"Murdoch Ahoy"
Season 7
Episode 1
Air date September 30, 2013
Written by Paul Aitken
Directed by Laurie Lynd
Guest Stars Miranda Millar as Amy MacFarlane
Jane Moffatt as Elizabeth MacFarlane
Ted Whittall as Clarence MacFarlane
Wesley French as Johnny
Chad Connell as Owen Mathers
Susanna Fournier as Doreen Jarvis
Jillian Cook as Annie Taylor
Recurring Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Slugger Jackson
Previous The Murdoch Trap
Next Tour de Murdoch

"Murdoch Ahoy" is the first episode of the seventh season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the seventy-ninth episode of the series. It first aired September 30, 2013.


Detective Murdoch and Inspector Brackenreid are aboard the S.S. Keewatin after the owner, Clarence MacFarlane, receives what he believes is a threat. Murdoch and the Inspector, along with Julia, stay on board, allowing them to later witness MacFarlane's daughter Amy, who is engaged to her father's chief financial officer Owen Mathers, fall overboard.

Meanwhile back at the station house, Constable Higgins and George are approached by Dr. Grace, who is excited that Annie Taylor is in town and is giving a lecture. She asks George if he would like to go, but Murdoch has asked him to remain at the Station House. 

Back on the Keewatin, Murdoch interviews a young man, Johnny, who claims he saw Amy go into the water. Murdoch asks the MacFarlane's if it was possible that Amy had committed suicide, as she could not swim. MacFarlane is shocked by this theory and denies it, saying that she was to be married. They interview Amy’s fiance Owen who tells them he had an argument with Amy earlier because she was speaking to another man, identity unknown.

After a steward delivers Amy's retrieved hat, Murdoch deduces that the hat could not have been on her head if she fell into the water, as the hatpin was not damaged. MacFarlane orders that every cabin be searched, insistent she has been kidnapped. Could Amy have set this up herself? Murdoch then asks if it is possible to communicate to his Station House and is led to the telegraph room to send his message.

Murdoch asks for background on Amy MacFarlane, but before George can search, an elderly lady walks in, introducing herself as Annie Taylor. George asks Miss Taylor why she isn't at her lecture, but she explains she can't give a lecture without her barrel, which has gone missing.

Meanwhile, Murdoch, Brackenreid, and Ogden are approached by a friend of Amy's, Doreen Jarvis. She thinks she may have seen Amy heading down to the lower decks, the cargo hold, in maid's clothing – after the alarm was sounded. In the cargo hold, they find a trunk with a dead body inside, but not Amy's – it's a young man named Neville Morton.

At the Station House, Annie tells Constable Crabtree that saw three young men take her barrel backstage but she thinks it was her manager who put them up to it. Higgins interrupts, reporting they have received another telegraph from Murdoch, asking them to look into Neville Morton.

On board, Dr. Ogden performs the autopsy and determined Neville's been dead for about an hour and identifies the weapon as being some kind of tool. Murdoch searches around the cargo and happens upon the murder weapon -a particular screwdriver- in his own handkerchief that he had given to Amy MacFarlane in their chance meeting earlier with Julia. Murdoch tells Amy's parents that he believes their daughter is involved somehow.

A telegraph about Neville Morton is received: Morton spent time in jail for bombing a bank. The threat made against MacFarlane may be real. Brackenreid asks about Clarence's enemies, and admits that Linus Calvert is on board, but Linus says that if he were to bomb a boat, he wouldn't be sailing on it.

It's revealed that Amy wanted to cancel her engagement with Owen, but Owen didn't know this. A maid's hat is produced, found in the cargo hold. Maids don't go to the lower deck, so Murdoch returns to the cargo hold to investigate: spotting a man, gives chase, and catches Johnny. Brackenreid pieces the puzzle together; Johnny was the man seeing Amy. She was supposed to hide in the trunk until the boat reached Rochester, and then they would run away. Brackenreid asks how Neville Morton fits into all this, but Johnny doesn't know who that is.

Back at the station house, Annie Taylor and her manager argue over the barrel, while a frustrated George watches them. Emily interrupts and solicits George's help because her skeleton Shelley is missing. Then, Constable Jackson, looking flustered, tells them that his constable's helmet is missing.

It's nearly 11:00pm on the boat; Clarence tells them that he received a telegram that there are two bombs on board the ship. Brackenreid says they must evacuate everyone, and that they have one hour to find two bombs. After looking at maps of the boat to determine where the bombs could be, they split up in search for them. Murdoch suggests that they are between the hull, now understanding why the bomber needed the special screwdriver. Behind a panel on the side of the hull, they find the first bomb set to midnight, as expected. Murdoch disarms it, and they start searching for the second one. It is also hidden in a panel, but the time it is set to is hour early. Murdoch yells at everyone to run just before the bomb explodes, causing a hole through the hull.

Water rushes into the hull at a breathtaking pace. Brackenreid informs the full dining room that the ship is sinking and everyone is to evacuate the boats in an orderly fashion, before tossing back a whiskey. After finding out a telegraph about the bombs didn't exist, Murdoch accuses MacFarlane of setting the bombs himself so he would get the insurance money. Brackenreid theorizes that MacFarlane doesn't actually know where the bombs were, and that's why he wanted them to find Amy before the bombs blew up. Murdoch believes he had an accomplice, Owen Mathers. Neville Morton was killed by his accomplice in the cargo hold and Amy had seen it. Owen knocked her out, tied her up and left her in a trunk. A chase ensues; Johnny grabs Owen, pushing him down a flight of stairs, which breaks his neck.

