Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10
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Smart and engaging, this award-winning Canadian series returns as Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye) and his friends solve new mysteries in Edwardian-era Toronto. In Season 10, Dr. Julia Ogden (Gemini winner Hélène Joy, Durham County) deals with post-traumatic stress from her near-death experience; Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching) faces relationship problems; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Where the Heart Is) gets caught up with a passion for soccer; and morgue attendant Rebecca James (Mouna Traoré, Carrie) determinedly pursues her medical education. As Murdoch and his team face murdered debutantes and cutthroat athletes amid historical events like the Great Toronto Fire of 1904, old enemies come back to haunt them.
Along the way, they encounter some of the greatest minds of the time, including horror author H.P. Lovecraft and inventor Reginald Fessenden. Guest stars include Samantha Bond (GoldenEye), Ari Millen (Orphan Black), Peter Keleghan (The Red Green Show), and singer Alan Doyle.
Charming entertainment, sweetly satisfying --The Globe and Mail (Canada)
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....espisodes 1 & 2, two-parter "Great Balls of Fire". Rodney Strong is "peculiarly uninterested in entertaining the company of young ladies". But that doesn't stop his wealthy parents from holding a ball to introduce him to all the eligible young ladies in Toronto. Like the prince in "Cinderella", he has to -choose a wife. Too bad the night is interrupted by a dead body.
Real person: Elmina Ella Susannah Elliot (1867-1931) news paper columnist who married her publisher.
Real: The Great Fire of Toronto, 4/19/1904.
....episode 3 "A Study in Pink" Murdoch has a new invention. Wearing equipment that makes them look like ghostbusters, two constables can track a person via radio receivers and a 'bug'. But will it help them find a murderer?
Real: Montreal did indeed have an Irish criminal family in the early 1900s, called the West End Gang.
....episode 4 "Concocting a Killer" Gus Shanley has spent 12 years in prison, when a judge overturns his conviction for killing Rex Landon. Why? Because the coroner, now Mrs. Murdoch, made a mistake. As Murdoch cannot work on the re-opened case, Detective Watts is transferred to Station House 4 to handle it.
....episode 5 "Jagged Little Pill" Edward McInnes, magnate of McInnes Biscuits fame, is found dead in his automobile.
....episode 6 "Bend It Like Brackenreid" It's an important football match, Toronto vs Galt, a qualifier for the Olympics. Brackenreid is friends with the Galt trainer and half the station house turns out to watch. They get more excitement than they bargain for when a player dies on the field.
Brackenreid objects to the term 'soccer': "I will not have you copying some toffee-nosed prat repeating another toffee-nosed prat. The sport is called football, Crabtree!"
Real: Galt won a gold medal in soccer at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, MO.
....episode 7 "Painted Ladies" Murdoch is called to a lake, where a dandy lies dead in a paddle boat, his lips smeared with red lipstick. Is it because of a "flirtation card"?
This is a fun episode. Real: There were early 1900s ads promoting tapeworm pills for losing weight. Supposedly the pills contained a tapeworm egg. No proof today that the pills actually had such an egg, nor that anyone was dumb enough to buy them.
....episode 8 "The Weekend at Murdochs" Gilford and Alistair are birders out on a beautiful June morning. They are hoping to see the mustachioed Inca Tern, because a rival has seen one, "the first... in all of North America." Who knew being a birder could be so deadly?
....episode 9 "Excitable Chap" Estephanie and Peregrine are 'parking'. I imagine that as soon as there were cars there were couples parking. This night, though, a masked man pulls Peregrine out of the car and procedes to purr as he kisses Estephanie's hand. The Lurker strikes again. But is he a murderer?
This is Murdoch's Jekyll & Hyde episode.
....episode 10 "The Devil Inside" Murdoch is called to a double murder scene. The villain is still there, hunched over and bedraggled, and he tells Murdoch, "I'm sorry. He made me do it." But isn't James Gillies supposed to be dead after his fall from the railroad bridge?
....episode 11 "A Murdog Mystery" Someone has killed Mrs. Frizzel's beloved Horace. Murdoch is acting police chief while Brackenreid is on leave, and he explains to Crabtree, "Canicide is not murder."
....episode 12 "The Missing" Twenty years ago, little Adam Gordon disappeared from the mansion yard. His grandmother is sure he's still alive, and every year offers a $1,000 reward if he comes forward. But not everyone wants him to be found.
....episode 13 "Mr Murdoch's Neighborhood" Dr. Ogden creates an unusual training exercise for the constables, as well as seeking forensic data. (I like Murdoch Mysteries' introduction of real scientific discoveries, but this one seemed too anachronistic to me.)
....episode 14 "From Murdoch to Eternity" Oh, no! Murdoch has turned into a snake-oil salesman. He's selling a potion of eternal youth!
....episode 15 "Hades Hath No Fury" A young woman is killed by a bomb blast. Detective Watts is dismayed to find out that she is on his disappeared list, lost for two years. If she has been alive all this time, what about the other women on his list?
....episode 16 "Master of Lovecraft" Budding horror fantasy author, H.P. Lovecraft, is in Toronto. And he forms a crush on an unlikely person.
Real: HP Lovecraft never made a living off his writing, and died penniless.
....episode 17 "Hot Wheels of Thunder" It's murder at the roller skating rink. Dr. Ogden goes undercover on a roller derby team.
....episode 18 "Hell to Pay" We've seen poor Crabtree framed and convicted after a prior season cliffhanger. In this last episode of Season 10, Murdoch is suspected of murder – and not everyone is sure he's innocent. Not only that – we have to wait until Season 11 to find out who did it!
"TO BE CONTINUED"
Season 10's eighteen episodes total 792 minutes. If you buy them on disc, English subtitles are available on the episodes and the Bonus Features.
There are 20 short Bonus Features totaling 22 minutes. The topics are varied and there's some 26 commentators, from both cast and crew and more.
In Bonus P, "Favorite Historical Character", series actors tell who their favorite Guest Star has been from the first 10 seasons of the show. Match the actor to the guest star! Answers are given in a comment to this review:
WHICH ACTOR...PICKED WHICH....GUEST STAR?
Kristian Bruun........??????............Bat Masterson
Yannick Besson......??????.............Mark Twain
Monna Traore.......??????............Sherlock Holmes
Jonny Harris..........??????.............Canadian Suffragettes
Thomas Craig........??????.............Thomas Edison
Lachlan Murdoch..??????.............Nikola Tesla
Helene Joy............??????..............Mark Twain
Favorite quote from the Bonus Features,
"Crabtree is the golden retriever of the team."
If anyone knows of other steampunk oriented series that reaches this level of basically light hearted mysteries (if murder can ever really be light hearted), please make a recommendation. I have a few others, Poirot, Ms, Marple, Miss Fisher, Father Brown, which are enjoyable, but would like to identify more along the lines of Murdock.
Murdoch delivers solid entertainment with good scripts and not a lot of blood. 5 stars for the cast and writers. I have all seasons and they are all worth the price. If you like detective shows this will not disappoint you