Recurring character(s): Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris), Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly)
Original air date(s): 02/28/2012 to 05/22/2012 DVD Date: 03/05/2013
Rating: Not Rated Running Time: 624 minutes
Note(s): Characters adapted from the series of mysteries by crime novelist Maureen Jennings.
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Review: Based on a character created by Maureen Jennings, Murdoch Mysteries ended its fourth season on a transitional note, providing this fifth season with a surprisingly strong subplot that resolves itself — sort of — by the season finale. It's probably not quite fair to say any more about this without giving away too many spoiler-type details, but I will say I thought this fifth season overall is one of the series' best to date.
Yannick Bisson stars as Detective William Murdock of the Toronto Constabulary. Set just prior to the turn of the 20th century, it is the age of invention with all manner and sorts of devices coming into play at one point or another in his investigations. Indeed, one of the episodes is entitled "Invention Convention", a solidly plotted storyline that pays homage to a classic Agatha Christie novel … though with a clever twist.
All that is good about this series is on display this season. In addition to the previously mentioned inventions that Murdoch frequently uses for criminal forensic analysis, historical figures make an appearance in several episodes, there are hints of the "unexplained" — not quite paranormal or supernatural, but suggestive of such — in a few, and most are well written whodunits of one sort or another.
It should be noted that Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) is largely absent from this season. She had resigned as the medical examiner at the end of the third season, returned to her role briefly during the fourth season, only to resign again and begin a private practice as a physician. Her protégé, Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly), takes her place and has a role in most of this season's episodes, much to the delight of Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris).
I thoroughly enjoyed this season of Murdoch Mysteries and look forward to the next. (On a side note, the series recently concluded airing its sixth season in Canada, and has been renewed for a seventh season.)