Thursday, September 15, 2011

Murdoch Mysteries – Bloodlust – review

Director: Gail Harvey

First aired: 2011

Contains spoilers

In my quest for all things vampire I was informed, a little while ago, that a series called the Murdoch Mysteries was to air a vampire episode.

Now, to be fair, I had never seen the show and so didn’t know what to expect. I tuned in to UK channel alibi and, a little while down the line, we have the review. But it is caveated with the fact that this is the only episode of this series I have watched, I was unclear about regular character dynamics or even the setting – the accents befuddled me until, part way through, I realised it was set in Canada. I was also befuddled by the approximation of forensic techniques, given this was clearly set in the Victorian era, but I have been led to understand that this is a trade mark of the show.

run for her life
The show starts with a girl, Amy, running through the woods, she is covered with scratches and it seems as though she is being pursued. When she gets to a pond she stops and collapses face into the water. We see a man (Kyle Mac, Valemont) reflected behind her, though his features are indistinct. In the morning the girl is found and the police are called. She was a student at the Tepes school for girls (and we’ll get to that in a bit). Amy has a boot print on her back, indicating she was drowned.

puncture wounds
Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) questions some of the girls but they reveal very little. He also finds Amy’s diary, which reveals that Amy had an admirer. Dr Julia Ogden (Helene Joy) has done an autopsy on the girl and her blood – what’s left of it as she was about three pints short – contained alcohol and opiates and she has two punctures on her neck.

Brittany Brostow as Laura
The uniformed copper called George (Jonny Harris) suggests that it is a vampire; a vile creature, a corpse which rises from the grave and drinks the blood of the living. This is in the new novel by Bram Stoker, ie Dracula. He claims that the vampire has a peculiar power over women. Murdoch is approached by pupil Arlene (Holly Deveaux), who suggests that Laura (Brittany Bristow) was also seeing the man. She and another girl have punctures on their throats and speak of meeting the vampire in the Tepes family mausoleum.

the 'vampire'
Of course, it isn’t a vampire but someone pretending. However that doesn’t stop the press running with a vampire story and nor does it stop George concocting a theory concerning the Tepes family, tying his theory into Vlad Ţepeş. Now, we know that we cannot get away from the idea that Stoker based Dracula on Ţepeş, despite the evidence that it isn’t the case. What irked me with this was, of course, that two and two of that theory had not been calculated to equal five until chronologically much later than the date of this story, indeed when the series was set there was little to no chance that such a conclusion would be drawn.

Yannick Bisson as Murdoch
That aside, it was ok as a murder mystery, with some nice twists and turns but I’m not sure about the series itself, it just wasn't my cup of tea. However, as always, these are marked as standalone vampire episodes and it was possible to watch with no prior series knowledge. No Sherlock Holmes but 5.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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