MURDOCH_801.802c-highres

Murdoch Mysteries explores the dark side in Season 8

The closing moments of Monday’s Season 8 return of Murdoch Mysteries–“On the Waterfront, Part One”–isn’t like anything the series has done before. A showdown at Toronto’s waterfront between union workers–led by the dastardly O’Shea brothers–faces off against Det. William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and the rest of the Constabulary. Meanwhile, Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) and Dr. Julia Grace (Georgina Reilly) are caught up in their own conflagration between members of the Suffragette movement and men who don’t take kindly to women wanting to vote.

The carefully choreographed scenes that cut back and forth from wharf to city square ramp up in tension to a boiling point viewers aren’t used to seeing from the CBC drama.

“It was fun to shoot,” Jonny Harris says of the scene between the dock workers and the police force, of which his Constable George Crabtree is a part. “All the dock workers were big sort of stunt guys and all the cops are station cops that have been on the show for years … not huge guys. Everybody went for broke on every take that day.” The conflagration at the dock is a result of union guys refusing to back down against the police, but it’s also about a police force seeking justice for the vicious attack on Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) at the hands of the O’Sheas. The Season 7 finale “The Death of Dr. Ogden,” saw the engagement of Murdoch and Ogden announced, but that happy moment was tempered by the discovery of Brackenreid’s beaten body on a dusty Toronto street.

Monday’s return does address the fate of the beloved Brackenreid while introducing a new boss in Det. Hamish Slorach (Patrick McKenna, Remedy), a man very unlike his predecessor.

As for Crabtree, Season 8 represents growth for the character. His up-and-down relationship with Dr. Grace is put on the back burner when a new lady enters his life in the form of a lady from the series’ past. Harris says Tamara Hope, who appeared in the very first episode of Murdoch Mysteries in 2008, reprises her role as Edna Garrison, a single mom struggling to make ends meet. Crabtree becomes a surrogate father to Edna’s son, a departure for a character usually relied upon for laughs.

“Over so many years, you want to keep your characters that people fell in love with, but you do need to make significant changes otherwise it just becomes redundant,” Harris explains. Does he ever wish Crabtree would show a dark side to him? The Newfoundland native smiles.

“He’s a pretty good guy,” Harris says. “I was liking Crabtree and Grace last year because they each had their moments of being petulant and jealous. I thought that was kind of nice. You have the romance between Ogden and Murdoch, which has always had its obstacles and troubles, but they’re mostly pure of heart. With Crabtree and Grace, it had to do with envy.”

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.

Greg David
Follow me

Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
Follow me

Latest posts by Greg David (see all)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

4 thoughts on “Murdoch Mysteries explores the dark side in Season 8”

  1. We love Murdock Mysteries. Last night’s episode was unbelievable pairing the dark side of the waterfront and the thugs that control it and then the dealing with the feminine movement to gain the vote. It was very violent and we were shocked that the treatment of the women in their ” peaceful process” . We see that Canada ( Upper Canada and its Orangmen hold on democracy for men only) was quite violent which is not how I think of Canada but rather the USA which was born in violence. I hope Crabtree gets back to Dr. Grace and the William and Julia get married so they can have their ” dream” child.

    1. William and Julia ill not have their dream child. Julia had an abortion and is unable to have kids. That was an episode the divided William and Julia because William is Catholic.

  2. have thoroughly enjoyed “Murdock’ from the beginning.

    i was so pleased to see Jo Joyner in last night’s show. i hope you can write her into more episodes…. glad to see our “Tanya” came across the Pond!! good luck to her!

  3. re Season 8 1st episode:
    Quite a departure from previous episodes. Hope this is temporary—-we have too many violent programs already.
    This program has always
    used brains more than brawn.
    Also, please change your make-up artists The women are so over made-up they almost look like they’re wearing masks!

Comments are closed.