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Midsomer Murders
File:Midsomer murders logo.jpg
GenreCrime drama, mystery fiction
Based onChief Inspector Barnaby
by Caroline Graham
Directed byLuke Watson
Andy Hay
Renny Rye
Nick Laughland
Simon Langton
Alex Pillai
Peter Smith
Sarah Hellings
Jeremy Silberston
Richard Holthouse
StarringJohn Nettles
Daniel Casey
Barry Jackson
Jane Wymark
Laura Howard
Toby Jones
John Hopkins
Jason Hughes
Kirsty Dillon
Neil Dudgeon
Fiona Dolman
Tamzin Malleson
Gwilym Lee
Manjinder Virk
Nick Hendrix
ComposerJim Parker
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series18
No. of episodes110 (list of episodes)
Executive producersBrian True-May (1–89)
Jo Wright (90–115)
Jonathan Fisher (116–)
ProducerBetty Willingale
CinematographyColin Munn
Graham Frake
EditorDerek Bain
Running time89–102 minutes
Production companyBentley Productions
Original networkITV
Picture format16 mm film:
576i 4:3 (SDTV)
Super 16 mm film:
576i 16:9 (SDTV)
High Definition Digital:
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release23 March 1997 –

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Midsomer Murders is a British television detective drama[1] that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted by Anthony Horowitz. The current lead character is DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon), who works for Causton CID. Dudgeon's character is the younger cousin of former lead character DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles). Dudgeon first appeared as randy gardener Daniel Bolt in the Series 4 episode "Garden of Death". Dudgeon permanently joined the show in 2011 following Nettles' departure.


The stories are set in modern-day England and revolve around Tom Barnaby's (later, John Barnaby's) efforts to solve numerous murders that take place in the idyllic, picturesque but deadly villages of the fictional county of Midsomer. The Barnabys have worked with several different sergeants throughout the run of the show: Sgt Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Sgt Dan Scott (John Hopkins), Sgt Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), Sgt Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) and currently Sgt Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix).


Filming of Midsomer Murders began in Autumn 1996, with the first episode ("The Killings at Badger's Drift") broadcast in the United Kingdom on 23 March 1997. Viewing figures for the series were healthy initially[citation needed] and still consistently exceed 6 million.[citation needed] The feature-length drama attracts many well known accomplished actors from the stage and screen in guest-starring roles.

Anthony Horowitz and the original producers, Betty Willingale and Brian True-May, created the series. Horowitz adapted the majority of the early episodes from the original works by Caroline Graham. Current writers include Paul Logue, Chris Murray, Lisa Holdsworth, Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths. Actor John Nettles retired at the end of 2010, after the 13th series of eight episodes; his last episode was "Fit for Murder". Neil Dudgeon replaced him in the 14th series, playing Tom Barnaby's cousin, DCI John Barnaby,[2] who is first seen in the episode "The Sword of Guillaume".

In February 2016, it was announced that there would be a 19th series, consisting of six episodes. Nick Hendrix will play the role of Detective Sergeant Jamie Winter, replacing Gwilym Lee.[3] Returning too in the 19th series are Manjinder Virk as pathologist Dr Kam Karimore and Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby; all due to be broadcast in 2017.[4]


Main article: List of Midsomer Murders episodes

The pilot episode of Midsomer Murders was shown on 23 March 1997. As of 17 February 2016, 110 episodes have been broadcast, comprising 18 series.


Midsomer is an English fictional county. The county town is Causton, a middle-sized town where Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby lives with his wife, and where the Criminal Investigation Department is located. Much of the popularity of the series arises from the incongruity of sudden violence in a picturesque and peaceful rural setting. Individual episodes focus on institutions, rituals, and customs popularly seen as being characteristic of rural English counties.

Many of the villages and small towns of the county have the word "Midsomer" in their name; this is inspired in part by the real county of Somerset, and specifically the town of Midsomer Norton, and became a naming convention within the show. When Mrs Barnaby proposed they move out of Causton and suggested various villages, her husband countered with recollections of particularly grisly murders that occurred in each community. Likewise, when Sgt. Dan Scott asked if the body count was, "always this high around here, sir?"; Barnaby replied, "It has been remarked upon."

