The Brokenwood Mysteries is back and brilliant as ever.
Knowing The Brokenwood Mysteries is about to return always puts a giddy-up in my step, and I’m over the moon when a new season arrives for my (and your) viewing pleasure… which is why I’m all 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
Series 7 premieres tomorrow!
The new season consists of six feature-length, family-friendly cozy mysteries that would do Midsomer Murders proud, with victims meeting their demise in various forms of gruesome fashion. Suspects include out-of-towners and locals — from members of a TV crew to one of Mike’s ex-wives. And one of Brokenwood’s own born and bred returns home to join the town’s crime-solving team.
Reprising their roles for Series 7 are Neill Rea (Go Girls) as Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd, Fern Sutherland (The Almighty Johnsons) as Detective Kristin Simms, Nic Sampson (The Luminaries) as Detective Constable Sam Breen, and Cristina Ionda (Filthy Rich) as medical examiner Dr. Gina Kadinsky.
Opening Series 7 is “The Garotte and the Vinkelbraun.” The Antiques Roadshow-like TV series All Things Old and Beautiful is filming in Brokenwood, and folks from all over town, including Mike, Gina, and the always-clued-in Mrs. Marlowe, as well as the wealthy Jools Fahey and her new beau, Lord Ashbury, are there to find out what their collectibles are worth. The next morning, Mike and his team are called to the motel where the show’s cast and crew had spent the night, as one of the show’s co-hosts has been found dead.
Guest stars include James Richard Marshall (Peaky Blinders), Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit trilogy), and Katrina Hobbs (Home and Away). Returning cast members include Elizabeth McRae (Shortland Street) as Mrs. Marlowe, Ingrid Park (Go Girls) as Jools Fahey, Luci Hare (Mean Mums) as tabloid journalist Cushla, Peter Feeney (Playing for Keeps) as hotelier Marcus, Jason Hoyte (Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud) as pub and pizzeria owner Ray Neilson, and Shane Cortese (Nothing Trivial) as solicitor Dennis Buchanan.
“The Witches of Brokenwood” finds guests at the Brokenwood Health Retreat enjoying the healthy lifestyle classes and healing sessions led by Mrs. Marlowe, gig worker Kimberly, and others. Those paying big bucks to practice tai chi in an outdoor group setting and to sweat out toxins in the indoor sauna include a retreat regular, who has an awkward reunion with her estranged three sisters. Not long afterward, Mike and co. arrive to investigate, after two guests find one of the siblings dead.
Guest stars include Sia Trokenheim (Step Dave), Miriama Smith (Harrow), Luanne Gordon (The Strip), Michelle Blundell (Shortland Street), and Tania Anderson (Filthy Rich). Returning cast members include Zara Cormack (Funny Girls) as Kimberly and Karl Willetts (Outrageous Fortune) as the hapless Frodo.
In “Dog Day Morning,” pub manager (and former inmate) Trudy Neilson is about to make a deposit at the Brokenwood Savings Bank when four masked men storm in to rob the place, leaving a staff member shot to death. It’s up to Mike and his team to figure out which of the criminals pulled the trigger… and then to welcome a new member of the Brokenwood CIB.
Guest stars include John Brazier (The Man Who Lost His Head) and Annie Whittle (The Gulf). Returning cast members include Tracy Lee Gray (Westside) as Trudy Neilson, Ascia Maybury (800 Words) as Dr. Carlton, and Brett O’Gorman (Being Eve) as business owner Tony. And joining the cast is Jarod Rawiri (Harry) as DC Chalmers.
“Something Nasty at the Market” sees doughnut-loving Mike accompanying chutney enthusiast Kristin through the Brokenwood Market, where they run into his ex-wife, Petra, who is now married to a maker of artisan cheese. It turns out to be convenient that they’re there because, soon after their arrival, the new celebrity-chef owner of the farmer’s market staggers into the crown and collapses, dead as can be, prompting Mike and co. to start the murder investigation at the scene.
Guest stars include Craig Hall (A Place to Call Home), Claire Chitham (Outrageous Fortune), and Rebecca Hobbs (Burying Brian). Returning cast members include Lucy Wigmore (Underbelly) as Petra, Jamie Irvine (Shortland Street) as Johnny (another hapless local), and Peter Hayden (800 Words) as business owner Pete.
In “Exposed to the Light,” Rev. Greene and other locals are attending a special fundraiser screening of The Wind from the South, the only film ever shot in Brokenwood, to help save the historic Brokenwood Empire Cinema. But before attendees can see the second reel, a fire breaks out, the cinema is evacuated, and a man is found dead in the projection room. While Mike and his team investigate who amongst the victim’s family and associates and the fundraiser’s guests wanted him dead, they also learn something about Mrs. Marlowe’s past.
Guest stars include Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Find Me a Maori Bride), Erroll Shand (The Luminaries), John Glass (Shortland Street), and Iain Rea (Hilary). Returning cast members include Roy Ward (Dirty Laundry) as Rev. Lucas Greene, Cameron Rhodes (Blue Murder: Killer Cop) as Dr. Plummer, and Calvin Tuteao (The Dead Lands) as Walter.
And in “Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson,” Mike mysteriously leaves Brokenwood on other police business, leaving Kristin to lead the investigation into a 1970s party where several party-goers wind up dead.
Having watched the screeners for five of the six new episodes, I can attest to and am happy to share that The Brokenwood Mysteries is as good as it’s ever been. We’re seven seasons in now, and the Series 7 writers — Tim Balme (The Almighty Johnsons), Sarah Kate-Lynch (The Sounds), series costar Nic Sampson, Fiona Samuel (Nothing Trivial), and Roy Ward (Shortland Street) — have done a fabulous job of keeping up the show’s clever and intricate storylines, dry and wry humor, and New Zealand flavor. That they continued to include many of the secondary characters from past seasons helps to maintain a sense of community for the town of Brokenwood and a sense of continuity for the Brokenwood series. Adding the new regular character of DC Chalmers brings a freshness that is appreciated, and Jarod Rawiri does a fine job of playing the local lad who’s returned to Brokenwood after a 20-year absence.
Fingers (and toes) crossed for Series 8!
A production of TVNZ, the new season of Brokenwood is directed by Katie Wolfe, Aidee Walker, Mark Beesley, Geoff Cawthorne, and Mike Smith, and produced by Tim Balme. The executive producers Kelly Martin, Sally Campbell, and Andrew Szusterman.
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 7 has its world premiere in the US and Canada tomorrow, Monday, March 29, exclusively on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon Channels. New episodes debut weekly through May 3rd.
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