MURDOCH MYSTERIES is a cop show set at the end of the 19th century, a time when police were actually called “coppers” (a slang term of British origin referring to the copper buttons on their uniforms). The central character is Detective William Murdoch, who has a detached, intellectual approach to crime-solving, and is not afraid to employ new technologies. The Jesuit-educated detective has no chance of further advancement within the police force because of his religion.
Murdoch is played by Yannick Bisson, who is a very young looking 43, and has wonderful eyelashes. His love interest is the Coroner, Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy). All I know about Joy is that she is originally from Australia.
There is a third character worth watching. The intelligent (but under-educated) Constable George Crabtree is brilliantly played by Johnny Harris, and provides much of the comedy relief.
The writers seldom get their history wrong, although a cubist painting in 1896 was something of an anachronism, and there is some question as to whether a .60 caliber rifle could have existed at that time. But the show does an excellent job of describing the political and social issues of the day.
The writing, production values, and attention to detail make MURDOCH MYSTERIES the highest quality police drama that I have seen since LIFE ON MARS (the Brit version).
Netflix, my only source for the show, has only the first 3 seasons. (It is on PBS in certain markets but not mine.) I watched all three in a week. The show is quite addictive. So far, Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Reid of LOST GIRL have guest-starred.
CITY-TV produced 5 seasons, and this fall the show will move to the CBC for a sixth. According to CBC’s Trevor Walton, Season 6 will see the characters enter the 20th century and will introduce the idea of time travel (?), all while keeping the show in the same format with which fans are familiar.
Netflix, I really need seasons 4 & 5.