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"Murdoch and the Tramp" is the first episode of fourteenth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the two hundred fifth episode of the series (not including the three stand-alone holiday specials). It first aired on January 4, 2021.
A Victoria Day carnival turns sour after a man falls to his death beside vaudeville impresario Obie Stratford.
While promoting his show and praising himself to Julia and Murdoch and the Station House team, a body lands at the impresario’s feet halting the Victoria Day merriment and celebratory cigar sharing. It would appear he fell out of the fourth window of the hotel where Stratford is putting up all his acts. He points out that “Comics are a depressed lot. You put enough of us in the same place, one of us is bound to jump out a window.” But Miss Hart arrives at a different cause of death as the presence of petechiae and what appears to be a metallic contact burn suggests electrocution – he was dead before he fell.
Upon entering the victim’s hotel room, Murdoch and Crabtree find a suicide note, the bath tub empty but the mirror still fogged, wet towels on the floor and a broken lamp: he died of electrocution, cleaned things up and jumped out the window? Not likely. Enter Charlie Chaplin who informs them that the victim’s man is Kenny McClucky the only amusing man in Toronto other than himself – who happens to be the funniest man in the world. The cocksure Englishman claims McClucky was an insult comic who tussled the previous night with performer Ed Ward. Ward claims Chaplin’s friend Stan Laurel was also miffed and there was an argument at the hotel. But as the investigation proceeds, Murdoch suspects the intended victim is actually Mr. Chaplin.
Meantime, Brackenreid, Margaret and his daughter Nomi, seem comfortable as a family, while Henry Higgins is elated that Ruth is in a family way.
- Higgins and Ruth are expectant parents...and George the godfather?
- William Murdoch has never been a big fan of vaudeville (ep.809 and ep.917)...
- George Crabtree has inspired historical figures from Albert Einstein to Lucy Maud Montgomery – now wearing a heavy belt with Murdoch’s new and improved communication devise (ep.1303) and a bulletproof hat, steadying himself with Brackenreid’s cane, Crabtree creates a rough version of the icon Little Tramp.
- Arthur Carmichael returns to tempt Violet Hart in a conspiratorial liaison...
- This episode takes place in Toronto 1908 – Edward VII (Albert Edward;1841-1910) is King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas.
- Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.
- Between 1890 and 1927, thousands of silent films were produced, with an ever increasing sophistication of story line and technical craftsmanship introducing a new entertainment industry.
- Introduction of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences luminaries Charlie Chaplin, Stanley Laurel and Buster Keaton. Artistic license is taken with historical chronology and location; Chaplin and Laurel did not tour North America (with Fred Karno’s Travelling Show) until 1910 – to Vancouver and Victoria, but not Toronto.
- Marks first time Yannick Bisson directs two episodes in a single season and has stated about Season 14, "is going to be the best year we’ve ever done".
- Along with some screwball comedy, according to Showrunner Peter Mitchell, a few themes introduced in this episode will repeat and deepen throughout Season 14.
- This episode was filmed in part at Gage Park, Hamilton.
- According to MM writer Simon McNabb:"The chase scene was definitely the biggest set-piece in [this] episode. One of the biggest ones we’ve ever done maybe in terms of just the number of moving parts, the number of characters and the number of what do you want to call them stunts or gags that we wanted to incorporate, and it really paid off." The sequence went through much labour and prep from all the departments that were adjusted repeatedly due to both constraints of the time and budget.
- The first time a reference to Victoria Day was made in Murdoch Ahoy.
- Stone-faced Buster Keaton famously surviving a house-facade-falling stunt has been re-created several times on film and television since it first appeared in the silent movie Steamboat Bill, Jr in 1928.
Daniel Maslany as Detective Watts
Shanice Banton as Violet Hart
Shailene Garnett as Nomi Johnston
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
James Graham as Arthur Carmichael
Chris Farquhar as Marcus Hinkie
|Murdoch Mysteries Season 14|
|Murdoch and the Tramp • Rough and Tumble • Code M for Murdoch • Shock Value • |
Murder Checks In • The Ministry of Virtue • Murdoch Escape Room • The Dominion of New South Mimico • The .38 Murdoch Special • Everything is Broken Part One • Everything is Broken Part Two •