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"​Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom​" is the sixth episode of the sixth season of Murdoch Mysteries and the seventy-first episode of the series. It first aired on February 11, 2013.


Detective Murdoch is surprised to be called into a meeting with Chief Constable Giles and the Mayor of Toronto. They've received a film from someone apparently gassing his dog. The city has also received a demand for $100,000 - or the entire city will be gassed. Using some of the evidence found in the film, Murdoch is able to locate the site where the extortionist killed the dog and the police find evidence of a very powerful poison having been used. After another threatening letter and much debate, Mayor Clarkson, Giles and Brackenreid decide to evacuate the city - and only then does Murdoch realize they have it all wrong.

At the location of the filming site, Murdoch and Dr. Sanjay Prasad, a skilled chemist, find bleached plants and dead rats as far as they could see. The 'Cloud of Doom' still retains its destructive properties even as the gas' volume diminishes after being released from its container. They bring one of the rats back to the City Morgue, to the discomfort of Dr. Grace. Dissecting it, she determines that the gas made their lungs explode violently.

Young blind Riley, who delivered the film, identifies the smell of the gas from the masked man as rotten fruit – pineapple. Murdoch and Prasad head for the Junction District, as the doctor theorizes that chlorine, internationally banned in warfare because it killed inhumanely, is used in the gas, and the mysterious man has amplified with a mystery compound. Arriving at the chemical plant, worker Russell Bowes, claims that an American man bought large quantity of chemicals and gives them an address. Upon arriving at the warehouse, they find they are too late. Examining the components of a time bomb, Prasad suggests that the tank contained the mystery compound, which may be a gas.

Murdoch is summoned again to the Mayor's office, where he is told that they are giving into the ransom demand and he assigned Murdoch to handle it. Murdoch instructs the constables to go in plainclothes and watch the dead drop incognito should anyone approach and restrict use of the police phones. Unfortunately, no one picks up the bag. Instead, Murdoch receives a call from the masked man, who claims to have seen the constables and demands a million pounds in 24 hours.

Mayor Clarkson panics, as the city can't come up with that much money in time. Giles demands to know how the masked man was able to identify their constables. Clarkson voices his suspicion that someone at Station House is in cahoots with the madman, to which Brackenreid firmly denies. Murdoch suspects that the masked man intends to carry out his threat, to ensure that he could ransom the entire world. At that moment, one of the mayor's aides tells him that they've located the 'Cloud of Doom', a canister sitting out in the open. As it would be dangerous to disarm it, they move the container to the bottom of Lake Ontario.

Clarkson pops champagne at Station House No. 4 and commends everyone's bravery. When he notices that Murdoch is absent, he and Brackenreid find him in his office, calculating. Murdoch explains that from the amount of chemicals used in the Cloud of Doom, he concludes that there are nine more bombs. With little choice, the constabulary moves to evacuate Cabbagetown. As Brackenreid assigns their districts, Higgins questions why evacuate the women's prison, especially with Mary Knowles due to hang for shooting her father in cold blood. Brackenreid doesn't answer, only telling him to follow his orders.

As Cabbagetown is evacuated in a panic, Murdoch and Julia stay behind at the station house to insulate his office. Higgins enters to inform him that the phone trace has led to a public phone in the Junction District. This makes Murdoch suspicious, as it's near the chemical plant. He examines the ransom notes and the plant documents, noticing that the lowercase "t" has a distinct flaw on both. As it's impossible for two typewriters to have the same flaw, he suspects that Russell Boyes is the masked man. He and Julia go to confront him at his apartment, finding it empty except for the dog from the film, clearly alive, and trained to play dead on command. Murdoch then spots a photograph and realizes that Mary Knowles is Russell's fiancée.

At the women's prison, as Mary is brought out, a disguised Russell appears sporting one of his gas canisters attempting to help Mary escape, only Murdoch and Crabtree arrive and reveal the truth: the 'Cloud of Doom' is just harmless mist and it was all a ploy to spare Russell's fiancée the noose. After he one last embrace with Mary, he is arrested.

At Station Four's jail, Murdoch notes the brilliance of Russell's plan, using pineapple extract to fool Dr. Prasad, bleaching the plants, and suffocating rats in a sack first. Russell couldn't let his love die. Murdoch accuses him of turning Toronto upside-down to free a woman who murdered her own father. Russell claims there's more to the story: Mary's father molested her in her youth and that kept her from defending herself in court and contrary to what the press say, she does regret her actions. Murdoch sternly states that while Mary may have suffered unjustly, it doesn't absolve his actions. Russell retorts that he would do anything for the woman he loves and asks Murdoch if he would do the same.

Shortly thereafter, Murdoch and Julia discuss Mary Knowles' circumstance and decide to go to the courts to convince them to grant Mary a stay of execution so she could be encouraged to tell her story.

