Tag Archives: Murdoch Mysteries

Preview: Colin Mochrie and Patrick McKenna revisit Murdoch Mysteries

It’s crazy but true. Season 12 of Murdoch Mysteries is speeding towards us. Monday’s new instalment, “Manual for Murder,” is Episode 16. That means just the two-part season finale remains after this week. And, fingers crossed, a Season 13 announcement happens at the Canadian Screen Awards on March 31.

But what a week this one promises to be. Written by Paul Aitken and Robert Rotenberg and directed by Warren Sonoda “Manual for Murder” marks the return of Colin Mochrie as hotel detective Ralph Fellows and Patrick McKenna as Inspector Slorach. Here’s what the CBC has revealed about the A-story:

After the release of Murdoch and Ogden’s book, a series of copycat murders begin to take place.

And here’s some insight from me after watching a screener.

Julia and William hold another book reading
Their first one was a little rocky. Here’s hoping this one is better attended … and more interesting. They are a more enthusiastic group, at least. William is much better with his storytelling this time around, recounting an episode from Season 9, “Barenaked Ladies.”

Ralph Fellows is back
The sarcastic, caustic Windsor House Hotel detective has not softened his stance on Det. Murdoch. He is surly at best during the investigation into a body found in the lobby.

Inspector Slorach returns
The laid-back amiable cop from Station House No. 5 drops in with some big news, and a request, for Brackenreid. Also, Tannis Burnett—last seen as Mavis Chalmers in “Who Killed the Electric Carriage?”—appears as a different character.

Flashbacks aplenty
Kudos to Aitken and Rotenberg for the truly compelling and fun storyline and for Sonoda for his directing. This is a memorable episode of Murdoch Mysteries that, by the end, is now one of my higher-ranking favourites thanks to its references to old cases, longer sideburns and characters long gone. I felt a pang of sadness seeing one character in particular.

Ruth and George have something in common
It turns out that Ruth and George share something other than Henry in their lives; they both have an uncanny knack for discovering or naming landmark inventions.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC and streaming on CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Comments and queries for the week of February 15

Great episode! An interesting story about the role of journalism in society. The show is pleased with the variety of storylines and versatile presentation of the characters of the characters. George Crabtree here is not quite good—he is envious and vindictive. George should not have told Miss Cherry about the book and his hurt feelings, but he did it. Julia and William are represented by excellent professionals, but not enterprising people. And this is good. Talented people are rarely successful in business. It is the realism of the characters I really like, no one is perfect, everyone can be wrong! Very interesting interview with Maureen Jennings. Thank you for your talent, for the opportunity to enjoy Murdoch Mysteries for many. —Lilia

Great episode!! Loved the ambivalence created around Louise Cherry, who I have a very hard time warming up to even when she wasn’t quite so obnoxious. In this era of jaded over entertained consumers it was amazing and humorous to realize how intrigued the public was over every little twist and turn of technology. And poor George once again suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune kudos to Johnny Harris he is an amazingly funny guy. —David

I finished the episode with the feeling that Miss Cherry is going to do a hatchet job on William and Julia’s book—the revenge she was suggesting George seek for the “slight” when he thought he was not being given any credit for his help. —Byron

“…What was it like working with Billy and Karine? … Their scenes together have all this tension, but it’s not tension borne out of traditional conflict. It’s a deeper thing, I think. They’re both a little afraid of each other, or of what they mean to each other.” I really like that Cardinal and Delorme are just work colleagues and do not seem to have any romantic feelings for each other. In so, so many shows, if there are two single people, writers always seem compelled to hook them up which always leads to VERY boring storylines. Delorme and Cardinal have developed a strong friendship which seems so complicated at times. Because they are just friends, as a viewer, one doesn’t know if the friendship may break down because of their behaviour. We certainly know a lot about Cardinal’s personal life and in Season 4 I would love to find out more about Delorme’s life outside of being under threat from the high crime rate in Algonquin Bay! —John

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


Murdoch Mysteries: Maureen Jennings talks “One Minute to Murder”

Spoiler alert! Do not continue reading until you have watched the most recent episode of Murdoch Mysteries, “One Minute to Murder.”

It’s always fun to catch up with Maureen Jennings. As most of you know, without her there would be no Murdoch Mysteries. I spoke to the author, who created Detective William Murdoch, to discuss the episode she wrote, “One Minute to Murder,” and what didn’t make it into the episode.

Wow, 12 seasons. Are you surprised that Murdoch Mysteries has gone on this long?
Maureen Jennings: Totally surprised. At the beginning, we were literally saying, ‘Maybe we’ll get two seasons out of this,’ and then three, and then four, and then … Yeah. It’s wonderful. It is one of those things where you go, ‘Wow!’

