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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Midsomer Murders: A Tale of Two Hamlets is set in Upper Walden & starts at the grand opening of the 'Ellis Bell Satanic Experience' public attraction at Upper Walden Manor that ties in with a smash hit horror film The House of Satan based upon the 100 year old book by former Upper Walden resident Ellis Bell, the owner Rupert Smythe-Webster (Ronald Pickup) introduces the star of the film & his nephew Larry Smith (Charlie Beall) who becomes toast when he runs out in front of the press & over to a nearby cricket pavilion which explodes when he enters it. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) & Stg. Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) are on the case & there are no shortage of suspects, then Frank (Jonathan Hyde) another Smythe-Webster is found murdered & Barnaby has to sift through the rumours & clues to bring the killer or killers to justice...

    Episode 4 from season 6 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Peter Smith & is another top murder mystery from one of my favourite show's. The script by Alan Plater has all the usual ingredients for a good episode with blackmail, back stabbing, dark secrets, lies, murder & the letting down of car tyres. The story is as intricate & intriguing as usual, the murder mystery elements are good & pretty gripping. These Midsomer murder mysteries are never that easy to second guess & I doubt many will identify the killer or killers easily, there's plenty of suspects, they all have reasonable motives & there isn't one particular suspect that stands out or is too heavily implicated. The character's are good as is the dialogue & the killer or killers have good & interesting motives which work very well but at almost two hours in length & not much action or excitement some may begin to run out of patience before the end. I liked it but then I'm a big fan of the series so maybe I'm biased but I don't really care.

    As usual there's plenty of the English countryside on show here & it's well made with high production values. The acting is strong from a good cast.

    A Tale of Two Hamlets is a top British murder mystery from possibly the best crime drama currently on TV over here (I'm not sure if this is show elsewhere in the world). Definitely recommended especially for mystery fans.
  • Wonderful Midsomer Murders mystery with Barnaby and Troy on the case of the disappearing family.

    Fighting between two villages, the Upper and Lower Warden, is nothing new, going back to Cromwell.

    Now it's getting serious. When the star of the horror film The House of Satan, the bewigged Larry Smith, enters a pavilion with much aplomb only to blown up, Barnaby and Troy are called in. Smith was a member of the Smythe-Webster family, the major upper class family in the area. His father is the local vicar, his uncle is lord of the manor, and another uncle is producing The House of Satan, a story based on happenings centuries earlier.

    The citizens of Lower Warden resent that the book, a local history, has been turned into a low-budget horror movie. Barnaby isn't sure that's enough reason to kill the star. Then someone else in the family is murdered. As is usually the case with Midsomer Murders, the motive lies in the past -- and perhaps in The House of Satan.

    Neat mystery with interesting characters and old secrets that bubble to the surface. It will take B&T a while to sort through this one. I loved it.
  • This is a very good episode of Midsomer, from one of the classic years.

    Who on Earth would want to bump off a budding young actor?

    The beginning is quite literally explosive, and probably one of the most memorable scenes from Midsomer. It's a battle of the classes, two villages set against each other, Upper and Lower Warden, each with a charismatic figurehead at the helm.

    Great story, great characters, it moves along at a great pace, and ends very well.

    Upper Warden is spectacular, lower is pretty grim, I am surprised that Anne Reid's character isn't living in a mud hut in and old crone's outfit, they perhaps make Lower Warden a little overly ... decayed.

    The true crime is the interior of the Barnaby household here, the sofa, curtains and walls are pretty grotesque, it's amusing.

    Barnaby and Troy, Reid and Pickup, never in any doubts, it's very good, 8/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Midsomer murders season 6 episode 4 is written by Alan Plater and directed by Peter Smith. "A tale of two hamlets" has a very different script than other Midsomer episodes.

    Characters are very well done and created. How killer kills their victims are bizarre and not easily forgettable. This story has it all-The twists keep coming and coming, blackmails, 3 murders and affairs.

    There are some scenes which are one of my favorites.(The pretitle scene) The plot about filming is gripping and relatively good. There's even some humor on the way. What let this episode down was the solution: I liked the killer's identity, but I felt that the motive for murders of Frank Webster and Larry Smith were not so well explained and felt rushed.But... Overall I'd say it is a very good Midsomer murders. My final verdict is 8/10
  • Despite not being anywhere near as good now, 'Midsomer Murders' is still a show visited and re-visited with great pleasure. There are episodes better than others, with a fair share of disappointments especially in the later seasons, like with any show in existence, but when 'Midsomer Murders' was good it was good to outstanding.

    "A Talent for Life" was a good, if not quite great, start to Season 6, followed by a decent "Death and Dreams" that sadly also got bogged down in instances of ridiculousness. The previous episode "Painted in Blood" was a departure, less grim and low-in-body-count, but nonetheless a good one.

    The best of the sixth season to me is "A Tale of Two Hamlets". Not quite a 'Midsomer Murders' "elite" episode, being not by all means "action-packed" (which may test some people's patience) and with a slight lack of "iconic" scenes. But it sure does come close, and it is a great episode.

    As always, the production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's occasional grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

    Meanwhile, the script is smart and thought-provoking with some nice quirky humour, a suitable grimness and colourful characters. Nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point, everything intrigued and any loose ends were tied together nicely.

    The story is hugely compelling, and never simplistic and never losing any of the maturity of most of the previous episodes. There is a lot going on mostly without being cluttered or rushed (remarkable for an episode that as ever is heavy in exposition), and that nothing is what it seems (didn't see the ending coming this time or the murderer's identity or motive), or very few people are who they seem adds to the complexity, while there are no out of kilter scenes. The twists, red herrings and turns, in classic 'Midsomer Murders' tradition, keep coming, and rarely in an obvious or press-the-rewind button. The characters are colourful, eccentric and not what they seem.

    John Nettles as always is a joy as Barnaby, with Daniel Casey contrasting with him with ease, their chemistry as always a huge part of the episode's charm. Everybody else does a fine job too with no obvious weak links.

    In conclusion, a great episode and the best of the season. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • This is pretty good. At the center of everything is a horror movie made from a book written a hundred years before. There is a family that is slowly being murdered. The episode begins with a handsome brother/actor after meeting the press, walks into a cricket pavilion and is blown to smithereens. The rest of the family, including one who is the producer of the very successful, though sleazy, movie, don't seem to be very emotional about the events of the death. It isn't long before a couple more are picked off. It all dates back to a time previous to the loss of copyrights. There is also a kind of class warfare between to halves of the same city that plays into everything. The principles are doomed to their own sadistic being. Barnaby and Troy try so hard to get a straight answer, but that bit of taciturnity feeds into the evidence. Good job.
  • We have recently been checking out some old episodes we hadn't seen. I was surprised to see the name Alan Plater as the screenwriter. Could it be the same playwright identified in my mind with 1960s gritty, working class dramas set 'up north'? After all, this was Midsomer territory! It didn't take long before my question was answered. Immediately, we were Introduced to a farcical group of characters straight out of a socialist's idea of a typical aristocratic family living in a large Gothic mansion. Alan Plater must have relished the idea of writing a murder mystery where he could bump-off a few upper class twits! Before long, we had the inevitable contrasting hamlet where the people lived in dire poverty. What a laugh! Mattresses in the road, old washing machines dumped outside the houses, rubbish everywhere. And a museum, believe it or not, devoted to the memory of some forgotten socialist. That sets the scene for the plot to unfold. Very boring!