The description of Murdoch Mysteries, Season 3 sounded intriguing—a crime procedural set in the Victorian era—but I had no idea how much fun it would actually be. Its eccentric hero, detective William Murdoch, utilizes "modern" criminal investigation techniques such as fingerprints and blood work to solve crimes. Based on novels written by Maureen Jennings, the Canadian television series has nice period detail, utilizing the streets of Ontario, as well as accurate set decor and costumes. The series also has a great theme song, composed by Robert Carli.
Murdoch, played by Yannick Bisson, is part of a criminal investigative team led by his boss, Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), and aided by young and ambitious Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris). The characters all have a nice camaraderie. After watching Season 3, I'd like to check out the two earlier seasons of the series and see how Murdoch and his "unconventional" techniques were adopted by the police force. The show has already filmed a fourth season, which is currently airing in Canada.
Murdoch Mysteries has a lot of the same features as similar forensic programs like CSI and NCIS. It also has the cop-loves-coroner background plot, a la Bones, as Murdoch also works closely with potential love interest Doctor Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy). Their romance proceeds at a distinctly Victorian rate, as Murdoch is on the proper side, but there are sparks.
Differentiating Murdoch Mysteries from other forensic shows is the weaving in of true-life historical figures. Murdoch meets scientists and authors of the day, including H.G. Wells (Peter Mikhail) and Nikola Tesla (Dmitry Chepovetsky). Murdoch also tangles with a local wealthy businessman, James Pendrick (Peter Stebbings), across a series of episodes and forms a more-than-protective interest in his beautiful wife Sally (Kate Greenhouse).
"The Murdoch Identity" starts off the season and is an appropriate introduction to the hero and the show. Murdoch has lost his memory and has to figure out who he is and if he can get back home again—wherever that is.
In the second episode, "The Great Wall," a constable is found dead, and the trail leads to police corruption and violence in Toronto's Chinatown. Murdoch is back in business and once again working closely with his team to solve the case.
"Victor, Victorian" features the murder of an initiate at a local Masonic temple. Among Murdoch's discoveries: both Inspector Brackenreid and Constable Crabtree are Masons and there are more secrets than just secret societies for him to sort out.