Sunday Evening Television – Midsummer Murders

MM is now so synonymous with Sunday evenings it’s difficult to say which came first. It’s set in a part of England bereft of the dangers of multi-culturalism, where odd people are rechristened ‘eccentrics’ and despite a growing body count, it doesn’t affect the locals’ manners. “Terrible news about the postman being hacked to death with an axe, wasn’t it?” “Quite awful. Are you coming to Midsummer Fete at the weekend?” “Of course, I was welly-throwing champion last year.”

Everyone is so formal. “Ah, Chief Inspector Barnaby, hope you’re well this fine morning?” “Good morning Rector, my daughter sends her regards.” His daughter is the strangely named Cully and aged somewhere between 25 and 45. Personally I prefer Barnaby’s wife; quite fit for an older woman.

Scott, or his predecessor, Troy, are there because every copper needs a sidekick. They don’t interfere too much, aside from a bit of flirting with Cully and often threaten to leave to ‘go to the city’. In the end, they smirk and think they’ll ‘stick around’.

It generally takes the full two hours for Barnaby to work out who the killer is. “I think you’re the murderer, Rector.” The Rector, splashed with blood and holding an axe, is the last surviving citizen of Midsummer Fannydangle.

In the original series, it was easier to work out; the murderer was always the most famous ‘guest star’. Famous is a relative term of course, we’re talking Crossroads, Miss Marple, “that’s thingy” actors.

I tried watching an episode without drinking once. I wouldn’t recommend that, but with a bottle of wine, it winds-down Sunday nicely.