Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Barnaby 1, Barnaby 2, Barnaby 3 (Part 1)

Barnaby 1 and DS Jones
For some reason that seems impossible to identify, Joyce and I have spent some years (that's right--years) watching the British TV crime series Midsomer Murders. The show, which commenced in 1997, is still going (I won't say "strong") though some of the principal cast members have changed recently.

During its initial 80-some episodes, the main character, DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Tom Barnaby, was played by John Nettles, who last played the character in 2011. He's been replaced by his fictional cousin, John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon). Sidekick for both (so far) has been DS (Detective Sergeant) Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), a bit of a dim bulb with a good heart (can bulbs have hearts? I think so).

The show involves grisly murders in a rural English county--the fictional Midsomer. Lots of killings out there in the meadows. Usually, there's some kind of community festival going on, too.

When the series featured Tom Barnaby (the older), it was generally humorless and predictable (opening shots of feet moving in the dark toward someone who wasn't going to last very long). DS Jones didn't really get a chance to do much but drive off somewhere to check something out.

But the newer Barnaby (John) is in shows that are more amusing--and Jones has gotten to do a lot more, including disrobe in an episode that requires him to go undercover (nearly in more ways than one) in a New Age cult. We see his butt--quite a surprise.

Barnaby 2 and DS Jones
Anyway, I think Joyce and I have used the show for a soporific all these years (streaming episodes on Netflix once we hit the bed). She usually drifts off before much has really happened, wakes up when she hears the final music, begins quizzing me about what happened--right at the time that I want to go to sleep. Ah, marriage!

We recently watched an episode that concluded with the departure of another veteran character--Dr. Bullard (Barry Jackson), a wizened crime-scene coroner. He said he was going to retire, and the next episode featured a (hot) younger blonde, Dr. Kate Wilding (played by Tamzin Malleson). I thought there might be some Jones-Wilding wilding going on, but so far nothing more has developed. (Last night we watched Episode 5 in Season 14; the show has begun Season 18!)

As I just looked on IMDB for some information, I see that later seasons do not have DS Jones. Sigh. Change is just so ... wrenching.

Anyway, that takes care of Barnaby 1 and Barnaby 2 (see title of this post).

But last night, watching Barnaby 2 wrap up a case, I was reminded of another Barnaby, one who for years was a TV personality in Cleveland. We'll get to him next time ...

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