When I first began watching this series I had some doubts about continuing. None of the characters are flashy or brilliant or exciting. Subdued would describe most of them, with only the occasional momentary emotional outburst supplied by a suspect or relative of the victim. Not very much happens: the investigators drive to and from interviews with suspects and neighbors, they discuss the case over beers in the pub, they get moody and down about not solving the case, and someone drives fast on a narrow country road, occasionally going into the trees. Even the opening, with its exciting Cornish music, shows inspector Wycliffe grumpily lifting his cell phone to his ear as the music swells.
And yet, I have grown to really enjoy the series. As others have mentioned, it provides stunning views of the Cornwall seacoast, and it portrays quite well the various types of people one would find in such isolated, poor rural communities. I look forward to joining the team with each episode -- the dour. knowledgeable leader DS Wycliffe, his two contrasting, highly effective senior investigators DI Kersey and DI Lane saying a few pithy things here and there, the young heavy set dependable computer whiz DC Potter, cheerful DS Dixon, and the somewhat gruesome, grumpy autopsy doctor Franks. They don't say very much, but in their various ways let us know how much they like and respect each other, despite their different styles and skills. Even when they have disagreements, these are mostly expressed with grimaces, pointed looks and other facial clues, and eventually the make peace with each other with half-completed sentences.
And that's fine with me! I feel that detective shows have become frantic, using excitable, histrionic acting, fast cutting, odd camera angles, loud driving music, and special effects to lure in and keep distracted viewers. With this show I can settle in with a bowl of popcorn, watch the murder be discovered (it's almost never shown happening, nor is there much if any gore), ride along or sit beside these plodding, thoughtful detectives as they work hard at understanding the people involved and how this tragedy has happened. As often as not, the perpetrators are people, not just villains, who took a wrong turn somewhere or were driven by circumstances to commit a terrible crime. And then the case is solved, and the episode ends, and I can go do something else, without the feeling that I have to binge watch to find out what happens next.
All in all, a very calm, interesting, enjoyable way to spend an hour!