Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Television Critique 2016 – 01/26/2016: Murdoch Mysteries - Season V

Murdoch Mysteries: Famous Personalities, Inventions and Stepping Stones for 21st Century items - Season V

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a TV Show review.
Prologue: Go here.
Introduction of the Murdoch Mysteries series in my words, go here.
For Review on all seasons in this series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
My Recommendation: A must watch

And here is my take on Season V of this series - some of the unique stuff from the episodes. This season shows the era getting closer to the 20th century because of which we get to see the industrial revolution spring.

Episode 1: Rise of factories and meeting of famous author Jack London are the noticeable items from this episode. A chance phrase by Detective Murdoch, “Call of the Wind” becomes a title for Jack London as shown in here.

Episode 4: This episode shows the start of public telephone booths although they are called “Callboxes”. Constable Crabtree muses that “Imagine one day a telephone so small, you could carry it around.” And Constable Higgins muses “It would never work wires all over town, you'd trip the horses.” Clearly unable to imagine beyond his mind’s capacity. And indeed we have those now and we call them “Cell Phones”. :P We get to see another pipe bomb in this episode as well with the first glimpse into the beginnings of terrorist attacks.
Episode 6: Few more inventions we see in this episode. “Pendrick Bullet”, a high-speed vehicle invented by James Pendrick (a recurring character) that goes upto 62mph on batteries. Pendrick also shows plans for motorized vehicles for a family of four, a couple and single driver. They can be used for long distance travel with exchangeable batteries or charged at roadside stations. Similar to Hybrid cars that we see now. I wonder if the seed for these Hybrid vehicles was really born more than a century ago but mankind perfected it now!
Detective Murdoch also faces Henry Ford who becomes a suspect in a murder. Henry Ford argues that there is ocean of oil under Texas desert and with that much gasoline why would there be need for electric cars. Funny, US doesn’t use oil from Texas at all. ;)
James Pendrick comments during the Pendrick challenge that which one will win - A clean, silent, electric motor or a noisy, belching, gasoline engine? I wonder why the electric cars never took the stage and instead gasoline cars won in the end in reality.  My question got answered a few minutes later in the episode when Leslie Barnes (one who was trying to buy James Pendrick’s company) comments “Well, it's a good product, but Pendrick's a dreamer, wants to make the world a better place. A company like this needs a profit-minded man at the helm.” That’s what happened…profit out-wighed making the world a better place. In the end we get to see that Leslie Barnes takes over major share of James Pendrick’s company and gets the patent for the batteries. Thus letting it collect dust until the gasoline cars reign. I am glad that after a century later at least someone opened that plan and created new hybrid cars.
Another invention we see is the solar power, although Pendrick calls it as Photovoltaic Cell, a huge hexagonal cell. He envisions that in future one of that will be on every roof providing free energy to everyone. Well that vision is partially becoming true now and I do hope it fully develops.
We also see the concept of publicizing a company when James Pendrick wants to go public with his invention so he can raise money for his inventions to progress further.
Towards the end Inspector Brackenreid, Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree ponder over where to invest the gambling money earned by Inspector’s wife. We get to hear names like Ford’s company, Standard Oil, Bell Telephone, General Electric, Coca-Cola etc. Detective Murdoch calls it gambles and want to stick to bonds. Perhaps he should have changed his route and he would have been a rich man. ;) BTW, Constable Crabtree’s comment for Coca-Cola, “Oh, very refreshing” incidentally is the tagline for Coca-Cola. :)

Episode 7 & 8: Aah we see the arguments of contraception / family planning being taught is a crime. Dr. Julia Ogden educates the women about diaphragm and protection when she gets arrested in this episode. The women rally about giving choice to women about birth control. Certainly a tough fight back which we are still fighting now but we all have come a long way though.

Episode 9: Automation is the future – this is the theme of this episode which begins with an exhibition that shows everything like an automatic ironing board, coffee distillation machine (an equipment as large as a 3 ft vase that makes five cups of coffee), paint dispenser (or what we call as paint rollers now), a table top waiter, a vibrating chair (similar to current massage chairs),  vacuum cleaner (which it is called as a Suction Cleaner, and considerably huge), instant mail machine (a device to send mail from one place to another via telephonic lines instantly, perhaps similar to a fax or internet. The episode calls it as “Modern Communication Mechanism”), a dog whistle, a model based on Babbage’s Analytical Machine (beginnings of a computer) and wireless switch to turn on or off a light from the comfort of your chair. They call Instant Mail as IMail, and perhaps that’s where we get the word IM that we use now so commonly for instant messaging on phones or computers.
Very interesting to see them as beginning inventions when we use much more advanced models now. Obviously Constable Crabtree takes the opportunity to show Detective Murdoch’s inventions which he calls them as “re-workings of existing technology”.
Murdoch meets the famous Alexander Graham Bell in this episode.  Bell’s Audiograph for tracks the minute sounds that are normally not heard and captures them on a paper in the form of waves. Murdoch had devised a similar one that he called Graphizer but that was a smaller version according to him.
Towards the end Constable Crabtree muses that imagine there would be an invention where you can switch of the lights by just clapping. :)

Episode 11: A talking doll that is wound up from behind to hear what was recorded - an interesting invention that baffles Murdoch in this case. Looking at the doll Inspector Brackenreid comments, "I know it's supposed to be adorable, but to me, it just looks bloody creepy". That’s exactly how I feel whenever I come across any kind of doll. **Sigh** Inspector and the Detective get sprayed by automatic sprinklers which Murdoch calls a new invention but the Inspector rules them out saying "I don't this that'll catch on". Only if he knew! :) Alexander Graham Bell and his device Audiograph again comes to Detective's aid.

Episode 12: Professional Hockey between two Canadian teams is the center of this episode. One of the actor's comment was "Oh, it's our game. The Yanks will never embrace it." to a comment made by another that they may lose their best players to Americans. However, America seems to have embraced that game after a century from then.

Episode 13: As the series ventures into the next century so does the plots change. This episode comes with time-traveling and superhero syndrome. An insight into Professor Harms time-machine is shown and he eludes to his student Albert Einstein during a conversation. Detective Murdoch himself uses the time machine on the last day of the 19th century and goes to future in 1912 where he sees his own self in future showing his son how a lantern light works. Wish we had one now so I could use it for a much better use although I do understand that one strand of time if changed would potentially change future in quite a bit, some times for worse. Lucky for Murdoch, the time-machine turns out to be a hoax.
Henry, one of the constable comments that if Detective Murdoch when in future saw any machine that compares fingermarks (aka fingerprints as we know now). But Constable Crabtree scoffs it off saying "Henry, no machine will ever take the place of the keen eye of the policeman.". Well, he was wrong wasn’t he? :)
Introduction to Cryonics - being frozen alive to be woken at a certain time when the person wanted to be woken - is see too.
Tags: critique by amateur, murdoch mysteries, mystery, reviews, tv shows

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