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Tony Grist

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Spring, Midsomer Murders, Henning Mankell [Mar. 24th, 2011|10:00 am]
Tony Grist
It was so warm the day before yesterday that I lay down on the grass in Dunham Massey Park and -very briefly- went to sleep. Today I'm going to retrieve the garden chairs from the shed.

I caught a few minutes of Midsomer Murders last night. After all the kerfuffle about them operating a colour bar I made a point of scouring the background for Black or Asian extras; there weren't any. In the foreground dear David Warner had single-handedly suspended the new Barnaby- who is a heavy man-  from the rafters of a barn and placed a wickedly-bladed piece of farm machinery underneath. Dear David Warner will be 70 this year. 

Henning Mankell has written a final Wallender novel. Asked whether he's happy to be famous for his detective novels when he was done so much else, he replies "I believe...the most important thing you do in your life, you may not even know what it is. It may be that one day you sat down on a bench to comfort someone who is crying. That could be the most important thing you ever do." I like that. The full interview is here.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-03-24 10:21 am (UTC)
i wondered whether I was expected to be offended by the fact that both of Charlie's angels were Welsh. I'm fairly sure that one of them wasn't so obviously Welsh in her very different part in the Sarah Jane Adventures
There were several other glorious send-ups of previous episodes (other than the farm machinery one) which made me begin to understand why they had made the new detective the old one's cousin
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-03-24 10:28 am (UTC)
I understand the show goes out as "Inspector Barnaby" in a lot of countries- which made it imperative for the new character to have the same name.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-03-24 11:02 am (UTC)
But - but - but-

I thought that the original intention was to make "Midsomer" (Oxfordshire. Buckinghamshire, Berkshire) the principal character - in the same way that Oxford is the principal character in Morse and now Lewis?
I recognized most of the settings last night, but there are two possibilities for the school - perhaps they used both, or perhaps my memory is failing
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-03-24 11:41 am (UTC)
I don't know that part of the world at all, but it's certainly very pretty.

I watch the show once in a blue moon. Generally speaking, I prefer my detective fiction to be a little more plausible. I love Agatha Christie who- for all the mean things people say about her- was an acute observer of people and things.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-03-24 12:31 pm (UTC)
I started watching it because I grew up or worked in most of the locations where it's filmed, but its self-parodying adds to my enjoyment of it - and last night's episode suggests that there might be a great deal more of that

I used to own a huge Agatha Christie library - shes is certainly one of those authors who are honoured by it - if honour is the right word.

Did you notice that the dog is called Sykes? That's carrying on the mis-allusion tradition in which an author was called Ellis Bell, and a publican called Fothergill appeared in the same episode as a pub called the Spread Eagle - but the one wasn't the owner of the other. I was so delighted by this that I missed an important clue - perhaps that was the intention
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-03-24 03:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was amused by the dog called Sykes. I think the writers must enjoy their work- the actors too.

I've just been given a collection of e-books which includes the complete works of Agatha Christie.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-03-24 05:01 pm (UTC)
I haven't got into e-books yet - it's something I've been thinking about, but I've got to budget more urgently for bedroom furniture and for updating the electronics I've already got
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2011-03-24 01:06 pm (UTC)
That's a wonderfully sane attitude from Mankell.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-03-24 03:38 pm (UTC)
It's the reason why no autobiography will ever be anything more than "something of myself".
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