It would take very little effort to tweak Midsomer Murders into one of the funniest comedies on TV.
The series, originally based on the Chief Inspector Barnaby novels by Caroline Graham, is now so far removed from drama that the already humorous scripts could be turned into pure comedy gems, in the same vein as UKTV’s Gold, Murder series starring Sian Gibson and Johnny Vegas
The current series, filmed in the green countryside of the fictional county of Midsomer, has featured excellent comedy acting talent including that of Nigel Havers, Katy Brand, Gryff Rhys-Jones, Joanna Page and Miles Jupp. The scripts are already humorous and one gets the feeling that the cast is holding back the laughter whilst delivering their lines. So why not go the whole hog and develop the storylines to include even more humour.
This week’s episode ‘With Baited Breath’ revolved around a weekend angling competition to catch a giant carp with the menace of Jaws, a Pyscho Mud Run with a very elaborate course but just 30 or so competitors, three murders in the space of the weekend, a historical death dredged from the fishing lake, a young female police office ordering around her immediate superior like Barbara Woodhouse with a golden retriever and a final scene in which a sixty year old man picks up a rock that would have defeated Dwayne Johnson. It was funny. A tweak or two to the script and it could have been hilarious.
It may risk upsetting aficionados but ITV are definitely missing a golden opportunity