Humour is a main feature of the series, with many of the actors playing up their high-camp characters. There is often black comedy, such as a woman being murdered with a wheel of cheese,[5] and many scenes are examples of "dramedy" (comic drama or dramatic comedy); according to RadioTimes when describing the episode Death and the Divas (series 15, episode 4): 'Midsomer Murders never takes itself too seriously but here it’s got its tongue so far into its cheek, it hurts.' [6]

Filming locations[]

Causton is represented by the village of Wallingford in Oxfordshire.[7][8] Causton police station is represented by the former RAF Staff College, Bracknell.[8] Most episodes have been filmed in villages around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire counties.[8]

The Six Bells, a pub in Warborough, Oxfordshire,[9] repeatedly features as the Black Swan in the Midsomer village of Badger's Drift.[10]

Filming took place on Sunday 11 August 2013 at White Waltham Airfield, southwest of Maidenhead, England, for episode 4 of Series 16, "The Flying Club".[11]

In the Killings of Copenhagen episode, number five in the sixteenth season—the 100th episode[12] in all—, several scenes are filmed at location in central Copenhagen, like Rådhuspladsen ("the City Hall Square", Nyhavn), "New Port" with its canal and old colourful houses, a Danish countryside church, and at the circular square inside the Copenhagen Police headquarters building [13][14] The murder in Copenhagen is the only one within the entire series (until episode 106, at least) where a murder takes place outside the indeed very dangerous fictive County of Midsomer with exception of Brighton where the soon-to-be new Inspector Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) is introduced.


Main article: List of Midsomer Murders characters
Characters and the seasons where they appeared
Character Actor
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
DCI Tom Barnaby John Nettles Main
DCI John Barnaby Neil Dudgeon Recurring Main
DS Gavin Troy Daniel Casey Main Guest
DS Daniel Scott John Hopkins Main
DS Benjamin Jones Jason Hughes Main
DS Charlie Nelson Gwilym Lee Main
DS Jamie Winter Nick Hendrix Main
DC Gail Stephens Kirsty Dillon Recurring Main
Dr George Bullard Barry Jackson Main Main Recurring Main
Dr Dan Peterson Toby Jones Recurring Main
Dr Kate Wilding Tamzin Malleson Recurring Main
Dr Kam Karimore Manjinder Virk Main
Joyce Barnaby Jane Wymark Main
Sarah Barnaby Fiona Dolman Main

List of fictional villages in Midsomer[]

  • Angels Rise
  • Aspern Tallow
  • Badger's Drift
  • Binwell
  • Bishopwood
  • Bow Clayton
  • Broughton
  • Burwood Mantle
  • Calham Cross
  • Causton (County town)
  • Cooper Hill
  • Devington
  • Dunstan
  • Elverton-cum-Latterley
  • Ferne Basset
  • Finchmere
  • Fletcher's Cross
  • Ford Florey
  • Goodman's Land
  • Great Pelfe
  • Great Worthy
  • Haddington
  • Little Crosby
  • Little Malton
  • Little Upton
  • Little Worthy
  • Lower Crosby
  • Lower Warden
  • Luxton Deeping
  • Malham Bridge
  • Malham Cross
  • March Magna
  • Marsh Wood
  • Martyr Warren
  • Midsomer Abbas
  • Midsomer Barrow
  • Midsomer Barton
  • Midsomer Chettham
  • Midsomer Cicely
  • Midsomer Deverell
  • Midsomer Florey
  • Midsomer Herne
  • Midsomer Holm
  • Midsomer Langley
  • Midsomer Magna
  • Midsomer Malham
  • Midsomer Mallow
  • Midsomer Market
  • Midsomer-in-the-Marsh
  • Midsomer Mere
  • Midsomer Morchard
  • Midsomer Morton
  • Midsomer Mow
  • Midsomer Newton
  • Midsomer Oaks
  • Midsomer Parva
  • Midsomer Pastures
  • Midsomer Priors
  • Midsomer Sonning
  • Midsomer St. Claire
  • Midsomer St. Michael
  • Midsomer Stanton
  • Midsomer Vertue
  • Midsomer Vinae
  • Midsomer Wellow
  • Midsomer Worthy
  • Midsomer Wyvern
  • Milton's Cross
  • Monks Barton
  • Morton Fendle
  • Morton Shallows
  • Newton Magna
  • Pandlefoot Bailey
  • Shotover & Forest hill
  • Upper Warden
  • Whitcombe Mallet


In March 2011, the series' producer, Brian True-May, was suspended by All3Media after telling the TV listings magazine Radio Times that the programme did not have any non-white characters, because the series was a "bastion of Englishness". When challenged about the term "Englishness" and whether that would exclude different ethnic minorities, True-May responded: "Well, it should do, and maybe I'm not politically correct". He later went on to say that he wanted to make a programme "that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed". True-May's comments were investigated by the production company.[15] He was reinstated, having apologised "if his remarks gave unintended offence to any viewers", but he has since stepped down as producer.[16][17]

