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Elementary, My Dear Murdoch

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"Elementary, My Dear Murdoch"
Elementary 02
Season 1
Episode 4
Air date February 10, 2008
Written by Jason Sherman
Directed by Don McBrearty
Guest Stars Maria Del Mar as Sarah Pensell
Dan Lett as Fredrick Waters
Tom Barnett as Conrad Hunt
Recurring Geraint Wyn Davies as Arthur Conan Doyle
Maria Del Mar as Sarah Pensell
Previous "The Knockdown"
Next "'Til Death Do Us Part"

"Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" is the fourth episode of the first season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the fourth episode of the series.

Summary Edit

Arthur Conan Doyle arrives in Toronto to address a group about spiritualism. His first stop is to attend a seance with William Murdoch were the medium, Sarah Pensell, announces that a recently murdered woman wants Murdoch to know that she is buried in a shallow grave. Murdoch finds the grave; he also finds out that Pensell is a fraud who uses an accomplice to investigate potential participants in her séances.

Doyle recommends that the police have Pensell conduct another seance with the goal of exposing the murderer; however, Pensell starts by apparently channeling Murdoch's deceased fiancée, Liza. This leads Murdoch to request a private séance, where Pensell tells him things that only he and Liza could have known.

The dead woman's lover, Fredrick Waters is murdered next.

Murdoch has determined that Pensell is a fraud. As he approaches the truth he convinces her to hold a private seance for his key suspect, Conrad Hunt. Pensell pretends to be passing unsettling news from the spirit world and Hunt confesses to the murder of the young woman.

Character RevelationsEdit

  • We see Murdoch's late fiancée, Elizabeth Milner, for the first time in a flashback.
  • A young Thomas Brackenreid was sent to live with my uncle in the Highlands of Scotland one summer.
  • Crabtree calls Murdoch's crime scene bag the "murder bag".


  • This episode is George Crabtree's first appearance in civilian clothing while on duty.
  • In the private séance, Liza tells William it is time to let her go.
  • Murdoch gives Dr. Ogden the Telephonic Probe– a gift of sorts, he tells her about the séance.

Historical ReferencesEdit

  • Murdoch and team meet Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • At the scene of the crime, the Murdoch's light box is used whereupon Arthur Conan Doyle called it Day Light in a Box.
  • Murdoch uses Ballistic fingerprinting to solve the case.
  • Murdoch mentions the use of a "telephonic probe" in searching for the bullet which killed US President Garfield in 1881.
  • Brackenreid's Scottish uncle told him a story about a neighbor, whose vicious dog attacked and killed a man. He suggests it to Conan Doyle, "Hellhound...of the Highlands!" for the next Sherlock Holmes story, an allusion to the Hounds of the Baskervilles.


  • This is the first time "Murdoch" has been used in an episode's title.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle appears in this episode, the season's fourth. He also appears in Season 6, episode four, with Sherlock Holmes who also appears in Season 7, episode 4.
  • On their way to the Toronto Paranormal Society at night, Det. Murdoch tells Arthur Conan Doyle that his late fiancée, Liza, died of consumption over a year ago.
  • The Day Light In A Box (the detective’s portable briefcase-style-flashlight) voted #2 of 5 Favourite Murdoch Inventions by The Arts Guide 8/20/15 Adnan M.
  • Murdoch meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in front of his hotel— Whitehern (now a museum in Hamilton, Ontario)
  • "Me Ol' Mucker" Count: 1
  • An interesting note: Geraint Wyn Davies who plays Arthur Conan Doyle in this episode, was in a Canadian TV series, Forever Knight, in one of the shows Geraint Wyn Davies character, Nick Knight met Arthur Conan Doyle who had caused to write the Hounds of the Baskervilles.

Errors Edit

  • Arthur Conan Doyle was not involved with Spiritualism until after WWI, following the deaths of his wife and his son. This episode is set more than 20 years before that time.


Main CastEdit

Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as George Crabtree

Recurring Cast Edit

Geraint Wyn Davies as Arthur Conan Doyle
Maria Del Mar as Sarah Pensell

Guest CastEdit

Dan Lett as Fredrick Waters
Tom Barnett as Conrad Hunt

Other CastEdit

Chris Ratz as Lisgar Gall
Alex Poch-Goldin as Hubert Winston
Kerry Ann Doherty as Ida Winston
Natalie Roy as Liza



Murdoch Mysteries Season 1
"Power" • "The Glass Ceiling" • "The Knockdown" • "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" • "'Til Death Do Us Part" • "Let Loose the Dogs" • "Body Double" • "Still Waters" • "Belly Speaker" • "Child's Play" • "Bad Medicine" • "The Prince and the Rebel" • "The Annoying Red Planet"
Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7

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