"The Great Wall" is the second episode of the third season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the twenty-eighth episode of the series. It first aired on February 23, 2010 (UK).


Just when Station House No. 5 and Station House No. 4 are looking forward to the police contest finals, which Brackenreid thinks they'll lose, Crabtree comes in with an unusual call.

Det. Murdoch is called in to investigate the murder of Constable Cooper, attached to Station 5 which includes Toronto's Chinatown district. He appears to have been beaten and bled to death, owing to his femoral artery having been cut. His fellow officers, Constables Holder and Townsend, are racists and bigots, and they quickly attach themselves to Murdoch's investigation.

Crabtree brings news that Constable Cooper had fought with one Edward Chan, a coolie who makes a profit by transporting people from China to Canada. Mr. Chan is less than impressed by Murdoch's questions, but quickly directs him to Feng Choy's shop, as they had recently argued as well, about someone named Mai-Li. Unbeknownst to him, he's being followed by Townsend and Holder.

Murdoch enters the store and first meets Ling, Feng Choy's niece and fellow shopkeeper. When she goes to the back to get her uncle, the two constables enter as well, making their presence known. As Murdoch tries to question Feng Choy peacefully, the two constables threaten Feng Choy, who quickly offers them a great deal of money for them to go away. Murdoch refuses the money and buys some ginseng, then leaves.

Suddenly, while Murdoch's at the station, he hears word that the murderer's been apprehended. He arrives in Chinatown to find Feng Choy being beaten and arrested by two constables, and Townsend quickly reveals that Cooper's watch had been found in the shop. Murdoch takes Feng Choy away, asserting his authority as head of the investigation, and into police custody.

Inside Station Four, Feng Choy refuses to talk about Mai-Li. Ling tries to make excuses, explaining that as her grandfather, he feels it's his duty to protect her. However, Murdoch still wants to know from what...

When Murdoch and Brackenreid go to the bar to pay their respects to Constable Cooper, they're met with hostility. However, when Inspector Davis tries to confront them, Murdoch simply states that they're there for Cooper, not to make a scene.

Edward Chan also shows up at the station and starts barraging Murdoch about questions involving money. Murdoch denies that the constabulary was extorting money from the Chinatown residents, but Mr. Chan tells him that Cooper had hit him because he refused to pay. Feng Choy had refused to pay too, but because of Mai-Li.

As Murdoch begins to focus on the possibility that a fellow policeman is responsible, he faces the wrath of the men from Station 5 and that of Davis, who want nothing more than for him to just go away.

Character Revelations

  • Station House No. 5's policemen apparently would take money from the Chinese as "protection." Edward Chan told Murdoch that one of the officers hit him when he tried not to pay, and would trash the Chinese's possessions if they also refused.


Historical References

  • One of the first settlers in Toronto’s Chinatown was a hand laundry business on Adelaide Street. This was during 1878. Sam Ching was the only Chinese man documented in the registry for the city. Over the next two decades, Chinatown took form; even though the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 was still in place. They populated Bay and Elizabeth Streets. Hundreds of Chinese men flooded in through Western Canada after building the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the time 1910 rolled around, Toronto’s Chinese population grew to over a thousand. Hundreds of businesses owned and operated by the Chinese developed along these streets.


  • Russell Yuen, who played Edward Chan, would return in the episode Kung Fu Crabtree as a different character, Sun Yang.
  • Murdoch corrects Holder stating that the inhabitants of Chinatown speak Cantonese, and a few Cantonese dialogues are spoken by Ling and Feng Choy. However, the predominant language among early Chinese settlers of late 19th Century was Toisanese.


  • At the Chinese herbal shop, Murdoch uses a 5¢ piece the size of a modern day nickel. But that style of coinage wasn't adopted until 1921. Before that, 5¢ pieces were smaller than the modern day dime.
  • Detective Murdoch corrects Constable Holder stating that the inhabitants of Chinatown speak Cantonese, and a few Cantonese dialogues are spoken by Ling and Feng Choy. However, the predominant language among early Chinese settlers of late 19th Century was Toisanese.


Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Allan Royal as Chief Constable Stockton
Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Richard Clarkin as Inspector Davis

Guest Cast

Gabriel Hogan as Constable Randall Townsend
Jo Chim as Ling
Simon Sinn as Feng Choy
Lee Rumohr as Constable Pete Holder
Martin Happer as Constable Curtis Cooper
Russell Yuen as Edward Chan
Andrea So as Mai-Li
Brian Bisson as Referee


Murdoch Mysteries Season 3
"The Murdoch Identity" • "The Great Wall" • "Victor, Victorian" • "Rich Boy, Poor Boy" • "Me, Myself and Murdoch" • "This One Goes to Eleven" • "Blood and Circuses" • "Future Imperfect" • "Love and Human Remains" • "The Curse of Beaton Manor" • "Hangman" • "In the Altogether" • "The Tesla Effect"
Season 1Season 2Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10
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