Consulting the ship's maps for a clue to where Amy is hidden, Murdoch hears a tapping noise coming from within the walls. They deduce that she's in the bow cargo hold according to the pipes placement, as the hold is rapidly filling with water displacing its cargo. Johnny and Murdoch swim through flooding hold to find the trunk and Amy.

Johnny takes her back above deck, where Inspector and her father are waiting. As they leave, Julia asks Brackenreid where Murdoch is. He reassures her Murdoch is right behind him, but is distressed to find he isn't. She heads down to the cargo hold and dives into the water to search for him, finding him unconscious she brings him up to the surface. Brackenreid returns to see Julia swimming with William in her arms. Lifeless and non-responsive, Julia performs mouth to mouth resuscitation – much to Brackenreid's disbelief. Murdoch sits up, coughing up water, and tells them, "I've lost my hat." Brackenreid scowls, "Your hat?", then goes back and fishes it out with his cane.

At the Station House, George talks to three young men about the barrel, reprimanding the lads, and Emily threatens them "i'f you have damaged Shelley...". They assure her they haven't and it was all just a fraternity prank. If they scrub the Station House from top to bottom and write an apology to Annie Taylor, their parents needn't know about it. 

Character Revelations

  • While the court case isn't over yet, William assures Julia, "James Gillies will hang for what he did." Julia confides, "I just want this chapter of our lives to be over. I want us to start afresh." As does William
  • After George reluctently turns down Emily's invitation to Annie Taylor's lecture and Higgins offers to go instead, Emily tells George that she thinks Higgins is making advances. George thinks he’s just trying to be gallant. 
  • George has knowledge of fraternity house pranks. 


Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1901 – the Edwardian Era (1901-1910) is the time when King Edward VII rules the British Empire; Queen Victoria died January 22, 1901.
  • There is a reference to the first Victoria Day, a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.
  • Death and the Maiden is a common motif in Renaissance art, especially in painting and music; Depicted numerous times by German painter and printmaker Hans Baldung Grien or Grün (1484 – 1545) who was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer.
  • Annie Taylor was a 63 year old schoolteacher who went over Niagara Falls on her birthday, October 24, 1901 in a barrel. She emerged unscathed and became quite famous for this deed.
  • Julia Ogden uses mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or the kiss of life to save William which had been experimented with since the 18th century in Europe and Japan. It wasn't until well into the 20th century it became the effective method known as CPR. Julia mentions the Swiss using it to revive babies when Brackenreid accuses her of "canoodling".


  • The boat that they filmed on was actually called the S.S. Keewatin, although it didn't sink in real life and was actually built after 1901.
  • The Canadian Red Ensign flown at the stern of the ship is of a design not introduced until 1957.
  • This episode is a favorite one of MM main cast member Hélène Joy.


  • When Amy is trapped in the trunk and water is rushing in, it is seen that she has a mouth gag on. When William and Julia save her, the cloth that was around her mouth is gone. It is possible she could have taken it off herself but as her hands were tied too, this is unlikely. (continuity)
  • Emily mentions that Annie Taylor had gone over the Niagara Falls recently at 63 years old. Given that the episode was set in May 1901, this is inaccurate as Annie Taylor went over the Falls in October 1901. (historical errors)
  • After Amy MacFarlane is saved from a watery death in the hold, she goes to the lifeboats to be evacuated from the ship. Miraculously, her wet maid's uniform seems to have dried by the time she enters the lifeboat! (continuity)
  • Dr. Ogden performs CPR on Murdoch in the flooded hold of the ship. Various forms of artificial respiration were explored during the 19th century, but it was not until the early 1960s that the method of external chest compression was discovered by James Jude and colleagues. Full CPR (artificial respiration combined with chest compression) was first seen in a training video in 1962.


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as George Crabtree
Georgina Reilly as Emily Grace

Recurring Cast

Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Slugger Jackson

Guest Cast

Ted Whittall as Clarence MacFarlane
Jane Moffatt as Elizabeth MacFarlane
Wesley French as Johnny
Chad Connell as Owen Mathers
Miranda Millar as Amy MacFarlane
Susanna Fournier as Doreen Jarvis
Jillian Cook as Annie Taylor
Doug MacLeod as Linus Calvert
Joel Rinzler as Annie Taylor's Manager
Stephen Farrell as Steward #1
Lorn Eisen as Steward #2

Uncredited Cast

Eric Conroy as Ship Captain
Micheal Brown as Telegraph Dispatcher
Ryan Worster as Student


Murdoch Mysteries Season 7
"Murdoch Ahoy" • "Tour de Murdoch" • "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch" • "Return of Sherlock Holmes" • "Murdoch of the Living Dead" • "Murdochophobia" • "Loch Ness Murdoch" • "Republic of Murdoch" • "A Midnight Train to Kingston" • "Murdoch in Ragtime" • "Journey to the Centre of Toronto" • "Unfinished Business" • "The Murdoch Sting"•"Friday the 13th, 1901"•"The Spy Who Came Up to the Cold"•"Kung Fu Crabtree"•"Blast of Silence"•"The Death of Dr. Ogden"
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