Midsomer Murders (1997– )
7.3/10
286
8 user 1 critic

The Silent Land 

Jeff Bowmaker runs a profitable business in Midsomer Magna conducting spooky "ghost tours" at night when the unpopular village librarian turns up dead.

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(screenplay) (as Peter J. Hammond), (characters)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Cully Barnaby
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DC Gail Stephens
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Ian Kent
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Faith Kent
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
Adam Peach (as Rupert Holliday Evans)
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Jessica Peach
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Liam Peach
Suzy Aitchison ...
Alice Carver
David Sibley ...
John Carver
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Sarah Sharp
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Storyline

Driving down a country lane at night, Joyce believes she has hit somebody but there is no evidence to support this. However, unpopular village librarian Gerald Ebbs is found murdered in a nearby graveyard, of which he was voluntary caretaker. Most of the graves are for T.B. patients from an adjacent but long disused sanatorium. Assistant librarian Sarah Sharp benefits from the death of Gerald, who was frequently at odds with ghost walks organizer Jeff Bowmaker. Bowmaker runs tours through the graveyard and is having affairs with two married women, landlady Alice Carver and historian Faith Kent. When Joyce joins a ghost walk which explores the sanatorium a second victim is claimed, enabling Barnaby to discover how his wife believed she had disturbed the silent land. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

22 September 2010 (UK)  »

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16 : 9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aden Gillett's character, Ian Kent, has a dog. This was Aden's own dog, an Italian Spinone called Echo. See more »

Goofs

When Barnaby brakes suddenly to avoid the ghost, the shot of wheels braking are those of a Peugeot, while Barnaby's car is a Volvo. See more »

Quotes

DCI Tom Barnaby: This must have been a bust community... full of hope, full of despair.
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Crazy Credits

Susannah Fielding is mistakenly credited as playing Jessica Peach, which was played by Zoë Tapper. This can be seen at approximately 29'30", when Rupert Holliday-Evans introduces himself as Adam Peach and introduces Zoë Tapper as his daughter Jessica [Peach]. Maybe Susannah Fielding was replaced at the last minute. See more »

Soundtracks

Home Boys Home
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Full of hope that it was a vast improvement on a lot of previous episodes, also frustrated that it wasn't better
23 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.

"The Silent Land" is a solid episode with a lot to recommend, and as far as Season 13 goes it's one of the better ones. Much better than "The Made-to-Measure Murders" and especially "Blood on the Saddle", both of which were embarrassments as 'Midsomer Murders' episodes and for episodes for any show. It is actually to me a stronger episode than several Seasons 10-13 (when 'Midsomer Murders' started becoming very uneven) episodes, however it did have elements good enough to make a back-to-form episode but there are a few flaws that bring a potentially great episode to a solid one.

Particularly underwhelming is the ending, the murderer was one that is a surprise and one of the least suspected ones but the motives are flimsy (especially for the first, though it was a little disappointing that that for the second murder was not that much different from the other suspects'). Despite the second murder being satisfying (staged in a quite eerie way too), with one of the biggest examples of a victim who got what they deserved, doing it with witnesses was far too much of a risk.

Much more development could have been given to the first victim, one learns too little about him other than that he was widely hated. The stuff with Joyce at the beginning was so promising and had a real spooky edge missing in 'Midsomer Murders' recently, and it was a shame that that storyline was ditched too early and not properly resolved. Occasionally the writing in the middle third goes round in repetitive circles and feels slightly padded.

However, the production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Scripting has a nice balance of thought, humour and drama, while the spooky atmosphere of the story was wonderfully unsettling and the sombre nature had a poignancy in places. It is involving and atmospheric, and generally less padded than some recent episodes and never gets silly that it becomes parody.

Characters are closer to the more colourful and eccentric characters of the classic era rather than the lifeless ones that too many of the recent episodes had (Bowmaker is especially juicy).

John Nettles and Jason Hughes are both superb, individually and together (their chemistry, and the chemistry with Daniel Casey and John Hopkins before Hughes, being a huge part of their episodes' charm). Danny Webb is particularly great in support as Bowmaker, and avoids being too pantomimic, a danger with a role so juicy.

Overall, solid but could have been great or more. Still much better than the previous Season 13 episodes and several mid-period 'Midsomer Murders' episodes. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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