Time to come out to the world. With some trepidation and not a small amount of embarrassment.
Since last year, on days when the TV news has been “all covid, all of the time” but not saying anything new, we have indulged ourselves by watching Midsomer Murders on the streaming channel.
You will understand that we only watch it ironically.
And so, we are up to somewhere beyond 100 episodes now (that’s 150+ hours of life we will never get back) and have learned some jolly interesting facts about murder and murderers.
- If we ever have a dog, which we won’t, it will be like the one the top cop has. Small terriers are fun.
- At some point in every episode, the murderer appears – wearing gloves and a dark hoodie …
- … and they skulk in the shrubbery.
- The murderer is always a minor character introduced in the first half hour and then not seen again until the great denouement.
- When interviewing witnesses the police, on completing their questions, always turn back as they leave the room with “just one more thing”.
- Nobody lives in regular post-war houses except the top cop who lives in an executive style house he could never afford on what the police get paid.
- The local aristos in the big house are usually involved. One member of the family is usually a cad and one has incipient dementia.
- The working classes live in timber framed cottages probably worth millions and have designer furniture.
- There are a LOT of historical re-enactment groups, cricket teams and pensioners’ cycling clubs in on the action.
- The weather can change from bright sun to blattering rain to summery heat in the course of a ten minute car journey.
- Forensic pathologists are also experts at fingerprint identification, ballistics and handwriting analysis. They rarely have a problem with working out the time of death.
- When a throat has been slashed the amount of blood is limited to a mere smear on a shirt collar instead of spraying all over the walls. Quite a tidy way to off your chums … and the perpetrator somehow gets none on their own clothes.
- It was never the butler.
- Police sergeants are not very clever.
- Even when going to the chippie for a bit of lunch, police cars always travel with flashing lights and sirens.
- The top cop’s wife can switch overnight from writing a bodice-ripper romance to a whodunnit and get a publishing contract signed and sealed all in the space of a week.
- When characters have to be written out of the series (the actor probably got a better offer) they are frequently offered a job of a lifetime in Canada. In one episode the departing pathologist got a job in Montreal (would you believe) starting “at the end of the week” with no problems over Canadian immigration, knowledge of French or any of those other trivial matters.
- The cops always drive top of the range Volvos and the camera lingers on the car’s badge. The cars are always clean and shiny and there are no pizza boxes in the footwell.
- It’s (almost) always the same, identikit pub interior regardless of village.
Who knew so much could be learned, just from watching TV.
** What to watch when we have reached the end of the 22 series, probably around Easter? I’d like to think it would be the final series of Line of Duty but it’s not on the streaming channel we subscribe to – despite all the earlier series being there. Harrumphh.