The following series (series 15) saw Asian characters appear on the show in the episodes "The Dark Rider" and "Written in the Stars",[18] though an Asian character had previously appeared in "Orchis Fatalis". Also, series 15 introduces more black characters, although previously they had been seen in background scenes, but had not had many speaking roles except for the Crown Prosecutor in the episode "Last Year's Model" (Series 9, episode 8), who was a black woman, and in the episode "Dance With The Dead", in which two black men were among the dancers at a 1940s-themed party. Also, in episode 3 of season 11 ("Left for Dead"), the character Charlotte/Charlie (played by Indra Ové as the adult version and Jade Gould as the younger version) appeared to be of mixed race.[citation needed]

International sales[]

Midsomer Murders has been sold to a large number of countries and territories around the world. In 2004, it was among the three most-sold British TV shows worldwide, whether as TV Programming or DVD.[19]

In Australia first-run episodes and repeats are screened on national free-to-air network ABC with repeats also shown on sister station ABC2. The series was originally aired on the Nine Network. Repeat screenings are also aired on the subscription channels UKTV and 13th Street. A measure of the success of the series in Australia is that repeats of the series still rate highly and often feature in the nation's top twenty shows in national surveys.[20][21]

In Canada the series is broadcast on TVOntario and Book Television in Ontario, and on Knowledge in British Columbia, which in 2014 is showing Series 16.

In Ireland the series is shown by the state broadcaster, RTÉ.

In New Zealand the series was broadcast on TVNZ until it's been broadcast for a number of years on the free-to-air channel Prime.

In the United States, the series was aired by A&E for a time and is now syndicated by American Public Television for broadcast on public television stations. As of March 2016, episodes through series 17 are available for streaming through Netflix as well as Acorn TV.

In Germany, the series is broadcast in a German language synchronised version by the public broadcaster ZDF under the series title "Inspector Barnaby".

In Denmark, the series is broadcast by DR1 under the title "Barnaby". Parts of the one hundredth episode, the Killings of Copenhagen, were filmed in the country.

In Italy, the series is dubbed and presented as "L'ispettore Barnaby".


Composed by Jim Parker, the iconic main theme is a moderate-tempo waltz, performed (primarily though not exclusively) on an unusual electronic musical instrument, the theremin, which has a sound not unlike a low whistle or a human voice. The theremin part was played by Celia Sheen (1940-2011). From the 14th series onwards the soundtrack was altered so that during the closing titles a standardised version of the theme is played on a solo violin in place of the theremin.

Three soundtrack CDs have been released so far, containing musical cues from various series. The first two sold out quickly and are now out of print, making them extremely hard to find. The most recent soundtrack is currently being given away to subscribers of the Midsomer Murders DVD/Magazine package in the UK and the Netherlands.

Midsomer Murders[]

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The first soundtrack release contains music from the first two series.

All music composed and conducted by Jim Parker

1."Midsomer Murders"2:51
2."Agnus Dei"2:05
3."The Village"2:05
4."An Irish Boy"3:14
6."Funeral Dance"3:55
7."Driving Home"1:49
8."Haunted Rooms"2:32
9."Discovery of a Dead Body"3:55
10."The Commune"2:45
11."The Alcoholic Fox-trot"1:41
12."Sarah's Lament"1:59
13."The Madonna's Statue"2:47
14."Milking Time"2:10
15."Scratching The Paintwork"2:44
16."Ancient Rome"2:47
17."Looking For Clues"2:08
18."Death on Stage"2:35
20."The Village Band"1:57
21."Cully's Tune"1:57
22."Bunny Cakes"2:17
23."Magic Pipes"1:43
24."Hunt And Kill"3:37
25."Meeting in the Dark"2:22
26."The Fairground"2:03
Total length:65:15

The Best of Midsomer Murders[]

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The second soundtrack release contains music from the first five series of Midsomer Murders, featuring both recycled cues from the previous release as well as some new material.

All music was conducted by Jim Parker, except for track 17 conducted by Don Lusher.

All tracks are written by Jim Parker.