We talked a little bit about this last year, and how the storylines come about. You had told me then that you usually pitch three or four episode ideas and then they select one. Is that how it worked for tonight’s episode, “One Minute to Murder”?
MJ: Actually, no. That’s the typical way, but I was very pressed for time this year. I felt a bit guilty about this. I went in with literally an idea, as opposed to a developed story of any kind. This was the typewriting competition, which I had come across, and I used in another book, actually. I’d come across this at some point with a fantastic photograph of these very, very dressed up folks watching a typewriting competition.

They were very, very popular. I guess the competitive nature of them. Big purses and I don’t know. It’s a bit hard to imagine, somebody going in with a keyboard on his computer and everyone spending whatever amount of money. Hundreds of people coming in watching you do your keyboard. I thought it was very funny.

Anyway, I literally went in with just that idea. Not even what happens, except that it’s around the competition. The writing room was great. They just took that and developed a story. We kind of have to have a crime in there. I didn’t. All I had was a typewriting competition. That’s how that evolved this time.

It’s interesting you say, it’s a little bit shocking imagining a room full of well-dressed people watching a typewriting competition. The thing is there are people that sit and watch people playing video games all the time. We may be and 2019, but people will still watch other people doing things.
MJ: Right. That’s a good way to put it. I would have been impressed, I’m sure, but the speed, the unusual speed of these competitors. I guess the same if you don’t play video games, and you’re seeing these kids doing these brilliant things. You go, ‘Wow! That’s really good.’ I found another picture afterwards that was taken at the CNE, and the same thing. A whole bunch of people crowded around watching this guy typing. So there you go.

You pitched this little nugget of a story idea to the writer’s room. When you say that they developed it, how involved were you in the writing of this episode, besides coming up with this competition?
MJ: Well the typical process is they broke the story. They had all the beats, which is another word they use. I went in and they presented me with that, and there was another story that was already developing about Murdoch and Julia writing a book. There’s been I think at least three episodes where that’s been going on. That was in the episode as well. So they present me with that, and then I went home, and wrote it up, and added my scintillating dialogue. Then it goes back, and people do this and that and the other. I had a little less involvement than typical developing the plot, I must say. And as I said, I felt a bit guilty about that, but it was a fun idea to them, so I think they were OK.

Louise Cherry is an interesting character. A lot of people don’t like her, because of the things that she said about William and Julia in the past. The way that she treats the police. How do you feel about her, and what was it like writing for her?
MJ: Well, good question. How it was initially presented to me was we want to do a story around journalistic ethics, which I was dead keen to do. I like stories about ethics. I did a bit of exploration with that. I called the Ryerson Journalism department. Now, unfortunately, because of the actual time constraints, it’s not a lot of time in the episode, as you know, to develop much of the story. All of that ethical stuff, which I was very interested in, kind of got cut actually, but we had three ‘suspects’ who, for me were each representing an aspect, and ethical aspect of things, which is so current today. But we couldn’t really develop that. I wanted to make Louise Cherry a little more vulnerable. But that got shot down. I wanted her to be a bit softer, and they wanted her to be a bit tougher.

There was that little bit there. She let the wall down a little bit with George. 
MJ: As a character, I think she’s nicely multifaceted, actually, but I certainly, personally always like it when we get a bit of the softer side of her and other people. Anybody, whoever it is. I think we’ve done with a lot of the characters, actually.

When we were discussing the story, the very original draft, [William and Julia] go into an empty room. I said, ‘Actually it’s much more humiliating to have three people than to have no people because I’ve done it.’ When I started out, there were literally two people … I did it at Chapters. My very, very first talk was at Chapters. Two people, the manager, my friend, and my husband. If there’s nobody there, then there’s nobody to witness that you’re going, ‘Oh no.’

Peter Mitchell posted on Facebook the other day, and he wanted to know everybody’s Top 5 favourite episodes. Do you have a couple of favourites or five favourites?
MJ: I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feeling who’s not on my list, as it were, but I particularly have liked ‘The Accident.’ That’s been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Way back, I really liked ‘Dead End Street.’ I thought that was very good. I must say I liked ‘Shipwreck,’ which was from my book. I thought that was a good episode, regardless. I liked the most recent episode, too, that Simon did. I thought that was really good.

‘Sins of the Father.’
MJ: Yes. Yes. Again, my whole orientation is definitely to emotion and relationships and the past and everything. I thought that came off really well. Over the years there are things that have been quite outstanding. I look back on them and go, ‘Wow!’ It’s still amazing.

