1 May 2010 | skoyles
A fine series with a charming lead
Having neither read the books nor seen the original television movies, I come to the series with unbiased (if ignorant) eyes. My wife and I, who lived briefly in Toronto, are both charmed by Murdoch and his slightly daft colleagues. "Charmed" is the word, for we find the actors, scripts, clothing, details and the City of Toronto itself charming. The bigotry faced by a Catholic detective in the city of the Family Compact rings very true as does Murdoch's gentle piety, a refreshing change in today's detective shows. It is a bit mystery, a bit soap opera, a bit character study and a lot of fun. We, at least, have been captivated by William Murdoch as portrayed by Yannick Bisson, a character who is a genuinely honest, gentle and quiet man of strength facing ethical, moral, professional and legal challenges in each episode. George Crabtree and the Inspector become more interesting as time goes on. The corruption of Toronto and Ontario politics hides behind several episodes while the turn of the 20th century fascination with science and "the coming thing", as Brisco County Junior would say, gives some lightness to the whole thing. In the final analysis it is the interplay of characters, centred on the troubled but charming Murdoch himself, that elevates the Murdoch Mysteries to the level of Midsomer, Taggert or Poirot. A fine series and not only for Canadians.