To tie in with the new DVD of Midsomer Murders from Acone Media, a fascinating fact sheet about the making of the show has been produced — the body count has been(unsurprisngly) high…

•Up to and including all episodes from series 12, episode 5, these are the Midsomer statistics:

Murders – 200

Accidental Deaths – 11

Suicides – 10

Natural Causes – 6

Total people to die in Midsomer before their time is 221 – and the most dangerous village is Badger’s Drift – which has the highest death toll.

•12 people have died from poisoning including 3 from toxins from a tropical frog; 9 have drowned including one in a vat of soup; 6 people have burned to death including 1 in a straw effigy; 4 villages have been murdered by bow and arrow.

•One of John Nettles’ favourite killings is when actor Oliver Ford Davies is drugged and staked with arms and legs pinioned by croquet hooks on his own lawn which had been marked as a target. He is then bombarded with bottles of wine from a giant catapult with his wife watching. His second favourite murder is the episode starring veteran actors George Cole and Donald Sinden. George shoots Donald in the head with a first world war revolver. He has rigged up Donald’s wheelchair by remote control so it is then sent crashing into an oncoming milk van.

•The very first murder in Midsomer is when Emily Simpson is hit over the head with an iron bar, breaking her neck, and she is then dragged to the bottom of the stairs by the murderess Katherine Lacey. It is then suggested that Emily committed suicide. Actress Emily Mortimer also starred in this first episode and dies in a suicide pact by shotgun.

•Cast and crew have eaten approximately 207,720 breakfasts and lunches in over 70 episodes

•Midsomer Murders is comprised of many sleepy and tranquil locations that hide a secret: Midsomer Parva; Midsomer Mallow; Midsomer Magna; Midsomer Worthy; Midsomer Wellow, Midsomer Malham; Badger’s Drift, Martyr Warren; Fletcher’s Cross; Aspern Tallow; Marshwood; Strangler’s Wood; Morton Fendle; Morton Woods; Aspern Manor, Little Worthy, Midsomer Newton and Midsomer Sanctae.

•The real Midsomer centres around Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, with villages such as Brightwell Baldwin, Chenies, Cookham, Great Haseley, Haddenham, Hambleden, Latimer, Little Missenden, Long Crendon, Nether Winchendon, Nettlebed, Peppard, Stanton St John and Worminghall among the genuine locations featured.

•’The Bull & Butcher’ pub in Turville Heath, Bucks now has a Midsomer Burger on the menu. The pub and the village was used for ‘Murder on St Malley’s Day’; ‘The Straw Woman’, and ‘Dark Autumn’.

•The locations are chosen if they have a village green, where traffic can be cut off, and if they have retained the English country atmosphere endemic to the series. There has to be full co-operation from the villagers, and quite often the film unit will return again and again to the same village to film. Every trace of a polystyrene coffee cup is removed.

•More recently, the boundaries of Midsomer have extended to include Henley Regatta, the Devon coastline and Snowdonia. Future locations will include

France.

•John Nettles announced on 12 February that he will retire from Midsomer at the end of the 13th series in the winter of 2010. He has filmed 66 episodes, and there are still 16 new episodes starring John to be transmitted. His final episode will be screened in 2011, bringing his total episodes of MIDSOMER MURDERS to 82.

•’It’s the end of an era for me, and while I’m very sad to be handing in Barnaby’s police badge, he has solved over 200 murders, which I think meets the targets of modern policing! I wish my successor, whoever he or she is, the very best.’

~ John Nettles.

•The 14th series will mark the introduction of the new DCI.

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