Agatha Raisin – Deserves a Wider Audience?

A major offering in Sky’s Boxing Day line-up had the somewhat unlikely title Agatha Raisin: The Quiche of Death.

Described by my TV magazine as a crime drama and by the EPG synopsis as a whodunnit, this adventure certainly entertained but it might have been more accurate to have described it as a comedy drama.  It did make Midsomer Murders look a bit on the gritty side.  There are no prizes for guessing the murder weapon and to be honest the revelation of the perpetrator did not come as a huge surprise.

But none of that detracts from the fact that this delightfully amusing gem, set in a picturesque village, filled a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours.  There were several points at which I laughed out loud, most memorably at a small child’s response to the question “Are you mummy’s little helper?”.

But with audiences of only 327,000 according to Digital Spy,  it seems a shame that in its Sky 1 home more people did not get to see it.

In recent years Sky has invested in original programming with some success:

  • Comedy Trollied, after a shaky start, has returned with a further 3 entertaining series.
  • Action drama Strike Back had a great first couple of series, although personally I lost interest in later episodes.
  • Thriller The Tunnel was a pretty decent remake of Danish/Swedish export The Bridge until they rewrote the final episode (to make it different from the original), delivering a far weaker conclusion to the series than its predecessor.

Typically, the shows Sky either produces or buys in remain exclusive to Sky.   It seems unlikely that their original content, good as some of it is, will prove a sufficient draw to significantly add to their number of subscribers.  Perhaps they will get a few extra Now TV customers, if they continue to produce enough good material, but it is hard to imagine huge numbers flocking to pay money for series they are unfamiliar with.

Sky may do well, after a discrete interval, to sell a programme as enjoyable as Agatha Raisin: The Quiche of Death to a major terrestrial channel where it may get a well-deserved wider audience.

If they match the quality of this instalment, I certainly have my fingers firmly crossed that Sky will produce further Agatha Raisin episodes.