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Midsomer Murders - The Maid In Splendour [DVD]

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Especially in the climax, which is one of the Tom Barnaby-era's most bizarre and over-the-top (if also slightly moving with the outcome). The pacing also could have been tighter in places, some of the middle is sluggish, and the motive for the first murder seemed too guess-able too early (the actual identity of the murderer however to me was a surprise). Of the seventh season up to this point, the best episode from personal opinion is "The Green Man", while "Bad Tidings" was very good, "The Fisher King" was decent if cluttered and over-complicated at times and "Sins of Commission" was mostly fine apart from the contrived last 15 minutes with a rather lazy motive for the murders. William Gaunt Michael Bannerman is a character appearing in the episode The Maid in Splendour of the ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders.

But this isn't the main issue. The plot and ending is so 'spit your tea out' that it's scarcely believable. Sorry for spoilers - but for the old man to declare his love for Bella is just plain odd. At no point has there ever been chemistry or anything to suggest to the viewer this could be a reality. And for the old man to unload his 12 gauge into his SON from point blank range is just pure sociopathic! I mean, think about that! A quiet village. An ex publican who is mourning his lost wife who died 2 years ago (the opening scene shows him staring adoringly at a photo of his wife) shoots his only son with a shotgun just because he is going to sell the pub, and who is having an affair with Bella. This is all after the old codger has mistakingly shot one of his young employees (and he's able to act completely like nothing happened). Bannerman eventually lost it, and when Audrey herself found out about the affair and had her disapproval and jealousy, she played on Bannerman's anger to stoke his rage for her purposes. She gave Bannerman the old shotgun without a renewed permit that belonged to her late husband. She then told Bannerman about the affair, over which he flew into a rage and briefly trashed his office. Bannerman went to the cottage one night in hopes of shooting Stephen to stop the affair then and there, armed with the shotgun. However, he saw Bella present and relented, hesitant when she knew he was watching them. He stealthily crept away and returned home. It is agreed that the motives for the murders are bit too much to handle for the viewer. I thought they were taken out of nowhere and felt oddly perverse. There are certain surprises here, which are not that surprising. For one: it wasn't very hard to figure out why Jamie died.Bannerman developed an unhealthy attraction to Bella, who reminded him of a young Audrey and seemed to attract him more than Audrey herself, by his own account. To his horror, Bella was more in love with Stephen, having an affair with him and ready to break up his marriage to leave the village with him. Stephen was willing to the point of arranging their trysts in the same cottage in the wood where Michael and Audrey would meet for their affair, where their initials were carved in the rafters. Stephen was planning to sell the bar to developer Lawrence Haggard, using the money to flee with Bella to America. There are some nice twists and turns here, which work and are intriguing. The story in "The Maid in Splendor" is fun with quirky humor, interesting murder mystery. The identity of the killer I found surprising as well. But as Stephen wasn't dead, Audrey, and Michael to that extent, weren't done yet. Bannerman took on the role of leader yet again to diffuse a standoff where Clive held his (reportedly unloaded) shotgun on Stephen to confront him over selling the bar. But Audrey caught onto Stephen's meeting that night with Haggard, as well as his plans with Bella to leave or America with the money earned, and informed Michael of it. Michael was again provoked to stalk Stephen on his shortcut, but not over selling the bar, as Audrey had made as a thin veil to provoke him. Michael appeared and demanded Stephen stay away from "her". After Stephen realized he wasn't talking about the bar, he laughed at Michael in pity, angering Michael enough to shoot him in his heart with the shotgun. Meanwhile, the script is smart and thought-provoking. The story is a vast majority of the time compelling, with many twists, turns and red herrings, a real ominous feel and the odd colourful eccentricity, never feeling simplistic or convoluted. The characters are fun. This one looks as nice as ever with plenty of rural English locations for those of you who like that sort of thing, The George Hotel in Dorchester in Oxfordshire was used for The Maid in Splendour pub if that sort of fact interests you. Both murders are the same as people are shot with twelve-bore shotguns, there's a bit of blood but nothing too graphic. The production values are high & the acting is very good as usual.

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. Episode 5 from season 7 this Midsomer Murders mystery was directed by Richard Holthouse & I liked it but I didn't think it was a classic. The script by Andrew Payne has all the usual Midsomer Murders ingredients particularly the incident in the distant past which makes a motive for murder during the present that a lot of Midsomer Murders episodes rely on, this one only has a couple of murders in it & it's one of those rare occasions that I actually guessed the killers identity fairly early on & although I couldn't be sure I was proved right in the end. This one also has a bizarre plot detail where a man confesses his love for a young girl even though he's old enough to be her Grandfather & it's an odd, perverse & somewhat unsettling scene. The motive for murder here isn't that great, I know people can get possessive but would you kill someone in cold blood because of a girl who at that time didn't even know you existed? I'm not sure I would to be honest with you. As usual this Midsomer Murders is exposition heavy & at almost two hours with commercials you need to concentrate as otherwise the end may not make as much sense as it should. I liked it but then I'm a fan of the show so maybe I'm biased, it's good but not Midsomer Murders best. However, as can be expected John Nettles is superb and John Hopkins is very much at ease as Scott. Their chemistry is very spirited and brings a lot of joy and witty interplay between them. The supporting cast are strong, especially Freddie Jones, William Gaunt and Frances Tomelty.The seventh season of "Midsomer murders" started well with "The Green man" and "Bad Tidings", but after them, two decent episodes "The Fisher King", "Sins of Commission" came about. "The Maid in Splendor" is a solid one in the long-running series, though could have been lot better. and illogical. The ending that is. Something can only be considered a "plot twist", if it was somehow a part of the plot to begin with. However, this old guy (Michael Bannerman) all of a sudden, out of the blue, declaring his undying love for a girl young enough to be his grandfather isn't a plot twist, it's just creepy and bad writing. It makes no sense, based upon his interactions with her earlier on in the episode. He's supposedly so besotted with her that he'd kill his own son for having been romantically involved with her, (a son who incidentally appears to be far too old for her also), yet until the end he had treated her so casually, almost distantly, like a niece he was maybe kind of fond of, or such. Not only that but then he seems so surprised that his now widowed daughter-in-law is turfing him out now that his son isn't around anymore. Well, duh! Bannerman ran a bar named "The Maid in Splendour", a community staple in Midsomer Worthy. His wife, Susan Bannerman died before the events of the namesake episode, leaving him with his son Stephen Bannerman. Bannerman had a long affair with Audrey Monday, a family friend who was also married and had a daughter, Bella Monday. Bannerman had lied he'd leave Susan for Audrey, but he never kept the promise, which broke Audrey's heart and stopped the affairs. She and Bella, however, remained close and even worked at the bar, which Stephen grew to possess ownership of with his wife Lorna Bannerman, as Michael's heart was in decline. Barnaby and Scott are drawn into an investigation concerning a barman at a Midsomer Worthy pub, Maid in Splendor. The young man was Jamie Cruikshank. The bar has changed hands amid some controversy: it's now owned by Stephen Bannerman, a property developer, who wants to make the local hangout more high end. The pub previously belonged to his father, Michael, who didn't approve of Stephen' plans. He also didn't approve of Stephen's affair with Bella Monday, the daughter of his lifelong friend Audrey.

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