Follow-up Review 3/14/2006

Producer: Brian True-May

Director: Sarah Hellings, Richard Holthouse, Peter Smith, Baz Taylor, and others...

Writing by: Anthony Horowitz, David Hoskins, Jeremy Paul, and others...
(Based upon the books and characters of Caroline Graham)

Starring: John Nettles, John Hopkins, Laura Howard, Jane Wymark

7th New series ("season" in U.S.) appearing on Biography Channel (cable TV).

Genre: Mystery/crime

Long-running series in the UK (ITV).
Broadcast on Biography Channel (cable) as two-hour episodes.
(Not yet available in U.S. or Canada on DVD but possibly available for viewing in the U.K.)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

This is a follow-up review of the remaining episodes in Series #7 that I hadn't viewed at the time I wrote the previous review of "Bad Tiding," the first episode of series #7 that was shown. (Does that make any sense?)

I've now watched "Mr. Green" (the final episode with DS Gavin Troy), plus "Sins of Commission," "Maid in Splendor," "The Staw Woman," and "Ghosts of Christmas Past" (all with the new DS Scott).

I'm sorry to say that my opinion of the seventh series hasn't improved any. While the stories are better than those in Series #6, that's not saying much. The stories are still very weak and rather boring. It's as if the writers have lost touch with the main characters or simply can't think of anything else to do with them so they don't do very much with them at all. The villians are uninteresting. The locals are uninteresting. On more than one occasion I found myself not caring about anyone on the screen, including Barnaby and his new side-kick DS Scott.

The tension or chemistry between the two leading characters is non-existent. The crimes are pretty much a rehash of other village crimes, and there's no one to root for. The people who "need" to be killed (or deserve to be killed) are killed as are one or two innocents. Cully still doesn't really have a life and Barnaby's wife still can't really cook, although DS Scott seems to show up at meal times more often than not and plies Mrs. Barnaby with his sleazy charms. The actor portraying Scott may be a decent actor but any skills he might possess are completely wasted here, in this series.

That said, I will continue to watch the series, because I truly hope it gets better but I recommend that anyone who isn't already a die-hard fan stay clear of series #6 and #7 until you've at least watched the first five series and gotten a feel for the show.

If you would like to read my previous reviews of this series, please click on the titles below.

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