During a performance of "Macbeth" in a venerable Toronto theater, a desiccated body breaks through the floor and lands with a chandelier just missing Lady Macbeth.


(as Shawn Alex Thompson)


(characters from novels), | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Julia Ogden (as Hélène Joy)
Stella Smart
Paul Miller ...
Arthur Wellesley
Ellen Granger
David Martin
Marty Moreau ...
Constable Morrison (as Martin Moreau)
Anthony Dunn ...
Dentist Murphey
Robin Archer ...


Detective Murdoch faces an unusual case when the desiccated body of a man falls through the ceiling of the Grand Theater and onto the stage during a performance of Macbeth. Using dental records, the body is identified as that of Virgil Smart, the former owner of the theater who had died a year ago. Problem is, Smart is supposed to be buried and when they re-open his grave, they find the body of an unknown man. Murdoch suggests that Dr. Ogden attempt a facial reconstruction to identify the body. When Murdoch and Crabtree find a hidden room off Smart's office, a love nest, they believe they've found the site of his murder. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 March 2008 (Canada)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When refers to singing pirates, he is obviously referring to the then popular "Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan, which premiered in New York in 1879. See more »


At one point a character places a copy of the play "Macbeth" on top of three other books lying flat on a shelf. Two of the books' titles are clearly visible, both by H. G. Wells. This show is set in the late 1890s, but the two books were actually written in the following century: The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (1904) and The War in the Air (1908). See more »


Dr. Julia Ogden: It's so hard to find a good skeleton these days. Now I have two.
See more »


Features Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) See more »

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User Reviews

A real Shakespearian tragedy is played out
14 December 2016 | by (Wales) – See all my reviews

Inspector Brackenreid has gone to a performance of the Scottish Play. It is raining heavily, and the theatre roof isn't keeping the water out. Eventually, the flow of water causes the ceiling to give way, and part comes down, bringing with it human remains. Dr Ogden says the corpse looks like it has been there years. Murdoch and Brackenreid clamber around in the roof space and find a place where the floorboards have been removed and then replaced. Opening them up again reveals a jacket that had presumably covered the remains.

They go to interview the cast. Stella Smart is the theatre owner since her husband Virgil died. Arthur Wellesley, who has been there four years, co-manages with Stella, who has performed there for 22 years. They are married, though Stella kept her first husband's surname, for theatrical reasons. Ellen Granger and David Martin both joined the company when they played the leads in Romeo and Juliet, six years before. Ellen and David recall a vagrant sleeping up there sometimes.

An examination of the jacket back at Police Station 4 reveals a hole that could be the trace of a stab wound, plus a newspaper clipping dating from 1892, three years earlier, at about the time that Virgil Smart died. Dr Ogden confirms that there was evidence of a fatal stab wound, as well as a pair of dentures. A visit to the local dentist confirms the former owner was Virgil Smart.

Returning to Stella and Arthur, they at first can't find significance in the date 1892, until Murdoch reminds them it was when Virgil died. Murdoch also tells them about the newspaper clipping, and its story about price rises on property in Downtown Toronto because of a building boom. That reminds them that some shady characters were around in those days, always looking out for Virgil. This leads to Stella wondering about who is lying in Virgil's grave, if his body has been in the theatre these past three years.

Once the body has been exhumed, Dr Ogden says it had been a man in his forties, with no obvious way to identify him, though his skeleton was remarkably similar to that of Virgil Smart.

Each of the cast is then interviewed individually at Police Station 4. They all give identical accounts of the day Virgil died. He had locked himself in his office to count the day's takings, but didn't come out. A nearby Constable called Morrison was enlisted to break down the door, and there was Virgil, slumped on his desk. Ellen ran to find Dr Watkins, who found he had died from heart failure. Constable Morrison is called to the theatre, and confirms the story of the actors, adding that having found the man dead inside a locked room with nowhere in the room to hide meant that he concluded nobody else was involved. The doctor has died in the meantime, though he had a reputation for misdiagnosis, so Dr Ogden checks the second skeleton, finding evidence that he had been strangled, rather than dying from heart failure, as Dr Watkins said.

A new examination of Virgil Smart's office reveals a secret boudoir behind a bookcase. There are signs of a struggle there, from which Murdoch concludes that this is the true murder scene. attention now turns to finding out who the second skeleton was. Dr Ogden works on a new technique of facial reconstruction by overlaying clay on the skull. Murdoch, meanwhile, finds surreptitious ways of collecting the cast's finger marks to compare with some found in the secret room. When Dr Ogden completes her work, the cast members recognise the reconstruction as Eddie George, one of their company who frequently played minor parts until Virgil sacked him.

Murdoch is convinced that one or more, perhaps all, of the principal players is/are involved in the crime, but how can he unravel the plot? What was or were the motive(s)?

Even though there are relatively few contenders for the guilty in this murder mystery, nevertheless it is well crafted, and remains unclear until the very end, with perhaps the most significant fact being that Murdoch finds a path through all the snippets of information that come his way, without having to test all of them to find the truth.

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