1."Midsomer Murders"2:51
2."Agnus Dei"2:05
3."The Village"2:05
6."Libera Me"2:08
7."Driving Home"1:49
8."Discovery of a Dead Body"3:55
10."The Commune"2:45
11."The Alcoholic Fox – trot"1:41
12."Sarah's Lament"1:59
13."The Madonna's Statue"2:47
14."Milking Time"2:10
16."Ancient Rome"2:47
17."The Postman"2:38
18."Looking For Clues"2:08
19."A Roving"2:01
20."The Village Band"1:57
21."An Irish Boy"3:14
22."Cully's Tune"1:57
23."Haunted Rooms"2:32
24."Bunny Cakes"2:17
25."Magic Pipes"1:43
26."Meeting in the Dark"2:22
27."The Fairground"2:03
Total length:63:05

The Music of Midsomer Murders[]

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This third release was given away to anyone subscribing to the series' DVD/magazine package, and once again contains a few new cues, while largely recycling old material.

All music was conducted by Jim Parker except for track 14, conducted by Don Lusher.

All tracks are written by Jim Parker.

1."Midsomer Murders"2:51
4."Seduction, 1953"2:22
6."Discovery of a Dead Body"3:55
7."Driving Home"1:49
8."The Alcoholic Foxtrot"1:41
9."An Irish Boy"3:14
12."Milking Time"2:10
13."Cully's Tune"1:55
14."The Postman"1:31
15."A Roving"2:01
16."Magic Pipes"1:44
17."The Village Band"1:54
18."Haunted Rooms"2:32
19."The Fairground"2:03
Total length:43:39

DVD releases[]

All 100 episodes that have been aired so far have been released in the UK (Region 2) including three Christmas specials. The first 16 series of Midsomer Murders have been released in Australia[22] and New Zealand (Region 4).

In January 2006, Midsomer Murders started a DVD and Magazine Collection, available at newsagents in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK.[citation needed]

Acorn Media UK has released 24 DVD sets of Midsomer Murders in North America as well as several collections. The Early Cases 10 disc collection of 18 episodes includes the pilot episode and those of series one, two, three, and four (except the last episode), as well as a bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary. Acorn's "Barnaby's Casebook" 10 disc collection has 17 episodes, including the last episode of series four, followed by those of series five, six, and seven. Acorn's "Village Case Files" 8 disc collection includes the 16 episodes of series eight, and nine. The North American releases have been catching up with the time of original screening in the UK and the latest release (Set 24 released in July 2014) includes episodes first screened in January 2014.[citation needed]


  • Graham, Caroline (1987). The Killings at Badger's Drift.
  • Graham, Caroline (1989). Death of a Hollow Man.
  • Graham, Caroline (1993). Death in Disguise.
  • Graham, Caroline (1995). Written in Blood.
  • Graham, Caroline (1998). Faithful unto Death.
  • Graham, Caroline (1999). A Place of Safety.
  • Graham, Caroline (2004). A Ghost in the Machine.


  1. The Guardian (2 January 2008). "Midsomer shines for ITV". London. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  2. "Midsomer Murders – The New Barnaby Joins John Nettles on Exclusive Acorn Media DVD Release". 9 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  3. "New recruit for Midsomer Murders" (Press release). ITV. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. "Season 19 of Midsomer Murder begins shooting; Barnaby gets new sidekick". Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  5. "'Midsomer Murders' Schooled in Murder (TV Episode 2013)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  6. Rackham, Jane. "Midsomer Murders". RadioTimes. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  7. "Midsomer Murders Locations". Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Hellicar, Michael (27 June 2008). "Midsomer marriage: Daughter's wedding promises toughest case yet for Detective Barnaby". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  9. Falconer, Kieran (19 July 2008). "Midsomer Murders: A very English setting". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  10. "Midsomer Murders - The Six Bells Warborough". The Six Bells Warborough. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  11. "New Midsomer Murders filmed at White Waltham Airfield". Maidenhead Advertiser News. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  12. "Midsomer Murders - Episode Guide".
  13. Picture of the round "police square" and some of the episode's main actors at
  14. Episode 100 itself, cannot determine which church it is.
  15. Easton, Mark (15 March 2011). "Midsomer Murders producer suspended over race row". Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  16. Plunkett, John (23 March 2011). "Midsomer Murders co-creator to step down at end of current series". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  17. "Midsomer producer to 'step down' after current series". BBC News. 23 March 2011.
  18. Singh, Anita (14 September 2012). "Midsomer Murders gets two Asian characters". Telegraph. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  19. "Strong DVD Market Boosts UK TV Export Revenues". May 2005. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  20. Knox, David (29 December 2013). "Ratings". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  21. Knox, David (22 December 2013). "Ratings". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  22. "Midsomer Murders DVD sales". ABC Shop. ABC Online. 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013.

External links[]

Template:Midsomer Murders