TV Review: Murdoch Mysteries -Ep. 1
Updated: Jun 29, 2018
This mystery/crime series is set in the late 1800's to early 1900's. The main character, William Murdoch, is a detective who likes to use cutting edge science to solve his cases (he's like a pioneer of forensic science). As this pilot episode points out, he's a police officer and a man of science.
If you enjoy mystery/crime shows and you enjoy history, this show is a good mix of both. As entertaining as this show is, it has many little things in each scene that give it a little more historical credibility.
For example, in several scenes you see signs that say "no spitting". A sign that in today's time might seem off, but back then would not have been out place. Spitting was so common that special bowls called spittoons were easily accessible in most places just so there was somewhere decent to spit indoors. As this common practice was slowly seen as hygienically unsafe, spitting laws were passed so as not to pass things like the flu or tuberculosis.
Through out the episode you can also see many kerosene lamps being used - which were commonly used back then.
Of course no period themed show is complete without costumes. Murdoch performs well with historically accurate bowler hats, sleeve garters, pocket watches, and modest dresses.
But let's face it - you don't choose to watch a show based on these little things. Those are just the atmosphere. The real "cool factor" to this show (besides the theme song) is the meat of it. The storyline.
In this episode, Detective Murdoch solves an especially shocking (pun intended) murder. A woman is "accidentally" electrocuted instead of the intended dog during a public demonstration warning of the dangers of Tesla's A.C. style electricity.
What I really enjoy about this show is that it accurately brings up many real historical events in the midst of it's T.V. storyline.
Most know about the competition between Tesla and Edison and the two differing ways to spread electricity: A.C. vs. D.C.
As shocking (sorry, that pun is just too on point) as it might sound, Edison went to very extreme lengths to discredit Tesla. One of these methods being publicly electrocuting animals such as dogs in order to warn/scare people into using his D.C. style electricity.
A good portion of this show involved Tesla testing his inventions such as wireless lightbulbs and electronics with Murdoch - inventions that he actually experimented with and worked on in real life.
In general, Murdoch Mysteries does a good job of being entertaining, historically accurate, and intriguing. It has plenty of light hearted moments, plot twists, and interesting historical perspective. There are a couple of intense moments and a few words that make this show not child friendly, but overall I think this episode is worth a watch.
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