Acorn Media has released Murdoch Mysteries Season 10 on Blu-ray for your home viewing pleasure. Is it worth purchasing for your collection?
The Canadian TV series returns for it’s 10th season, so obviously it is doing something right. The show is based on a series of books by Maureen Jennings. The lead character is Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson). He is the resident mystery solver in Edwardian-era Toronto, with the help of many colorful characters. Murdoch uses the latest gadgets and techniques (historically speaking) to get to the bottom of the cases and find out what really happened.
The show is your typical crime show but wrapped in a bit of a different premise than your normal procedural/whodunit. It’s a very charming show that is written pretty well for a series that is now running 10 seasons strong. The characters are fun and there is a good balance with lighthearted character drama and the darkness of murder suspects. There are some nice nods to real historical events, such as the Great Toronto Fire of 1904. Plus just like last season there are some fun historical figures that feature in the episodes including horror author H.P. Lovecraft and inventor Reginald Fessenden. One of my favorite parts of Season 9 was William Shatner playing Mark Twain.
The episodes are generally self contained but of course the characters have an overarching plot that runs through the background of each week’s crime. I think it’s a bonus to have at least watched a few seasons prior to this latest release since there are references to previous stories. But it’s not so dense that a new watcher couldn’t quickly pick up the gist from just seeing Season 10 and still enjoy it. That is a testament to the quality of writing on the show.
If you are only used to American crime stories you will quickly notice that the violence is toned down in Murdoch Mysteries. While not being confused with a show for children it is more innocent in the aspect of showing every gory detail and instead focuses more on the mystery, adventure and romance that the characters are involved with. So it is probably not a show that will appeal to every viewer. It has more in common with the BBC Sherlock Holmes than CSI or Law & Order.
Also if you are going into the show expecting razor sharp historical accuracy you will not be happy as this is certainly a fictional slant lightly inspired by events and people around that time period. Hopefully if you focus on the entertainment and likable characters you will enjoy the show for what it is.
Murdoch Mysteries Season 10 has 18 episodes that are spread out over 4 Blu-ray discs (double stacked in the case) for around 860 minutes of entertainment. The package is the width of a thicker Blu-ray case (Arrow or Criterion size), which is beneficial because it is space saving for a complete season. The discs are held on two spindles, discs 1 and 2 are stacked on one side and discs 3 and 4 are stacked on the other side. I don’t personally prefer this method of stacking, but so far I have not noticed it negatively effecting the discs. Murdoch Mysteries Season 10 has a suggested retail price of $59.99.
The audio is 5.1 DTS HD MA and sounds the way you would expect a modern TV show to be on Blu-ray. The episodes are dialogue focused, so it is front heavy in the sound mix with occasional background noises and score coming through the other speakers. The sound is crisp and clear, but it is never going to be used to demo speaker set-ups. English subtitles are available in this release.
The picture quality is exactly what you would expect a new show to look like. The period setting for the episodes looks nicely photographed. Yes, it is clear that the rooms are all sets, but the costuming, lighting, and colorization of Murdoch Mysteries are all professionally done. Again, the charm of the show shines through, and the filming itself could be considered a character. The show is presented in it’s original aspect ratio 1.78:1.
Making Murdoch – 41 minutes, however this is not one large special feature but it is spread out across the discs and is attached to the corresponding episode. They are your standard behind the scenes, cast and crew interviews and some historical context for the show.
Murdoch Mysteries Season 10 Final Thoughts:
Murdoch Mysteries Season 10 was a fun show to watch. The characters are entertaining and it’s exciting to see where the story lines go next. While any show including murder and prostitution is probably not appropriate for children (hey I’m not your boss) it’s a pretty family friendly show. The award winning show continues to gather more and more viewers in America. I definitely think it’s worth checking out. It’s likable, fun and has a certain charm to it.
It might be a bit cost prohibitive for a blind buy but it is very easy to find to rent on streaming services. I think one or two episodes is a good indicator of the type of show this is. If you find yourself enchanted by the show consider picking up your copy here on Amazon or other fine retailers.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.