Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"The Annoying Red Planet​" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the thirteenth episode of the series. It first aired on April 13, 2008.


Murdoch and Crabtree investigate the strange murder of Henri Gaston, who is found lying in the upper limbs of a very tall tree. There were no footprints leading up to tree so they have no theories as to how he may have gotten there. Gaston was an avid astronomer with a particular fascination about Mars and Constable Crabtree begins to think that Martians may be responsible. Murdoch however suspects a more human perpetrator, especially when he learns that Gaston was refusing to sell his land to a developer.

However, Crabtree becomes more interested in the victim's belief that aliens from Mars were stalking him.

Character Revelations

  • Crabtree doesn't know how to ride a horse. Murdoch questions how George was hired by the Constabulary, as all constables are required to know how to ride. George replies that he had a Shetland pony as a child and thus exaggerated his equestrian prowess to secure his job.
  • Murdoch can recognize Ogden from her walk and her posterior (see ep. 203 and ep. 805).
  • Jake MacIsaac is really Colonel Thaddeus Wainwright, U.S. Cavalry
  • Kirk MacIsaac is really Commander Reginald Sharp, Royal Navy


  • William and Julia's relationship remains on slow-burn.
  • The first and not the last time, Terrence Meyers and "national security" is involved in a case.
  • Season One started with Alternating Current and Tesla, who would later report activity coming from the red planet.
  • When he couldn't procure bicycles, George presents two horses named Gertrude and Whitey. This is the first episode Murdoch and Crabtree ride together.
  • The Hangman's Calculations will be referred and used in future plot lines.

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1895 – Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria 1819 - 1901) is Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Empress of India.
  • The red planet conspiracy and speculation has a long history reaching back hundreds of years,  but the rampant speculation never reached a more fevered pitch than at the turn of the century when Nikola Tesla, famed inventor of Alternating Current and others noted strange emanations coming from the planet's surface.
  • Murdoch finds a letter from Percival Lowell, an American businessman, author and astronomer who fueled the idea that there were artificial canals on Mars.


  • Sightings of the flying object centre around "Concession 51." This is a reference to the supposed extra-terrestrial research facility in the United States known as "Area 51."
  • At the end of the episode Murdoch, Ogden, Crabtree, and Brackenreid discuss where secret government research facilities should be located. Crabtree suggests a desert area, Ogden suggests California, and Murdoch suggests New Mexico, while Brackenreid suggests Wales. Area 51 in Nevada is located in the desert and is situated very near both California and New Mexico, while the science fiction series Torchwood (2006) is set in Cardiff, Wales.
  • David Perrault, CSC, was nominated for Gemini Awards Best Photography in a Dramatic Program Series for Murdoch Mysteries (2008) for this episode.
  • This episode was filmed at Westfield Heritage Village and was written especially to use its 30 historical buildings, including the original Jerseyville train station relocated there.
  • Constable Crabtree explaining how the man got in the tree was used to audition Jonny Harris and Lachlan Murdoch for the role of George Crabtree. Jonny won the part but the producers like Lachlan so much they created Constable Higgins.


  • During the examination of the dead cow, Constable Crabtree's large maple leaf badge is correctly placed on his hat. Seconds later, he bends to talk to Doctor Ogden, and the badge is crooked. As he straightens following the dialogue, the badge is correctly oriented.
  • Higgins announced a suspicious death in Rouge Valley, and the Rouge Valley Lands Ltd. is part of the plot. However, the Jerseyville train station and the historic Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway train are later seen. The Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway did not provide direct service to Toronto. The real Jerseyville is nowhere near Rouge Valley.



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

Reccurring Cast

Peter Keleghan as Terrence Meyers
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins

Guest Cast

Thomas Mitchell as Jake MacIsaac
Grahame Wood as Kirk MacIsaac
Julia Lefebvre as Adrienne Gaston
Robert Racki as Henri Gaston
Ian Downie as Farmer
Joan Heney as Farmer's Wife
Genadijs Dolganovs as Professor Skrzhinsky

Non-Credited Cast

Allan Royal as Chief Constable Stockton



Murdoch Mysteries Season 1
"Power" • "The Glass Ceiling" • "The Knockdown" • "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" • "'Til Death Do Us Part" • "Let Loose the Dogs" • "Body Double" • "Still Waters" • "Belly Speaker" • "Child's Play" • "Bad Medicine" • "The Prince and the Rebel" • "The Annoying Red Planet"
Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10