Character Revelations

  • Margaret Brackenreid has a sister, Lizzy, who lives near the Falls.
  • Julia refuses to leave William's side stating "We may not be husband and wife, William, but I refuse to abandon you," and this will be her usual stand when they are faced with danger.
  • George's Aunt Primrose goes to St. Alban's Anglican Church and George once sat in a rhubarb pie his Aunt Hyacinth had baked.


  • Brackenreid sends his family to Niagara Falls under the pretense that his boys would want to see the falls. After he reassures them by showing them the gas mask, Murdoch informs Brackenreid a mask that filters out smoke will be ineffective against the 'Cloud of Doom'.
  • Brackenreid admits that he knows and advises that Murdoch not enlighten the constables.
  • Station House Five and the fire department provide Station House Four with gas masks; to their chagrin, there's a limited number and some are broken.
  • When Russell states that he would do anything for the woman he loves and asks Murdoch if he would do the same, it not only reminds the detective of his love, it foreshadows the challenges yet to come in the last two episodes of Season 6.
  • George kisses Emily for the first time.

Historical References

  • Cabbagetown's name derives from the Irish immigrants who moved to Toronto beginning in the late 1840s and said to have been so poor that they grew vegetables in their front yards instead of roses.
  • The original Maid of the Mist was built at a landing near Niagara Falls on the American side of the border, christened in 1846 as a border-crossing ferry.
  • Baskerville is a serif typeface designed in 1757 by John Baskerville. Baskerville was a printer, typographer and type founder, which means he designed, cast and sold type. Baskerville was supposedly the namesake for the titular character in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • The visual design of Russell Bowes' costume may be a nod to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Popular depictions of this non-lethal attacker-turned-myth from the 1930s-1940s most frequently include a long black trench coat, black rubber boots and gloves, a goggled mask, and often a hood.
  • Brief Mention of the Hague Convention of 1899, similar to the more well-known Geneva Conventions regarding international rules of warfare.
  • Mention of New York school teacher John Doughty who proposed the use of Chlorine Gas to expedite the American Civil War and was subsequently denied.
  • The image of the shadow, provided to Murdoch by Crabtree and Higgins, distinctly resembles the CN Tower, and leads to them to speculate:
    • Crabtree: "A tower, perhaps?"
    • Murdoch: "I highly doubt that, George. What kind of tower would have a cantilevered bulge at the top?"
    • Crabtree: "Well, I don't know, sir, but I think it has some aesthetic appeal. Perhaps the orb at the top is some sort of viewing area!"
    • Murdoch: (sighs) "George, if such a tower existed in Toronto, I'm sure we would know about it."


  • This episode is a favorite one of actor Kristian Bruun (Slugger Jackson).
  • The episode title is an allusion to the 1984 film "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".


  • Detective Murdoch mentions to Dr. Prasad about the Hague Convention of 1899 and how the United States and Great Britain were the only two to not sign on the additional proposal for banning the use of asphyxiating gasses in warfare. The United States was actually the only country to not agree to this second additional proposal (Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Projectiles with the Sole Object to Spread Asphyxiating Poisonous Gases). However, the first of the additional proposals (Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Discharge of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons or by Other New Analogous Methods), relating to what would be considered modern aerospace warfare, was not signed by the United States nor Great Britain.
  • Dr. Ogden says the term "teenagers" but that term didn't exist until the 1940s.
  • Julia mentions that the ransom note was written using "Baskerville font" which she said is very common. It is common but it is highly improbable that it would be ever used for a mechanical typewriter. Baskerville font is proportional (i.e., every character has different width) so it is not useful for the typewriter, especially the old mechanical one from the beginning of the twentieth century. Typewriter characters has to have the same width each, so non-proportional fonts (like famous Courier) are more likely to be used for them.
  • At one point in this episode, Dr. Sanjay Prasad talks about the "two components of chlorine" being bleach and ammonia. This confuses two components of a mixture which (according to the show, anyway) generates chlorine gas, with the composition of chlorine. Chlorine itself is an element. Chlorine gas (Cl2) is composed of two atoms of chlorine.
  • There is some "literary license" employed in the show's description of how the cloud of chlorine is generated. Most chemistry texts say that ammonia mixed with bleach generates chloramine rather than chlorine, but since the exact product(s) depend upon concentration of the reactants and temperature, we can treat the show's description as acceptable.


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
Nigel Bennett as Chief Constable Giles
David Huband as Mayor Clarkson
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Jayden Greig as Bobby Brackenreid
Charles Vandervaart as Johnny Brackenreid

Guest Cast

Raoul Bhanja as Dr. Sanjay Prasad
Kyle Labine as Russell Bowes
Tess Degenstein as Mary Knowles
Clark Devins as Riley Flynn
Gregory Dunham as Gilbert O'Malley
Vince Carlin as Elderly Man
Sascha Cole as Young Mother
Daniel Ruth as Artie

Non-Credited Cast

Brian Kaulback as Constable Hodge
Sean Harraher as Constable Worseley


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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