What have you got coming up, Maureen? I’ll, of course, point folks to your website.
MJ: Oh, thanks, Greg. Let me see. I’ve finished a book and it will be released in March. March 23rd. It’s called Heat Wave: A Paradise Café Mystery. This came about because I read that in 1936—it’s set in 1936—there was a heatwave in Toronto, and Canada, that has never been equalled before or since. You know we’ve had some sweltering summers. But this was just beyond, beyond. I really was grabbed by that. I thought, ‘OK.’ I wrote a short story about it for Taddle Creek magazine. Then I said, ‘Hey, I like this. I’m going to develop into a book.’ So, that’s the most recent one, and with a female PI.

I like creating a world that seems real, so in ’36, Murdoch’s son, who isn’t in the TV show but is in my book, is now 40. He comes into the book as and then Murdoch has retired, not to keep bees, but more or less. He’s retired to Nova Scotia. The book before this one is 1917, where I’m completely immersed at the moment, Canada in World War I, Murdoch is 56, and he’s the centre of the story. Then in this most recent book. He’s not. It’s his son. That’s fun.

A long time ago—I don’t know if I ever said this to you—but I often quote this. Peter Robinson said being a writer was a bit like playing with dolls when you’re a kid. That you make things up and they start to have their own personalities, their own characters, and you don’t want them to go away. I sort of think, ‘OK don’t leave me yet, I’ve still got more to say.’

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

Images courtesy of CBC.


Comments and queries for the week of February 8

Honestly, so lucky to be able so see such good actors perform at an excellent calibre and performing at their best. Your storyline draws you in to the very end and I appreciate Yannick’s update with his personal output of his ideas which makes me feel Murdoch Mysteries will be here for a whole lot longer. Thanks. —Sal

Living in the U.S.A., there is a large number of Murdochians if you read our posts on Tweeter you will see how everything and everyone associated with the show is loved.  Hoping that the cast and crew don’t get sick of doing the show; it would be a great loss to all. Hope we hear soon that it’s been picked up again; if not I and many others will have something to say. I have all but Season 12’s DVDs so I can view at anytime I want. Thank you for giving us insight into the show and conversations with Yannick. —Gail

Thoroughly enjoying info. Have not seen this weeks episode yet. So far Season 12 has been a credit to the writers and actors; it just gets better if that’s possible. Everything about Murdoch Mysteries is simply the best in every way. —Christine

Great episode! Wonderful storyline, a great script with deep psychological drama of the main characters. The acting game of Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, Thomas Craig and Jonny Harris is at the highest level as always! Thank you for the interview with Yannick Bisson; he is very talented. It’s good that Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy are involved in other projects, but not sure that these projects will be as successful and super popular in different countries as Murdoch Mysteries. This is a unique show in which each new season is more interesting than the previous one. We really hope for the 13th and next seasons with the obligatory participation of our four favourite characters! Thanks to the whole Murdoch Mysteries team! —Lyudmila


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


Preview: Murdoch Mysteries taps into murder

First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out and voice your pleasure for my recent interview with Murdoch Mysteries star and executive producer, Yannick Bisson. It’s always fun to catch up and talk shop with him and I know fans love reading his thoughts on the show we all love.

Now, on to Monday’s new instalment! Here’s what the CBC has revealed regarding “One Minute to Murder,” written by Murdoch Mysteries book Maureen Jennings and directed by Mars Horodyski.

When a man is electrocuted during a typing contest with Crabtree and Louise Cherry, Murdoch suspects the reporter was the intended target.

And here are a few more tidbits from me after I watched a screener of the episode.

Oliver Dennis guest stars
Oliver Dennis may not be a household name for his television work but he’s known in theatre circles. I’ve been lucky enough to see him in Soulpepper productions of Parfumerie, High Life and A Christmas Carol. Dennis appears on Monday night in the role of Alexander Langston, creator of an electric typewriter that several folks, including Crabtree and Louise Cherry, try out. Keep your eyes peeled for fellow theatre veterans Andrew Musselman and Richard Waugh in guest roles too.

Louise Cherry returns to cause trouble
Try as I might, I just can’t warm up to Miss Cherry. Maybe it’s because she said those awful things about William and Julia or perhaps it’s because she’s always reporting privileged information to the public … either way I just can’t get in her corner, even if it appears she was targeted for murder.

William and Julia’s book is published
Unlike most folks who must wait years until their book is in print, Julia and William’s tome was penned, edited and bound in mere weeks.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.