Review of Death’s Shadow (1999)
Season 2 opening of Midsomer Murders. I’ve no intention of watching a full season. This was my first experience of the series, in 2011-07, at which point there were 85 episodes out. As I expected, it’s a curious, self-aware combination of quaint rural idyll and implausible morbidity. The most striking thing about this episode was the absolute contempt of the writers for the real difficulty of decapitating an alert adult male, standing and with room to move, with a single stroke, or instantly killing another with a festival-game arrow to the back, and this is supposed to have been done by a desperate, completely untrained old man. It’s got little to do with plausible methods or motivations, and the investigators call even an accidental death (as they see it, without ever investigating it) a murder. I see it as a low fantasy of good and evil for people preoccupied with the superficial in everyday life.