Never say Murdoch Mysteries does not take chances. In its 17th season, the popular CBC series presents, as far as I can remember, a first for a Canadian TV drama — an all musical episode.

Writer Paul Aitken had had the idea for years. Helene Joy (Dr. Julia Ogden) always wanted to do it. Yannick Bisson (Det. Wm Murdock) was skeptical. Finally, a plot twist was concocted that allowed for a crime to be solved in song and dance style. It airs Monday on CBC and April 6 in the US on Ovation.

All of the regulars take part, including my guest this week on the podcast — Daniel Maslany. He has worn out a lot of shoe leather into his eighth season as Det. Lewellyn Watts on the series and was very excited to put his early song and dance stage training to use on Monday’s episode.

“Why is Everybody Singing?” finds our hero, Det. William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), shot in the head while investigating a crime. In a coma, he watches, helplessly, while the rest of the cast go all stage hands around him. A particularly fun sequence for me was watching Thomas Craig, who plays inspector Brackenreid, belt out a song concocted around one of his pet phrases: “Bloody Hell!”

In the middle of the mix is Maslany. After eight seasons, he’s the new guy no more on Murdoch. The Regina native tells me it was a blast ducking into a few of the 14 songs written and composed especially for this episode by Aiken. 

Maslany says that, once hired, his clue to his character was delivered in two words: “Think Columbo.” Listen to the rest of our conversation to learn more about Maslany, his favourite Murdoch guest star (who returns for this special episode) and why being an actor is sometimes, yes, really, really fun!


If you miss the episode Monday night on CBC, check it out later in the week on CBCGem.

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