Filming has begun on the 20th season of Midsomer Murders, Britain’s curiously successful series of a county with a ghoulish history of expirations.
Actor Neil Dudgeon (Det. John Barnaby) who took over from original star John Nettles, told Variety, that the view of the English as “genteel, reserved and well-mannered” works as a counterpoint to the deceit and wrongdoing uncovered by the detectives.
“It’s like you are in the woods and you find some beautiful log and turn it over and all the woodlice, spiders and beetles come running out from underneath,” he said.
Producer Jonathan Fisher likes the juxtaposition of the “chocolate-box view of rural English life” and its “dark, often gothic, blood-splattered” underbelly. He adds: “It’s pure escapism, and given everything that is happening in the world that is a real source of joy for our fans.”
Fisher has more bizarre deaths lined up, including one where a man’s head is encased in chocolate to become a grotesque Easter Egg.
But Midsomer Murders has not been without criticism either, notably around its heavily-Caucasian casting. In 2011 producer Brian True-May, was suspended after saying the show did not have non-white characters, because the setting was a “bastion of Englishness.” Since that controversy the show has seen more diverse actors move from background to foreground.
But never immune from the perilous ends that prevail…