A Murdoch Mysteries Christmas
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At a Christmas charity gala for sick children, the host, dressed as Santa Claus, is found with a broken neck and all the presents are stolen. When witnesses report hearing a wild animal near the scene, Crabtree suspects the legendary creature Krampus.
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Brackenreid seems to be a Scrooge regarding every thing Christmas, and in a personal touch, we find out more about why that is. In the meanwhile, though, he can't get out of attending Alister and Millicent McGowan's 5th Annual Christmas Fund Raiser for the Hospital for Sick Children. It includes a performance of "The Little Match Girl" starring young Mary Pickford.
At the end of the performance, Alister, dressed as Santa Claus, is supposed to distribute presents to the orphans present. But somebody has broken Santa Claus's neck. Who would kill such a philanthropist, such a good guy, such a paragon of virtue? Supposing that he WAS all of those.
This special crams in a LOT. Constable Crabtree is bummed about having to spend Christmas alone. Christmas spirit and commerciality are questioned. And, speaking of German traditions – we get a Krampus! Last, but not least, a hallmark of "Murdoch Mysteries" is the introduction of real people and inventions. In this Special we get Mary Pickford and human baby incubators.
Trivia: Mary Pickford really was Canadian, and at age 7 she starred in a couple plays in Toronto before her mother took her and her acting siblings on the road in America, looking for theater glory.
Trivia: The first patent for a baby incubator was granted a French physician in 1889. It took a long time to gain acceptance, though, partially because they were so expensive that hospitals couldn't afford them and partially because a lot of quick-buck frauds sold "incubators" that were actually dangerous. So for Murdoch to create a working incubator would have been a timely accomplishment.
This is the first Murdoch Mysteries Christmas Special. And it's about time. It originally aired in December 2015 as part of "Murdoch Mysteries Season 9". However, it was not included in the original BluRay/DVD release of Season 9, Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9
The show runs for 88 minutes without commercials. On the BluRay/DVDs it is presented in 16:9 widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital. English subtitles are available on the Special and on the Bonus Feature.
"Making Murdoch: A Merry Murdoch Christmas" (6 minutes) Commentators include Peter Mitchell (showrunner), Yannick Bisson (plays Murdoch, executive producer), Jonny Harris (plays Constable Crabtree), Ed Asner (plays Kris Kringle), Brendan Coyle (plays Mr. Rankin – and was the butler Bates, in "Downton Abbey"), Kelly Rowan (plays Mrs. McGowan) and Helene Joy (plays Dr. Ogden).
Harris notes that the Christmas Special is a stand-alone mystery. This was done on purpose, so that it may be viewed in coming years as a Christmas show.
Ed Asner, who has played Santa Claus before, says he's happy that his Kris Kringle version in this Special is "The old Santa Claus, not the Coco-Cola version." More Trivia: Clement Moore's poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas", which we usually call, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" was first published in 1823, so it's version of Santa Claus as a "jolly old elf", i.e. the Coco-Cola version, was well-known by 1904, when Season 9 of "Murdoch Mysteries" starts.
Lots of fun. Now I have to decide if I'm going to shelve my DVD case with the Christmas movies or with the regular "Murdoch Mysteries."
It's a really interesting story--but dark. Krampus is--creepy. VERY creepy.
It reminded me a bit of the maze snow scene in The Shining...
If you don't mind weird, dark stories for Christmas (it would have been a cool Halloween episode if they'd change the holiday!), you may enjoy this. The acting is stellar, as always--and it IS atmospheric (moreso than most of the regular episodes). However, Murdoch Mysteries: Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas is a MUCH better Christmas story--especially if you're looking for something heartwarming along the lines of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Less is more!
and, the other "Murdock Mysteries: Christmas" [feature-length] feature film.
I-----most highly-----recommend these as, both, MYSTERIES, and, suitable
family entertainment for your Christmas-viewing pleasure.