Midsomer Murders (1997– )
6.6/10
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12 user

Breaking the Chain 

Cyclist Greg Eddon is murdered after winning the local leg of a national race, beating team mate Mitch McCordell at the last minute.

Director:

Rob Evans

Writers:

Chris Murray (screenplay), Caroline Graham (based on characters by)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Dudgeon ... DCI John Barnaby
Gwilym Lee ... DS Charlie Nelson
Fiona Dolman ... Sarah Barnaby
Manjinder Virk ... Dr. Kam Karimore
Edward Akrout ... Damien Lamerat
Sophia Di Martino ... Amber Layard
Hari Dhillon ... Reece Dexter
Rebecca Grant ... Joanna Stockerton
Richard Graham ... Gerry Bleacher
Ben Lamb ... Aiden McCordell
Joe McGann ... Jez Oliver
Derek Riddell ... Des McCordell
Tom York ... Mitch McCordell
Tessa Peake-Jones ... Mary Appleton
Jack Staddon ... Greg Eddon
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Storyline

Cyclist Greg Eddon is killed after winning the local leg of a national race, beating team mate Mitch McCordell at the last minute. Mitch's father Des, who owns the DJM racing stable tells Barnaby the race is make or break for them but there are clearly factions as Mitch's brother Aiden had sent threatening texts to Greg after he was seen kissing Aiden's girlfriend Amber. Local environmentalist Gerry Bleacher opposes the races, claiming that people die because of them and organizer and pub landlady Mary Appleton receives messages accusing her of murder. Des admits that DJM's sponsorship depends on Mitch's continuing success as the company is cash strapped whilst Reece Dexter, who runs rival team Ravondale, accuses Des of corruption and persuades Aiden to cycle for his stable. Another murder follows before Barnaby is able to save a further victim and identify who, in the cycling world, was guilty of literally breaking the chain. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 2016 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Graham plays Gerry Bleacher in this episode. He previously played the role of Stanley Goodfellow in episode 11.7, Midsomer Murders: Talking to the Dead (2008). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Nelson calls Barnaby to tell him there's a case, he's wearing what looks like bike racing gear, a spandex shirt. After Barnaby arrives, Nelson is in normal street clothes, with no explanation for the change. See more »

Soundtracks

Main Theme
Composed by Jim Parker
Theremin played by Celia Sheen
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User Reviews

 
Pretty flat
25 April 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When in its prime (a vast majority of Seasons 1-9), 'Midsomer Murders' was a great show and one that is watched and re-watched frequently. Seasons 10-13 became more uneven, with three of the show's worst episodes coming from Seasons 11 and 13, but there were a few solid episodes and "Blood Wedding" and especially "Master Class" were gems.

After John Nettles retired and Neil Dudgeon and the new character of John Barnaby took over, 'Midsomer Murders' just hasn't been the same on the most part. Season 14 was a disappointment outside of "The Oblong Murders" and "A Sacred Trust", with "Echoes of the Dead" and "The Night of the Stag" being show low-points. Season 15 was inconsistent, being a case of starting promisingly and then took a three-episodes-in-a-row strange turn with "Written in the Stars" before finishing on a good note. Season 16 was mostly good, especially "Wild Harvest", with the only disappointment being "Let Us Prey". Season 17 was a mixed, with the first two episodes being watchable but uneven and the other two, particularly "A Vintage Murder", faring better.

Whereas "Habeas Corpus" and "The Incident at Cooper Hill" were very problematic average episodes, "Breaking the Chain" completely lacked lustre and fell flat. One of the weaker episodes of the eighteenth season, which mostly was unimpressive.

There are good things certainly. Even low point episodes like "Blood on the Saddle", "Night of the Stag", "Echoes of the Dead" and "Second Sight" were not without redeeming qualities, despite their numerous faults being much more glaring.

Production values cannot be faulted as usual. It's beautifully and atmospherically shot with suitably picturesque scenery. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the haunting theme tune is one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Gwilym Lee has a likable charisma, while Betty is adorable.

However, Neil Dudgeon comes over as wooden and uninvolved and displays very little chemistry with Lee, Barnaby and Nelson never seeming a cohesive double act and there is nothing playful or interesting with how they are written individually and together. Just when Barnaby and Sarah were starting to show more chemistry and a much more appealing one, that was non-existent as well. My indifference towards Kam turned to hate with "Breaking the Chain", not only is she cold and with little personality but she is also condescending (more so than her previous two) episodes and full of herself.

"Breaking the Chain's" story is weak, likewise with the far too serious and heavy script that lacks balance. There is too much padding, with most subplots either being unresolved or completely inconsequential, which added to the tedium of the pacing. It also does little with the cycling theme, taking the fun and danger out of it. The murders are not really imaginative, pretty ordinary in fact, as well as silly, even more problematic is the rushed and random ending, with motives that are ridiculous and don't make sense and one of the most underdeveloped and unlikely murderers in a long time, which screamed of it being treated like an afterthought behind the scenes. Very little is interesting about the characters and the actors struggle to do much with lacking material.

In conclusion, a pretty flat episode and a lesser one from the John Barnaby-era. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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