"The Tesla Effect" is the thirteenth episode of the third season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the thirty-ninth episode of the series. It first aired on May 11, 2010 (UK).


Detective Murdoch investigates the death by electrocution of Morris Garbutt, a former research associate of the famous Nikola Tesla. Tesla has been experimenting with a new form of energy that is transmitted through the air, called microwaves. After a few thoughts on who could have built the weapon, everything points to James Pendrick, but he is in jail. Soon the news on the weapon reaches Terrance Meyers, an employee of the Canadian government. The inspector bets the weapon is in a Pendrick building. Murdoch goes to Sally Pendrick for a list of buildings that the Pendrick family own, even though she is trying to deal with business matters, she kindly agrees to help. Murdoch soon realizes he has been a fool, about many things, and sets his sights on the perpetrator of this and several other crimes. Dr. Ogden tells Murdoch she is seriously considering an offer to be the head of pediatric surgery at a new children's hospital in Buffalo. Murdoch is somewhat taken aback and is convinced there is something else that is driving her away.

Character Revelations

  • Inspector Brackenreid reveals his middle name, "If you're not Queen bloody Victoria, then you'll not be ordering Thomas Charles Brackenreid around."
  • Sally Pendrick is revealed to be a confidence woman and the mind behind all the crimes Murdoch thought James Pendrick had committed.
  • In this episode Murdoch and Mr. Pendrick make amends, James Pendrick is not seen again until Season 5.
  • Julia tells William that she is accepting a new position as head of Pediatric Surgery at a Children's hospital in Buffalo, New York.
  • When confronted by William, Julia reveals to William that her abortion left her sterile.
  • William buys a ring and plans to propose to Julia before she leaves.


  • In the opening scene, William and Julia have just attended the play The Importance of Being Earnest at Shaftesbury Theatre where they had been walking by in Love and Human Remains when discussing the importance of family.
  • William and Julia are at another crossroad in their relationship and still can't seem to find the time to talk without being interrupted, as they are needed at a crime scene.
  • George comes up with the another idea – micro-waved potatoes or yams, "one in every home in the future". (see ep.1201)

Historical References


  • There was an alternate ending filmed, in which William bikes to the train station, and Julia is at the station, looking around for William. She is seen to board the train, and William arrives at the station, and looks around desperately for Julia. He then finds her, still at the station, and they share a passionate kiss, and then hug. It is likely that if Murdoch Mysteries had not been renewed, this ending would have been aired instead. The alternate ending is available as a bonus feature on the Season Three DVD.
  • The second time a character other than Murdoch has had their name in an episode's title. This time it is also a historical character's name.
  • In Fall of 2015, the Detective Hercule Poirot star David Suchet plays the formidable Lady Bracknell in the much loved masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest in London, England.
  • "The Canadian Government would never get rid of a super-weapon and destroy all of the blueprints" --- reference to the Avro Arrow.
  • Crabtree's "potato cooking room" line was ad-libbed by Jonny Harris.


  • The flag in the office is on the staff upside down.
  • The cartridges from a revolver are magnetically attracted to Sally Pendricks' purse. Since both casing and bullets are made of non-magnetic metal, this should not happen.
  • The train Julia Ogden departs on has a caboose, which would not have been used on a passenger train; furthermore, none of the other coaches would have been used in the 1890s.
  • The ring that Murdoch was going to proposed to Julia is purple in this episode but it is red in Murdoch in Wonderland
  • Julia's revelation that she is sterile seems contradictory to her request that William use "protection" during their absinthe-fueled passion in Season 2's Episode 5, The Green Muse. While it may be plausible that she is referring to protection against venereal diseases, it is highly unlikely given that she is asking pious William Murdoch.


Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Peter Stebbings as James Pendrick
Kate Greenhouse as Sally Pendrick
Dmitry Chepovetsky as Nikola Tesla
Peter Keleghan as Terrence Meyers

Guest Cast

Christopher Stanton as Morris Garbutt


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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