The rural countryside of a fictional county in England provides the backdrop for this crime series based on the novels of Caroline Graham. A lush visual style, quirky characters and ubiquitous red herrings recall classic public television British mysteries of the past. At the center of the Midsomer Murders investigations is detective chief inspector Tom Barnaby, played by actor John Nettles (Bergerac).
In the first two shows, someone decides to turn Midsomer Deverell’s memorial garden into a tea shop, a move that proves to be a fatal mistake for more than one person. DCI Barnaby’s criminal investigation uncovers a tumultuous trail of ruined dreams, scandalous love aff airs and vicious blackmail — all leading straight to the killer.
Stephen Tompkinson and Andrea Lowe star as the tenacious and stubborn chief inspector Alan Banks and the feisty and headstrong detective sergeant Annie Cabbot in DCI Banks, a series of thrilling crime stories based on crime writer Peter Robinson’s novels.
What makes Banks different from other investigators? “He’s very much an ‘everyman’ type of character, which is why so many readers can identify with him,” Robinson writes in The Telegraph. “He’s no super sleuth or hard man, simply a flawed, passionate, occasionally naive and sometimes deeply insightful man.”
Follow DCI Banks and his team in two programs as they discover a serial killer and investigate a houseboat fire that turns out to be more than just a case of arson.
By Brian McCreath | Thursday, January 5, 2012
Downton Abbey, from WGBH’s Masterpiece Classic, won the 2012 Emmy Award for Original Dramatic Score for a Series. Classical New England talks with John Lunn, the composer of the winning score.
Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton Abbey (image by Mike Searle, via Wikimedia; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
When you think of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey, the first thing that comes to mind might be Highclere Castle, which “plays” Downton Abbey itself. Or maybe the mind-boggling “proper-ness” of practically every single character depicted.
One especially powerful aspect of Downton you may not have noticed – at least consciously – was the music you heard.
In a way, that’s as it should be. The score was written by John Lunn and accomplishes precisely what any film score must: a ratcheting up of the emotional trajectory of the story while simultaneously going unnoticed.
You might imagine Lunn as a wizard-like composer in a meticulous process, weaving together strands of silvery sound to form a gorgeous tapestry. But as he told me, that’s not exactly how the process started:
To hear more about Downton Abbey from actress Elizabeth McGovern, visit The World.