Completely nuts! It doesn't get much better than this.
Just what we want from a TV detective show. Your childhood memories remember the camp old actor who buys it in the opening scenes: the old nutter gets up in the middle of a stormy night, goes up to the roof of his ancestral pile and tries to repair a flag, for crying out loud.
Little wonder that DCI Barnaby is investigating his murder a few hours later.
What a wonderful Midsomer opening - we have a stiff before the opening credits.
An aristocratic house with family backbiting and a psychologically damaged offspring; local rivalries dating back to the Civil War; and ambitious women... (it's always women in Midsomer).
Anyway, the guy who is the bonkers scientist in Battlestar Galactica plays twin brothers, one of whom is married to Jack Dee's wife from Lead Balloon. Then there's head-of-the-household William Gaunt, out of The Champions and When Did You Last See Your Trousers and the eternally delightful Eleanor Bron (can't remember what it was, but she was dead sexy in it).
... and a Headless Horseman!
Oh yeah! A Headless Horseman on a grey horse, and he points at people, predicting their demise.
Add in Barnaby's headmistress missus trying to inject some historical accuracy into a chaotic reenactment of a Civil War battle and the performance by Sykes, the Barnabys' brilliant terrier and the real star of the show, and you've got a proper mix.
Of course Barnaby sorts it all out in the end - with his psychology degree he even manages to do what no doctor has managed to do and get the damaged son talking! He is so brilliant.
If the new regime at Midsomer is bringing on more of this, Wednesday nights are set to belong to ITV!