Media Monday: Murdoch Mysteries

Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian television series with eight seasons.

Murdoch Mysteries
Murdoch Mysteries

Detective William Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary works to solve crimes in 1890’s Toronto Canada. Dr. Julia Ogden is the coroner/pathologist. They spar, they flirt, they work together to put villains behind bars or into the hangman’s noose.

Friends from my local Sisters in Crime chapter recommended this series. It had several elements we enjoy so we decided to give it a try.

  • It blends fictional stories with real life people. Nikola Tesla, Harry Houdini, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have all made appearances.
  • It’s rooted firmly in the past but with nods to contemporary elements, much like the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. Forensics and pathology and investigative techniques all play parts in the plots.
  • The stories/mysteries/crimes are well constructed, although it often falls into the usual TV trap of introducing the culprit as one of the first witnesses to be cleared, but then come under suspicion again later.
  • It has strong characters who spar and memorable secondary characters. Stud Muffin has taken to calling people “ye mucker,” like Murdoch’s supervisor Inspector Thomas Brackenreid.

We watched the first three seasons on Netflix Streaming. The rest of the seasons we’ll have to get from Netflix DVDs or the local library.

The things we don’t like:

  • Some of the attitudes of the characters are a bit too 21st century, and not true to late-Victorian era mores.
  • As noted above, sometimes the culprit is easy to figure out just because he or she was eliminated early in the investigation.

But those are easily forgivable. We’ve enjoyed the first three seasons and we’ll continue to watch. What are you binge-watching this summer?

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