Set in 1895 Toronto, Murdoch Mysteries explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye), a handsome young detective using radical forensic techniques, like fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city's most gruesome murders. Though his unconventional approach elicits ridicule from fellow officers and skepticism from his boss, Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Coronation Street), Murdoch is often the only one who can crack the case.
Murdoch's small circle of confidantes includes pathologist Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy, Durham County), a staunch ally who shares the detective's fascination with forensic science and Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching), Murdoch's eager but inexperienced right-hand man. Both are valuable allies who help Murdoch solve his varied cases and traverse the many stratums of Victorian society.
I got sick of the CSIs and L&Os and NCISes but throw in some Victorian era history and I'm finding I quite like it. It's sort of 'Sherlock Holmes' meets 'CSI' meets 'Road to Avonlea'.
The second episode had an interesting subplot where Murdoch is encouraged to apply for an inspector's position at another station but ultimately gets turned down because - horrors! - he's a Roman Catholic, and the chief will be damed if he'll have any 'papists' in the upper echelons of Toronto's constabulary.
It can get a little too 'on the nose' though. One scene has Murdoch learning a murder victim took a phone call and he tells the constable helping him to find out where it came from. The constable does so and says later, "I think I'll call it tracing!" GROAN!
Altogether though a decent Canadian detective show. People who get CityTV should check it out.