If we combine the new format of web series – specially designed for binge-watching – with traditional formulaic shows that came before Netflix in the last ten years, we will have paraphernalia for detective/true crime shows that would be impossible to fit in a list, let alone watch them. It is, therefore, quite a joy to find a detective show that cuts away from generic clichés and the pale imitations of 1950’s Hollywood noir.
Murdoch Mysteries (also known as The Artful Detective in the US where it is broadcasted on the Ovation cable TV network) is a crime drama series developed by R.B. Carney, Cal Coons, and Alexandra Zarowny. It is the best that has happened to Ovation since its inception. First launched in 2008, the show is a combination of a Sherlock-Esque eccentricity, real history, and the classic detective show formula.
The source materials for the series’ adaptation are the Detective Murdoch novels written by Maureen Jennings. The characters appearing on the show are all inspired by the novels.
The series was originally released as a two-episode TV movie back in 2004 with Peter Outerbridge starring as William Murdoch. It started airing in its current format from 2008 on Citytv in Canada. In its first season, Outerbridge was replaced by Yannick Bisson to play the titular character. The first season was received with widespread acclaim and it went on to receive 14 Gemini Awards nominations. The series then went on to be renewed by Citytv for four consecutive seasons.
After its season 5 premiere, the platform changed, and this time the show was picked up by CBC who acts as its distributor. The long-running show has had 12 successful seasons so far. Now the question is, will there be a ‘The Artful Detective’ season 13? We will delve into that question, but first, let’s quickly look into the details of the series.
The Artful Detective Cast: Who’s in it?
The show’s usual ensemble cast returns to their respective roles, the phenomenal Yannick Bisson as the main lead William Murdoch, Helene Joy as the doctor and coroner Julia Ogden, Thomas Craig as Brackenreid, as well as Jonny Harris as Crabtree.
Additionally, the show is also known for its surprise stunt castings – having made shockers such as William Shatner as Mark Twain, and most famously, the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Comedian Colin Mochrie, who has also guest-starred in the series in 2017, jocularly commented that he was the only actor left in Canada to not have previously played a guest role in the show.
The series has lived up to a most notorious reputation for historical figures and guest stars – having cast cosmetics industry juggernaut and famous entrepreneur Florence Nightingale Graham (founder of Elizabeth Arden, Inc.) as a nursing student with whom Crabtree has a brief liaison, with a wink here and a nod there as a quite opaque reference to her real-life cosmetics empire.
Season 13 sees a guest appearance by Colm Feore as well as reunites Constable Crabtree with his father – George Crabtree Sr. Additionally, the entire lead crew returns to reprise their original roles.
The Artful Detective Plot: What is it about?
Set in late-nineteenth-century Canada, the show features the protagonist William Murdoch, a detective in the Toronto constabulary, solving cases using methods that are far ahead of their time, and are often on the brink of anachronistic forensic devices – i.e. fingerprints, blood testing, and even sonar (some of these technologies explained as prototypes of the actual breakthroughs).
On the other hand, the show is also known for its knack of authenticity, with constant reference and appearances of stalwart Victorian figures such as H.G. Wells, Winston Churchill, Nikola Tesla, Harry Houdini, and even Arthur Conan Doyle himself.
The twelfth iteration dropped in September 2018 in Canada, and the first big thing in the season is Murdoch and Ogden’s acquisition of their new avant-garde home designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright (played by Aaron Poole), complete with a prototype microwave. The microwave becomes an anchor for the plot when a man becomes trapped in it at Ogden and Murdoch’s housewarming party.
The season sees Ogden return to med school, leaving her post of coroner empty, while Violet Hart attempts to take over the morgue. The mysterious death of one of her patients (spoiler alerts) reveals a trace of mystery, as Murdoch and Ogden’s ensuing investigation discovers a pattern in the death among the alcoholics admitted to the ward.
The thirteenth season begins with Julia participating in the Suffragette rally where a bomb goes off and Murdoch is summoned to the scene to carry on his investigation. With such an explosive start, it shapes up into another great new season. One of the episodes is directed by Yannich Bisson.
The Artful Detective Season 13 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘The Artful Detective’ Season 12 premiered on April 20, 2019, in the US on Ovation. It landed on September 24, 2018, in Canada on CBC and wrapped up on March 4, 2019. As usual, the season consisted of 18 episodes, complete with an odd Halloween episode rather than the cursory Christmas episode.
The thirteenth season has already released on September 16, 2019, in Canada on CBC, after being renewed on March 25, 2019. ‘The Artful Detective’ season 13 premieres on December 25, 2019, in the US on Ovation.
Season 13 holds a landmark for the eponymous show since the 13th episode marks the 200th episode of the series.
The Artful Detective Trailer:
You can watch the official trailer for ‘The Artful Detective’ below:
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