"Murdoch Au Naturel​" is the fifth episode of the sixth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the seventieth episode of the series. It first aired on February 4, 2013.


On their way to peek at a nudist camp, two boys stumble upon human remains and alert the constabulary.

After two boys find a human skeleton in the Don Valley woods, Detective Murdoch finds himself investigating the nearby residents of a naturist colony run by Helmut Lindemann and his wife Irene. From what they've been able to retrieve Dr. Grace determines that the skeleton is that of a male, approximately 40 years old, who was shot through the heart. Murdoch wants to find the bullet and uses his induction balancing machine - a metal detector - for the task.

When they find a prosthetic arm near the river, Dr. Grace is reasonably certain it belonged to the victim. Dr. Rico, a prosthetic maker identifies it as belonging to an American gentleman, Zachariah Marsh. They learn that Marsh was a famous Pinkerton agent who years ago took down the infamous Rooster gang. They decide to send Crabtree under cover, so to speak, at the nudist colony to see what he can learn.

At the station meanwhile, Inspector Brackenreid is doing all he can to avoid Jean Hamilton, the protector of Toronto's morals, about a public 'disturbance' where women are showing bare legs in a burlesque poster.

George discovers Julia Ogden is a guest participant at the camp and that Irene Lindemann is the lone survivor of the Rooster gang. She attempts to kill him, but is knocked out with a shovel by Julia who followed George. Murdoch and Brackenreid arrive at the scene and are surprised to find Julia – nude.

Character Revelations

  • Julia enjoys the freedom of a nudist, especially from the corset.
  • First time Murdoch sees Julia completely nude and it is not one of his fantasies.
  • Hannah Rice was a patient of Dr. Ogden's in her former private medical practice.
  • Julia informs William of the complicated conditions required for Darcy to petition for a divorce, and that since she chose to marry Darcy, she must make it right alone, adding that William is to stay out of it as she won't besmirch his name nor put his career at risk.


  • George goes undercover, with little covering at the nudist colony.
  • To Julia’s surprise, William reserves a room at Queen’s Hotel for them and brings dominos in his bag, giving Darcy "the evidence" needed for a divorce.
  • At the top of Winston's Lost Night, Murdoch was working on his larger version of a metal detector, the Induction Balance Machine, powered by the pedal work from a stationary bicycle. It was not used in that episode, it is used in this one instead.
  • This episode introduces Jean Hamilton of The Temperance League. Among her complaints, she mentions Ragtime which foreshadows her protest to that music in Season 7's Murdoch in Ragtime.
  • George shocks Jean Hamilton at the end of the episode when he is overheard telling Hannah, "I almost didn't recognize you with clothes on..." She declares, "Heathens! Reprobates! Miscreants! Degenerates! This city is doomed with moral guardians like you!" and storms out of Station House No.4.

Historical References

  • Metal Detector, toward the end of the 19th century, many scientists and engineers used their growing knowledge of electrical theory in an attempt to devise a machine which would pinpoint metal, mainly for use to find ore-bearing rocks. 
  • Naturism philosophies of the German pundit Heinrich Pudor (1865-1943). 
  • Giuliano Vanghetti (1861-1940) devised a way to use the contractions of the surviving musculature of the limb to enable manipulation of the prosthetic. 
  • The term "polymer" was coined in 1833 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius, though Berzelius did little that would be considered polymer science in the modern sense. The first modern example of polymer science is Henri Braconnot's work in the 1830s. Braconnot, along with Christian Schönbein and others, developed derivatives of the natural polymer. 
  • Brackenreid asks, "Could I take some of this putty home for the boys, Murdoch? It's just the kind of silliness..." Murdoch informs him it is not a toy. Decades later, popular Silly Putty is a toy based on silicone polymers that have unusual physical properties. It bounces, but breaks when given a sharp blow and can also flow like a liquid.  
  • Xanadu means a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment; Origin attributed to S.T. Coleridge's modification, in the poem “Kubla Khan” (1797), of Xandu (17th century spelling), modern Shangtu, the site of Kublai Khan's summer residence in SE Mongolia.  
  • Viel Glück is German for Good Luck! Godspeed!  


  • This is the first episode where a viewer discretion (for nudity) is issued.



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
Helen Johns as Jean Hamilton

Guest Cast

Patrick Garrow as Helmut Lindemann
Tricia Braun as Irene Lindemann
Amber Goldfarb as Hannah Rice
Matt Burkhart as Arthur Gibbons
Ryan Tilley as Declan Black
Gerry Mendicino as Dr. Antonio Rico
Drew Adkins as Boy
Nicholas Kaegi as Boy

Non-Credited Cast

Brian Kaulback as Constable Hodge
Sean Harraher as Constable Worseley
Talia Russo as Nudist


Murdoch Mysteries Season 6
"Murdoch Air" • "Winston's Lost Night" • "Murdoch On The Corner" • "A Study in Sherlock" • "Murdoch Au Naturel" • "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" • "The Ghost of Queen's Park" • "Murdoch in Ladies Wear" • "Victoria Cross" • "Twisted Sisters" • "Lovers in a Murderous Time" • "Crime and Punishment" • "The Murdoch Trap"
Web Series: Nightmare on Queen Street
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