Everything about Murdoch Mysteries, eh?

Lucy Maud Montgomery drops by Murdoch Mysteries

If George Crabtree had had his way, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel would have been called Dan of Green Gables.

Monday’s rollicking MM episode, “Unlucky in Love,” had a lot going on in it, what with a murdered husband, his bride among those accused in his death and Roland the cutest baby in primetime TV. Add to that a visit by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Lori Spring’s script was totally packed. In some ways that’s too bad, as seasoned actors like Leslie Hope and Mag Ruffman had to make due with limited screen time because of the massive LMM-George Crabtree B-story. An embarrassment of riches, I guess.

The latest real-life character to make their way into the lives of Murdoch Mysteries was none other than Lucy Maud Montgomery (Alison Louder), who signed up for George’s creative writing class because she’d just begun putting pen to paper on the life of a red-haired, freckle-faced girl. Trouble was, George didn’t think her story was exciting enough—or that it should even be a girl in the lead role. His suggestion that she make it Dan of Green Gables—and amp up the drama by inserting ghosts into the story—was enjoyable enough, but alleging LMM reworked the character to reflect George’s foundling background and “flights of fancy” imagination was just too good. (Did anyone else cheer when George got his smooch on with her?) It was, therefore, a wise decision by the producers to include a disclaimer the storyline was all in good fun and George didn’t really influence Maud’s tale because, well, he’s not a real guy. (As an aside, Anne of Green Gables is top of mind lately, what with YTV’s upcoming TV movie and CBC’s own Anne project in the works.)

Alas, despite Arwen Humphreys fans tweeting #MargaretMonday over the weekend, we were left with a bare few minutes of Toronto’s newest wedding planner. It’s always great to see Brackenreid’s spunky better half verbally sparring, but it all came to an end far too quickly. The lineup of potential suspects in the groom’s murder—the driver, the florist or the electrician—and eventual mastermind of the whole thing quickly pushed Margaret to the wayside. Fingers crossed she’s got more scenes coming before the end of the season.

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

Comments and queries for the week of January 29

TV Eh B Cs podcast 40: Keeping Company with Ellis and Morgenstern

So enjoyed this interview with Mark and Stephanie. Will us in the States get to see this great show? Loved Flashpoint and they could bring it back and would still be a big hit. Thanks, Anthony. —Mary

Baby talk on Murdoch Mysteries

The baby is so adorable, I just want to reach through the TV screen and hug him. And it was great fun to see Crabtree let down his hair, so to speak. Love the inventions! —Helen

Who will win Season 3 of MasterChef Canada?

I am not convinced it’s Berg. My bet is either on Zhara or Robyn. Zara is young with a touching story and Robyn of thechewishkitchen’s plating is out of this world. —TVFoodie

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.

Comments and queries for the week of January 22

Dragons’ Den Season 11 audition tour announced

I cannot find the site to fill out an application form for Dragons’ Den. Can you please send it to me? Thanks. —Edward

Here’s a link to the online application. Good luck! 

Hidden gems of the Canadian Screen Awards

Has Young Drunk Punk (nominated for best comedy) been cancelled? If so, it belongs on your list of “Speaking of cancelled series.” If not, when will more episodes come out? I never really watched it when it was on City, but was able to see many of them on CBC. Good show!

Also, a name for the Canadian Screen Award? CaSA. —D

We’re still waiting to hear of Young Drunk Punk’s fate.

Baby talk on Murdoch Mysteries

I am loving the baby addition and how the Gleeful Bouncer came into being. Clever writers!! It is nice to see the couple progress as they would in real life. The show just keeps getting better and better IMO and the couple seems delightfully closer. The timing of the upcoming house is perfect. —Robin

Oh no baby, PLEASE!!! —S. Duet

TV, eh? podcast episode 198 – One Season Wonders

Wow, how much fun was this episode?

I remember quite a few of these shows, but some I’ve never heard of. I am now dedicated to watching every episode of Ombudsman.

And you can bet I’m spending the next three hours reliving Nightwalk, which I recorded on so many VHS tapes when I wasn’t sure what time the late night movie would be finished so I set the VCR to record for much longer than needed. —Candice


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.

Baby talk on Murdoch Mysteries

“There hasn’t been any baby talk yet, but that’s the logical next step. Who knows how long that will take or how it will come about?” Hélène Joy would be a worthy foil for Det. Murdoch. I’m pretty sure she already knew William and Julia were going to adopt back when I spoke to her on the set of Murdoch Mysteries late last year. If so, good on her for keeping things vague from my prying questions.

The addition of Roland—the pair adopted him last week—made an immediate impact on our favourite couple: he threw their lives into complete disarray. Adding an infant to a television series is always a challenge, and it will be interesting to see how Murdoch Mysteries handles the little fellow from week to week. Will he be handed off to a nanny? I don’t think so, as Julia and William seem intent on having him there all the time. Perhaps he’ll be shown cooing in a corner, leaping about in William’s latest contraption, the Gleeful Bouncer—a.k.a. Jolly Jumper. One of the great strengths of the series continues to be the not-so-subtle nods to things we use in everyday life that were on the cusp of being realized in Murdoch’s world. Having a Gleeful Bouncer made me laugh out loud and be inspired by the creativity in the writers’ room.

Monday’s “The Big Chill” also paid homage to the 1922 documentary Nanook of the North. The murder of a man on-board the CGS Arctic introduced viewers to Nuniq, an Inuit man who struck me as a nod to Nanook. The thought was proven true when Crabtree befriended Nuniq and proposed he document him in the city’s hot spots and call it “Nuniq of Toronto.” Crabtree has had some pretty serious storylines so far this season, so it was fun to not only see him create play-by-play and colour commentating last week but serve as a drunken wingman for Nuniq this week.

Real Canadian history was covered as well. Captain Joseph Bernier—played with aplomb by InSecurity‘s Rémy Girard—really did explore the islands of the north and claimed the area for Canada and was given the Royal Geographical Society’s Back Award for his work.

“The Big Chill” had all the hallmarks of a classic Murdoch Mysteries episode, the perfect tonic for a cold January night.

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

Link: Murdoch Mysteries puzzles American critics

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Murdoch Mysteries puzzles American critics
Also, on Ovation, Murdoch Mysteries is called The Artful Detective. The title, which is just silly, came about because Ovation is an arts channel and it wanted an arts signal in the title.

It is, as far as many U.S. TV critics are concerned, a mystery show. Not because Inspector Murdoch solves crimes. But because hardly anyone writes about it – ever. Ovation brought star Yannick Bisson and executive producer Christina Jennings here to the opening session of the TV Critics press tour and, immediately, the show’s status as a puzzler was obvious. Continue reading.