25 Days of Crime-mas Day 8: Murdoch Mysteries for a killer Canadian treat

Murdoch Mysteries -- Courtesy of Acorn TV
Murdoch Mysteries -- Courtesy of Acorn TV /

Murdoch Mysteries is a killer treat from Canada not to be missed. Here’s a look at everything great about it for Day 8 of the 25 Days of Crime-mas.

Throughout the 25 Days of Crime-mas, we’ve had our chance to cover a variety of U.S. and British crime dramas. We’ve looked at shows from the past, set in the past, and those still on the air. Now it’s time to turn our attention to a killer Canadian crime drama, Murdoch Mysteries.

Season 13 premieres at Christmas on Acorn TV (it’s already premiered in Canada), making this the perfect TV series to include on our Crime-mas list. You’ve got plenty of time to catch up on the series if you’ve never checked it out before. Once you watch the first couple of episodes, you’ll be hooked!

Canada in the 1890s

More from TV Crime Dramas

Murdoch Mysteries is set in the 1890s. While you’ll be used to various locations around the U.S. or even London, England, this time you get the Canadian setting. It all takes place in Toronto, giving us a slightly different setting and allowing us some unique storylines for a show set in the time period.

There’s also the fact that Detective William Murdoch is a man ahead of his time. He and his team use some of the most sophisticated techniques that were never used in the past. These techniques include “finger marks” (fingerprints), blood testing, trace evidence, and more.

Murdoch also often uses old technology and updates it. Some of the methods he uses would fit well in the late 20th century or even early 21st century, giving fans something unique to watch as the cases play out.

Murdoch Mysteries is one of those shows that managed to survive cancellation. After the fifth season, CityTV canceled the show. However, CBC picked it up and it has continued now entering its 13th season.

Murdoch Mysteries — Courtesy of Acorn TV
Murdoch Mysteries — Courtesy of Acorn TV /

Murdoch Mysteries cast

Yannick Bisson stars as the lead character, Detective Murdoch. Helene Joy joins as Dr. Julia Ogden, with Thomas Craig and Jonny Harris as the only other two who have been in almost every episode of the series so far. NCIS fans will get a kick out of Harris’ Constable George Crabtree. He’s the youngest member of the main team and an aspiring mystery novel writer.

Over the course of the years, fans have had the chance to see many real-life figures represented. Some have included HG Wells, Winston Churchill, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and Helen Keller.

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Best episodes to start with

So, where should you start with Murdoch Mysteries? I do believe the first episode is the best place to start, giving you the chance to get to meet the characters and understand them from the basics.

If you want to get a sense for the show and the connection between the characters, you’ll want to start with Season 12, Episodes 17 and 18, titled “Darkness Before Dawn.” Murdoch believes JOhn is being framed for murder. Who would do that? Inspector McWorthy, of course. Brackenreid decides it’s time to go after the corrupt inspector.

“Hell to Pay” is the next episode to check out. Season 10, Episode 18 brings a burlesque dancer in the picture, who needs Murdoch’s episode. Station House No. 4 finds itself pulled into a major conspiracy they’ve never had to deal with before.

Season 11, Episode 7 is the next episode to turn to. This one sees the team work to close the investigation before the victim dies after a motorcar collision. There are some sinister people at work on this one.

Another excellent option is Season 5, Episode 13. Titled “Twentieth Century Murdoch,” this episode involves claims of time travel to the future. The man who claims to be a time traveler shares information that will help Murdoch stop upcoming crimes.

Why it’s worth the watch

Finally, why should you watch Murdoch Mysteries? Well, how about the fact that it is a show that managed to survive being canceled. This was without the huge internationally following and without how vocal fans became on Twitter eventually. After all, it was 2013 that it was saved by CBC.

While the main focus is on the crimes that Murdoch and his team solve, there are real-life events from the time period. The show has moved into the suffragette movement and discriminations against minorities, while there have been mentions of events that have happened. Religion also plays a part to bring in the tense and prejudiced time period. Murdoch is Roman Catholic in a Protestant area and he faces some pushback because of some of that.

Despite being a period drama, there are times you’ll feel like you’re watching something modern. It brings a beautiful twist with plenty of murder mysteries to solve.

Next. 25 Days of Crime-mas: The full schedule. dark

What do you think of Murdoch Mysteries? What are you checking out throughout the runup to Christmas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Murdoch Mysteries Season 13 premieres on Acorn TV on Dec. 25. Follow Precinct TV on Facebook for more 25 Days of Crime-mas straight to your feed.