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The new series of Midsomer Murders, the 18th since launching back in 1997, is set to get out of this world with an episode featuring some extra-terrestrial activity. In the new episode, DCI Barnaby will investigate sightings of a UFO in the area in a departure from the usual rural whodunit format.

The new episode is said to be a little ‘far out’ but producers are confident the show’s legions of fans will welcome the new angle. It is to be one of six new episodes that make up the 18th series, which will air later in the year. As well as the UFO sightings, new episodes will feature a spate of body snatchings in an equally horrifying tale.

As well as a new series, the show will also be getting a new regular character in the shape of pathologist Dr Kam Karimore, who will be played by actress Manjinder Virk. The show’s executive producer Jo Wright, said: ‘This gives us a chance to explore more strange and entertaining tales of Midsomer life. And we will do it with a new pathologist, who will cause DS Nelson trouble in more ways than one.’

It’s not yet clear whether the sightings in the show will be verified as real or just part of another dastardly plot to bump off one of Midsomer’s residents. Over the years the show has used a huge and inventive array of objects to do the dirty deed, from cricket bats to mechanical diggers. But an extra-terrestrial murder weapon will be a new MO.

As well as inventive plot lines, the new series will continue to feature the lovely Southern Oxfordshire countryside as its backdrop. The town of Causton in the show will once again be played by Wallingford, the real life home of Agatha Christie, and filming has already started in and around the region, including at a local cycling festival. You’ll be able to spot filming locations in the show when it screens later in 2015 and at the beginning of 2016.

Until then, you’ll just have to content yourselves with regular repeats across the TV network and with your box set collection of Midsomer. Let’s face it, there are worse ways to spend your time.