The loss of John Nettles as DCI Barnaby was difficult. His easy style of solving police crime is a joy to watch. Recreating a winning team must have made the series writers nervous. They needed changes, the main character had to have a new style but keep the winning Midsomer formula afloat.
Replacing the strong lead character with a cousin was an interesting twist. Add a dog, a working wife, and education. Bingo. Unfortunately, writers also changed secondary characters. DS Jones is now a smarmy copper who slept his way through Midsomer. Dr. Bullard, who had been a precise and insightful pathologist from the start of the series, overlooks basic forensics and appears amateurish beside the new 'super' Barnaby.
While it is still a good mystery, unraveling secondary characters is too big of a change. I expected a change in character chemistry, not complete amnesia of the past 13 seasons. Midway through the season, however, Dr. Bullard says the new Barnaby is "shaping up," and the complete writing bunk up appears forgotten. Really!