2010. 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 with the bumpers.
The four episodes, which are all of good quality, included (on two discs) are
Fans of the series will certainly enjoy these episodes, however, they will probably not draw a new audience. Recommended for fans of English mysteries.
The video quality is good with no major issues to report. Each disc contains two episodes which mean there is some mild evidence of MPEG compression. 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 reasonably sharp and clear without being really crisp. Shadow detail is a bit average. There is some light grain at times and some mild MPEG artefacts during fast motion.
The colour was excellent.
Other artefacts included some mild aliasing and edge enhancement.
There are no subtitles.
There are no noticeable layer changes.
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, although some sections were somewhat muffled. 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.
|Surround Channel Use|
Some stuff here but nothing substantial.
The menu is well done and allows for set-up (with or without ad bumpers) and scene selection. It includes music and dialogue.
A photo gallery including publicity stills.
The title should give away what this extra is.
A photo gallery including publicity stills
The title should give away what this extra is.
Footage used to create less violent daytime versions of the shows.
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 separately in Region 2. For now at least Region 4 is the way to go.
Four more enjoyable episodes of a long running mystery series from England.
The video quality is good. The audio quality is very good.
The extras are without substance.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp 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 Decoder||Built into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|