Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Murdoch Mysteries" repackaged as "The Artful Detective" on Ovation

The Artful Detective/Murdoch Mysteries
Based on the Detective Murdoch novels by Maureen Jennings
(Saturdays on Ovation)

     While flipping channels last night, I stumbled upon a Canadian TV series titled The Artful Detective on Ovation. It's set in turn-of-the-century Toronto and features some of the inventiveness of other series (the short-lived QED and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. for two) in that it foreshadows future inventions and real historical persons.
     I was intrigued that I'd never heard of the show (my cable TV remote said it was from 2008), so I looked it up first on IMDB, then Wikipedia, and found nothing. Ovation's home page revealed no further information either, so I did a Google search.
     I discovered it was originally titled Murdoch Mysteries, and that it was based on (or maybe inspired by) a series of seven novels by Maureen Jennings. Before the series, three TV films based on three of Jennings' novels were broadcast (with a different cast and perhaps less use of historical persons and playful inventions), and those are available on DVD.
     The series is still being produced in Canada (season 7 is scheduled to begin, in Canada anyway, on Sept. 30).
     I don't know why the title was changed (maybe -- since new episodes are still being filmed -- to avoid confusion, as they used to do when syndicated reruns of Bonanza were re-titled Ponderosa), but to spare anyone else from the same puzzlement I experienced, I thought I'd mention it.

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