DEATH IN THE SLOW LANE
INTERVIEWS WITH CAST
The arrival of a new boss in Midsomer means big changes for DS Ben Jones - and Jason Hughes who plays him.
Explains Jason: "Jones is designated to look after the new DCI Barnaby and integrate him into Midsomer. Jones expects that his new boss will find it difficult coming to a new place, making friends and moving into a new house.
"As it turns out, Jones finds it more difficult to deal with a new boss. He struggles to adjust to the new working relationship and change his old way of doing things.
"The new Barnaby comes with a fresh approach. Jones discovers that he has a degree in psychology and an excellent track record in terms of solving cases. So even though Jones doesn't admit it, he gets quite intimidated by him and a bit infuriated. That acts as a springboard to introduce a lighter side into the drama."
Adds Jason: "Jones' ideas are not necessarily old fashioned, but the way he's learned to do things with his old boss is ingrained in him. The new ideas and different methods hold a mirror up to Jones and make him question whether his way is the right way.
"Luckily, he soon learns to work with Barnaby in a productive way and stops getting annoyed and frustrated."
Working closely with a new co-star, Neil Dudgeon, was something that Jason himself relished.
"As an actor I loved it. It gave me a new set of emotional tasks and you get to see a bit more of Jones and what makes him tick. You look into him a little deeper. Jones is rigid in his approach to work. The new Barnaby is much more flexible and progressive and that's where the comedy lies, but in a subtle way.
"The nice thing about having Neil as the new Barnaby is that there is still a seniority but they are a lot closer in age and that works nicely - you see them as two human beings as opposed to being a mentor and young apprentice. They share a determination to do a good job."
Jason still stays in touch with former Midsomer star John Nettles. "John is a beautiful writer and he writes me letters. I know he'll be watching the new series."
When he's not working, Jason is kept busy at home with his family, especially since the arrival of new baby Carys in December.
"We have three children now - Molly is 12 and wants to be an actress, Max is six and is into the natural world and Star Wars, and Carys is our new baby and her name means love in Welsh. I am a hands-on dad. I don't live a rock and roll lifestyle; when I finish Midsomer I come home and cook, clean, shop and put the children to bed."
Samantha Bond plays Kate Cameron
Samantha Bond makes her third appearance in Midsomer - this time as an arrogant classic car enthusiast.
"Kate is a ball breaker - she is tough and comes across as very masculine, an alpha male type, although she's a woman. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. She is attending a convention of vintage cars at her daughter's school and meets up with her ex-husband Jamie, played by Tim Dutton.
"She despises him and Tim is such a lovely man in real life that I really hated being horrible to him. Kate is very different from the last character I played in Midsomer, who was off her head on prescription drugs and extremely bizarre!"
Adds Samantha: "It's the third time for me and I love coming back because I think it's a very special series, wonderfully tongue-in-cheek. You are welcomed back to the fold."
Samantha was honoured to be part of Neil Dudgeon's first episode.
"I thought Neil was great and he brought his own inimitable style to it. He leads the team beautifully, just like John Nettles did. He also works really well with Jason Hughes - they are a great new double act."
Samantha admits she doesn't share her character's intimate knowledge of cars.
"I wouldn't have a clue, but Kate knows exactly how to take the engine apart. It was fun to drive the classics though. I was driving the very distinguished David Warner around which was fun as he is such a lovely man.
"At one point I couldn't get the car started and I suggested it might have run out of petrol. Everyone laughed because they just thought I was a woman who couldn't get a classic car started. We stopped filming and it took three men to fiddle about with it before they agreed that yes it had run out of petrol. So that was a funny moment!"
The role of Kate required a strong image.
Says Samantha: "Kate does power dressing, even when fiddling with her car. I had a burgundy red blouse so they painted my fingernails to match and then miraculously the nails matched the colour of the car! So I kept the nails throughout the episode."
David Warner plays Peter Fossett
Film star David Warner was delighted to make his Midsomer debut in "Death in the Slow Lane".
"I am an avid watcher of the series and I always wondered why I wasn't one of the members of Equity they called on. And so it came to pass!"
David plays Peter Fossett, a retired racing driver and car buff.
"Peter is an interesting character to play - he's good fun. At my age I get offered a lot of older parts and they often have a health problem or have Alzheimer's. So I've played a lot of sick people. Peter is old but he's not at death's door, he's an active man. That was good.
"I had a traditional look but we kept it simple, not eccentric. I put my foot down at a cravat."
Adds David: "I know nothing about classic cars and I don't even have a driving licence in England. I do have one for the US, but fortunately I didn't have to drive for the role."
The episode meant working with Samantha Bond, who plays Peter's daughter Kate Cameron.
"Samantha and I have played scrabble on the internet after a mutual friend introduced us, so that was our link rather than acting. She was fabulous, tremendous fun to work with."
He also enjoyed being part of Neil Dudgeon's first episode in the starring role.
"There was a buzz about it as it was the first one with Neil as the lead. I'd seen him playing the cousin in one of the previous episodes and I could tell he had a wonderful naturalness about him. As far as I'm concerned it's like Matt Smith taking over from David Tennant as Doctor Who. I think both of them have done it brilliantly.
"There's a quality about Neil that you really like. I believe that viewers will just fall in with him and like him. He's very watchable and real and has brought wonderful humour to the character."
BACK TO MAIN EPISODE PAGE