15 February 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
Murder at the golf club
As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.
While not classic 'Midsomer Murders' ("The Killings at Badgers Drift", "Written in Blood", "Death's Shadow", "Dead Man's Eleven", "Judgement Day", "Ring Out Your Dead", "The Green Man", "Hidden Depths" and "The House in the Woods") it's not a lesser episode too ("Second Sight", "Shot at Dawn", "The Electric Vendetta", "Midsomer Rhapsody", "Days of Misrule", "Blood on the Saddle" and "Night of the Stag"), "The Dogleg Murders" is a decent episode and starts Season 12 well.
"The Dogleg Murders" has a few things that stop it from being great. It is let down somewhat by a silly in staging ending, that becomes too obvious too early once medical evidence narrows things down, with a killer that not only didn't register much for much of the episode but also had motives less strong than some of the others character and was pretty careless (hardly discreet in their killing, actually attracting attention to themselves, and not particularly good at covering their tracks). It is agreed too that the warring brothers subplot got a tad bizarre.
However, the production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The golf club and its scenery is some of the show's most wonderfully picturesque ever. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.
There are some thoughtful and humorous moments in the script, which is generally well structured and crafted (with a great balance of humour and drama and more to-the-point than the lesser episodes of the season), and the supporting characters are entertaining enough. The story is very compelling, there is a lot going on but doesn't get that confusing or overcrowded.
John Nettles and Jason Hughes are both superb, individually and together (their chemistry, and the chemistry with Daniel Casey and John Hopkins before Hughes, being a huge part of their episodes' charm). Can't fault the supporting cast either.
In conclusion, a decent start to Season 12. 7/10 Bethany Cox