Midsomer Murders - Last Year's Model [DVD]

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Midsomer Murders - Last Year's Model [DVD]

Midsomer Murders - Last Year's Model [DVD]

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As the preparations are underway for Cully Barnaby's wedding, Ned Fitzroy and Beth Porteous are married in Bledlow village. At the reception at Bledlow Hall, the maid of honour, Marina Fellowes, is found murdered. With the honeymoon postponed, the newlyweds and their guests find themselves under investigation by the police. Evidence soon points to a connection with archery when a fletching is found at the crime scene. Barnaby and Jones uncover a long family history with many secrets, lies, deception, and an illegitimate son. These things become even more complicated when the estate manager and former cook are also found murdered. John Ransom gets thrown out of the village pub in Midsomer Mere for fighting with his brother-in-law, and a short while later he is found dead on the green. It is discovered that John had been used as a guinea pig for scientific experiments by his brother Max, who suspected he had the ability of 'Second Sight'. Barnaby and Scott soon discover that another family possesses the same talent. They have to delve deeper to unravel many secrets in the village to find the truth. At no point are the facts presented in such a way as to make the accused appear guilty. All the evidence that Barnaby and everyone bangs on about is never once brought up. Apley Court, in the village of Granville Norton, is home to historic beehives that produce a well top-of-the-range ‘Apley Gold’ honey. Master beekeeper Ambrose Deddington attributes his survival from a life-threatening cancer to a combination of Apley Gold and bee venom. When he is injured trying to prevent the theft of his beloved bees, Barnaby and Winter investigate. Later the local doctor, Serena Lowe, is found murdered, and stung to death. Barnaby and Winter discover that a previous event is the key to the case.

The 'Creeper' is a daring cat burglar responsible for a series of daring thefts across Midsomer. After the Creeper strikes twice in one night, a writer, David Roper, is found smothered to death in his bed on the Chettham family estate. The police soon learn that Mr. Roper had been planning to write a book that could have exposed many Chettham family secrets of years past. The mystery deepens when a second victim who knew the family is shot in woodland. The detectives have to search the family's history to solve the crimes and finally uncover the Creeper's identity.

Episode 8 from season 9 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Richard Holthouse & to my recollection is a unique episode structured like none other in the show's eleven season run to date, while it's quite nice to see the regular format changed a little bit & the makers try something different the overall feeling I was left with after watching Last Year's Model was 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. Unlike just about any other Midsomer Murders episode the plot for Last Year's Model revolves around a murder trial, a trial that Barnaby has his doubts about as it progresses & as the leading investigator he sets out to discover the truth, unmask a killer & free an innocent person. This is alright but there are a few plot points that just didn't work for me, for instance the reasons given as to why Annie kept changing her story & constantly lied didn't convince me, I mean if you are accused of murder & looking at spending the rest of your life in prison wouldn't you just tell the truth? The whole idea that Annie lied because she was embarrassed is rather feeble, I'd sooner be embarrassed for a short period of time rather than spend the rest of my life in prison. I'm sorry but I also think that's how any other person would feel. Then they give the true killer's identity away far too early, in fact it's about forty odd minutes before the end & then it's a straight case of Barnaby finding the evidence to prove it. In another Midsomer Murders first there isn't a murder in the actual time-line of the episode since when it starts the central murder has already been committed. If you are interested in series continuity this is the episode in which Ben Jones gets a promotion from Constable to Sergeant.

New acting Chief Superintendent John Cotton plans a team-building exercise at a Territorial Army centre run by Colonel Matt Parkes. Barnaby and Jones are very reluctant to take part, and when an explosion at the Parkes family haulage yard occurs, the detectives see the investigation as an opportunity to avoid the team building event. It is not long after that a body is discovered in a trunk that resurfaces from the nearby lake. The victim is identified as Alec Grainger, who had been arguing with Colonel Parkes' son Jamie. When Jamie is also found murdered, the detectives are faced with an abundance of suspects and motives, as Jamie seemed to have been universally hated. Any good defense lawyer would destroy her in a courtroom. Except the one in this episode remains quiet the whole time, even refusing to cross examine one of the most important witnesses in the trial.This was, as has been pointed out, a different structure from the usual MM. I thought it was good, particularly the intimation that Pru Plunkett may have been more than an old friend of Barnaby's. I also liked the elderly female witness who wants to help with the case.

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