by Kathleen Costa
ACORN-TV provides hundreds of the best programming options including news & reviews, mysteries, dramas, comedies, documentaries, foreign language, feature films, and some programs only available on or original to ACORN-TV. The regular monthly or annual subscription fees are very reasonable, and with hours of commercial-free streaming enjoyment for the true fans of UK productions, you won’t be wondering, “What’s on the telly tonight?”
In March, ACORN-TV had the exclusive US premier streaming all episodes of Midsomer Murders as it entered its nineteenth season. Beginning with author Caroline Graham’s iconic lead Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and following with his cousin DCI John Barnaby, the mysteries give the idyllic English countryside a darker underside where one will find family rivalries, backstabbing business partners, husbands against wives, wives against husbands, money issues, inheritance squabbles, and plenty of women scorned. What a way to spend spring break! Tea, crumpets, and a bit of murder…British style.
Although I miss John Nettles, the new DCI version gets 5/5 Suspicious Suspects!
I love my vegetables, often choosing peas or corn. So when a roommate said I should try Brussels sprouts, I said, “Pass!” but she persisted. I fussed and whined, but to not insult, I took a bite…Delicious! How could I have been so wrong to not give Brussels sprouts a chance! I think about this when I examine my resistance to watch the Midsomer Murders episodes without John Nettles. After one episode, I was so pleasantly engaged in the series starring Neil Dudgeon portraying DCI John Barnaby, that I am now going back to the previous seasons. Just like now…I’m eager to order a side of Brussels sprouts!
First airing in 1997, Midsomer Murders, based on Caroline Graham’s lead detective, is set in contemporary, but fictional villages in Midsomer County. The series followed a mentor/apprentice relationship between Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (brilliantly played by John Nettles) and Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), later DS Ben Jones (John Hughes). A soft spoken detective, often underestimated, DCI Barnaby strolls the idyllic countryside tracking down various murderers who vie for inheritances, power, or revenge. His wife Joyce and daughter Cully enter into the series, but often just to say goodbye as Tom rushes off to another murder scene. John Nettles is a big-time favorite, but left the show in 2011 after eighty-one episodes with DCI Barnaby finally retiring.
Starting in 2011-12, Season 14 reintroduces DCI John Barnaby (excellently cast with Neil Dudgeon), cousin to DCI Tom Barnaby, taking over the investigations with DS Ben Jones, then DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee). His degree in psychology enriches his perspective on the various crimes and misdemeanors along with a dry sense of humor and the Barnaby-family signature understated personality. His wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman), a local teacher and school administrator, offers support and insights into the locals, and later his little daughter, from infant to toddler, add a link to home and family. At the end of this first set with the new Barnaby in charge, the retiring Chief Coroner offers some insight that I agree with, “Tom is a hard act to follow; you’re getting there.”
Season 19 Part 1 returned with four new feature length episodes with DCI John Barnaby joined by a new DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix). Midsomer County is once more the setting of the investigations including a murder in a ghost village, over-anxious vigilantes, the death of a talented cricketer, and a body at a small pets’ contest covered in rabbits….Yes, never a dull moment in Midsomer! I love it!
Sign up for Acorn TV on their website and you can check out all of the great TV.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases.