"Pipe Dreamzzz"
Season 9
Episode 8
Air date November 30, 2015
Written by Michelle Ricci
Directed by Don McBrearty
Previous Summer of '75
Next Raised On Robbery

"Pipe Dreamzzz" is the eighth episode of ninth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundredth twenty-second episode of the series. It first aired on November 30, 2015.


Detective Murdoch and Dr. Ogden investigate the death of university student Byron Sutton who died while smoking opium at the home of his oriental studies professor, Aldous Lawrence, but the cause of death is not immediately obvious. Murdoch probes fellow members of the Earth and Dragon Society, a group of students interested in Chinese philosophy, led by the eccentric professor. The dead boy's father, Dr. Louis Sutton, accuses the professor of the murder and wants him arrested without delay.

In the morgue with Dr. Ogden and Miss James, Constable Crabtree presents the victim's movements 24 hrs prior to his death along with possible evidence: Starting the evening prior, Mr. Sutton eat dinner at home with his father, roast beef. He had coughing fits through the night which woke his father. In the morning, he declined breakfast, having only tea. He then attended classes and had lunch with Professor Lawrence in the faculty lounge. He continued on to Prof. Lawrence's home and dined with other students, where they continued to smoke opium.

If he was poisoned, without any injection marks on his body, he had to have ingested the poison, concludes Dr. Ogden. Having already tested the opium, which contained no impurities, Rebecca suggests the pipe may contain the lethal poison.

Then, the question is who wanted Byron Sutton dead and Professor Lawrence blamed for his death?

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Character Revelations

  • Cut dialogue for time, the gift of the gab . . .
  • Rebecca James once took laudanum (tincture of opium, the equivalent of 1% morphine) for pain when she broke her leg.
  • From reading a book of Chinese Astrology, Crabtree discovers that Murdoch is a Water Pig (1863).


  • Allusions to two previous episodes The Green Muse (in the name of science experiment, Green Fairy or "la fée verte") and The Curse of Beaton Manor (The poison of the puffer fish can paralyze the diaphragm and slow the heart rate to almost zero).
  • William and Julia try another experiment together, this time with the brown fairy.

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1903 – the Edwardian Era (1901-1910) a the time in which King Edward VII rules the British Empire.
  • Opium was legal in Canada until the Opium Act of 1908. Opium was called "La fée brune" in French (The Brown Fairy).  It was hugely popular in Paris at the turn of the 19th century.
  • The poorest/cheapest dens used the "dross" or the residue scraped off the bowl of the pipe, then restocked.


  • Writer Michelle Ricci learned so much from researching this episode. What she thought she already knew about opium was mostly wrong - all movie misinformation.
  • This is the last new episode before CBC's holiday programming schedule starts in December, but A Merry Murdoch Christmas, the two-hour holiday special, will air on December 21st (Canada and UK on Alibi ).
  • The drawing on the blackboard of the smoking pipe was seen on the blackboard on fan day earlier in the year. This is due to the episode being filmed at the time the fan day was held.


Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Mouna Traoré as Rebecca James

Guest Cast

Scott McCord as Professor Aldous Lawrence
Haley McGee as Susan Trent
Kjarten Hewitt as Matthew Trent
Pauline Wong as Ling Lawrence
Wayne Burns as Gregory Cummings
David Jansen as Dr. Lewis Sutton
Jane Luk as Chinese Apothecary
Peter Sowagi as Byron Sutton


Murdoch Mysteries Season 9
"Nolo Contendere" • "Marked Twain" • "Double Life" • "Barenaked Ladies" • "24 Hours Til Doomsday" • "The Local Option" • "Summer of '75" • "Pipe Dreamzzz" • "Raised On Robbery" • "The Big Chill" • "A Case of The Yips" • "Unlucky In Love" • "Colour Blinded" • "Wild Child" • "House of Industry" • "Bloody Hell" • "From Buffalo With Love" • "Cometh the Archer"
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10
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