Captivating! Titillating! Thrilling! Heart Warming! Relevant! Just a few words to describe myself. Oops, no, no, I mean “Murdoch Mysteries”. This past Monday the series celebrated it’s 100th episode in style with a special gala at CBC headquarters in Toronto. Being an independent blogger I was not privy to a backstage pass but being Bruce in the City I knew I had to get as close and personal as I could to give you, my readers, a fabulous play by play of the evenings events!
I contacted some of my relevant followers on Twitter to see if I would be able to get at least one selfie with a star from the hit TV show and with no promises they wished me the best of luck and told me there was no plan for any photo opportunities. I was thrilled they took the time to get back to me. I knew somehow I just had to get one good shot. I owe it to my readers and let’s face it, clearly I’m a fan so it’s on my Murdoch bucket list.
The set at CBC was fabulous. A wall of flat screen TV’s and lights fixed overhead like that of a rock concert waiting to be unleashed. I took my partner as we were celebrating our 9th anniversary and his mum of 84. They too love the show, and with Mum facing the onset of dementia and knowing what the show means to her, makes it that much more significant.
As the private party hailed on inside we stood patiently in the cold with a sea of excited fans. All hoping for the same possibilities of autographs and selfies. I’m certain I was not the only blogger in the crowd maybe just the most endearing. I’m kidding.
The security and staff at the CBC were very kind as they asked my partner and Mum to wait in out of the cold. They noticed she was in a wheelchair and up in age and took it upon themselves to make sure she was comfortable. Thank you for that. At 84 years old, a cold evening can spell nightmare.
They had a special place for those in special need such as wheel chairs etc. and I thought that was amazing. That can’t be said when we went to Massey Hall and Mum was seated behind a pole for a Kristin Chenoweth concert. Not a great experience. The CBC had it all worked out and I was relaxed and impressed on behalf of the special needs guests and fans in the audience.
Kudos aside for the organizers, one needs to ask why has Murdoch Mysteries become such a beloved TV series? I think the answer is a mosaic of reasons. First you must have an impressive, gripping story author Maureen Jennings. Then you need a fabulous executive producer with a clear strategy for funding and finance, the one who takes care of the financial headaches, Christina Jennings. A talent like Peter Mitchell, another executive producer. Let’s not forget the music of Robert Carli! Just the theme song itself has prompted a special Murdoch dance sequence from John and I every Monday night. You should see it, its very cute. Two gay boys strutting to the down beat of dom dom dom dom, dom dom dom dom!” Fabulous!
Anyway! As we sat waiting with Antici….pation! The room filled with at least a thousand on lookers. People of all ages, waiting for their glimpse of their favourite Murdoch stars Yannick, Helene, Georgina, Jonny, Thomas, Arwen! Oh bother, we all had to sit through a very well placed teaser video that got the crowd even more excited. John and I got interviewed for that quick fan doc back in the summer but we must have landed on the cutting room floor. Just as well I was at least 20 pounds over weight this past summer and my hair looked like crap that day, on a tour of the Murdoch Mysteries set in Scarborough. Which of course I wrote about on a past blog. Then suddenly like a nightingale of old, Yannick Bisson (William Murdoch) burst onto the stage beaming and a little flushed with an impromptu welcome to all the fans and introduced the marvellous 100th episode. Man that smile! Isn’t it something special?
It was wonderful to have an opportunity to share that moment with a room full of dedicated fans. I have never had the experience before and it was wonderful. The episode itself was outstandingly directed and produced. From the visuals to the score, the 100th episode delivered. Someone call the Canadian Screen Awards and tell them we’ve got a super hit on our hands! Let’s get these folks some statues, shall we! (or at least some bloody nominations!) Oh dear don’t get me started!
As far as the acting goes, they all truly delivered. Often when faced with the pressure of a milestone episode such as this, the acting can seem somewhat forced or over killed but the balance of humour, drama, and sincerity was brilliant. One stand out for me was definitely Arwen Humphreys (Margaret Brackenreid) who often goes amiss in many episodes as her character floats in and out of story lines managed to deliver some of the nights best lines, “Don’t try to be smart Thomas, it doesn’t suit you.” Her excited tension set the perfect pace for such a grand event! Everyone needs a pal like that to get the job done! I was thrilled to have an opportunity to meet her after the spectacle of the evening. She looked stunning! Not on stage during the Q & A, which I didn’t appreciate. Just saying!
I always really enjoy the subtle role reversal between Yannick Bisson (William) and Helene Joy (Julia). Romantically Julia seems to hold the reigns. It’s wonderfully modern and fresh. Brilliantly written!
One thing is for sure, to me a live audience seemed a very natural compliment to the show. Were we a test case to see if Murdoch Mysteries and it’s actors could translate to the big screen? If so can someone say home run? It felt like I was watching a major motion picture event. It was a proud moment for Canadian television and for Toronto.
Who can overlook Jonny Harris (Detective Crabtree). He delivers every episode time and time again. He was the perfect best man! Aw the ring, the ring!!
Thomas Craig (Brackenreid) “Don’t let her take charge; it leads to nowhere good!” His conversation with Murdoch regarding the wedding night, really enjoyed the Q & A. He was often seen looking out into the audience to try and get a good look at the faces in the crowd. With a well controlled excitement he took in the evening. I’m a great reader of peoples behaviours. I could analyze them all but maybe I’ll save that for another blog. I wanted so much for a selfie with him but he quickly left with an attractive lady on arm…
Georgina Reilly (Dr. Emily Grace) was sheik in her leopard print ensemble at the Q & A. I had the perfect seat for some great impromptu photo’s!
When it comes to Yannick Bisson (William Murdoch) what can be said? He steals the heart of everyone! He has that wow factor. You just can’t help but watch him. He is continually brilliant in his role as Murdoch and his involvement in many charities speaks to his humanity. I was thrilled of course when he broke the “No photo rule” to let me snap a quick selfie of us. Now I can stop kicking myself for not asking for his autograph at Good Bites restaurant in Toronto, that special day I stole a moment to compliment his show. As always he was gracious and as cute as hell! Thanks Mr. Bisson!
Now let’s talk about the “Joy” that is Murdoch. Helene Joy, is an actor with exceptional range. She has received a Gemini award for her work in Durham County. At 41 her career is taking off in a way fitting for a woman of such grace and talent. Helene wore a stunning black mini flair dress at the Q & A. She just could not be missed. And those legs!!!
The evening was in my opinion brilliantly handled. I wish I could have gotten a V.I.P ticket. I was in line to ask a question and they closed the question line just before I had my chance. It was a great question too! I wanted to know what designers the girls were wearing. Isn’t that what everyone really wants to know?
As I left fairly satisfied with my photo op with Yannick, as well as Arwen, I just couldn’t imagine how the night for us could have gotten better. When, like out of a dream, the stunning Helene Joy walked out a door to her waiting town car. I was beside myself and asked as doe eyed as I could if I could snap a quick shot of her. I think I got star struck because time just suddenly stood still. Helene did even better then I asked by letting me photograph her with Robert Carli. My partner being a professional organist was doubly thrilled with that.
Just before Helene disappeared into the night she offered one more shot of us together. What a class act! Talk about your Fairy Princess! She chatted for a moment to my partner and his Mum. She (Mum) was star struck too and was beside herself.
Thanks to everyone for being so generous and kind! We got lucky and I just had to write about it!! Now on to the Honeymoon!
Bruce in the City!
This blog is dedicated to our friend Sean H. great seeing you!
Editor: Mary Ellen Smith