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Midsomer Murders: The curse of Joyce Barnaby

I always imagine that Tom Barnaby’s heart must sink into his hush puppies when his wife comes home and announces “I’ve been shopping today in Chaffing-on-the-Arse, darling.” He must immediately think “Well, there goes my day off ”.

She should be banned from joining any sort of book reading group, amateur dramatic society or knitting circle. In fact Barnaby should just lock her up for everyone’s safety. If you saw her in your local library you would run a mile in case you came a cropper from a heavy Maeve Binchy.  She falls into the category of cursed women who seem to have the knack of leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake. Imagine having dear old Miss Marple round for tea. I’d want to employ a food taster to make sure the food wasn’t laced with Cyanide. I’d definitely have to refuse the offer of a spot of light gardening from Rosemary and Thyme for fear of a hideous crime being committed in my clematis.

I imagine there is a carousel somewhere in TV land, similar to those at the airport where you grab your suitcases after your holiday,  full of old, has-been actors, going round and round waiting for producers from shows such as Midsomer Murders, Lewis or any Agatha Christie adaptation to come and pick them up. The same old actors appear in these programmes over and over again, doing the rounds and usually ending up getting bumped off, or caught while trying to kill their tenth victim of the night.

Apparently the Americans love Midsomer Murders. I’m sure it just reinforces their belief that we are all slightly mad, living in houses with thatched roofs because it makes them easier to burn down if we want to kill the occupants for stealing our secret recipes for our prize winning jam.

In the last gripping episode of Midsomer, the murder of the local suit-maker (pronounced syuit by the plum-in-the-mouth tailor) had everyone talking. It took at least six visits to the suspect’s house to get all the information Barnaby and his sidekick needed. Why can’t they just ask all the questions in one interview and have done with it? Though I suppose the programme would only last an hour instead of the long drawn out two hours, made longer by all the suspicious sidelong glances, sighs, stilted conversations and unanswered questions.

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