Murdoch Mysteries

Creator: Books by Maureen Jennings, TV Series produced for the CBC staring Yannik Bisson

Tags: Adult, Teen, TV

Media Type: Television Series, Hour long episodes

Audience: 13+

Summary:

A regular season murder mystery set in late Victorian Toronto, Murdoch is CSI with period costume. Not one to take the easy answer, Detective William Murdoch uses the latest in forensic science (ie finger marks, rudimentary ballistics and blood spatter analysis) to solve the most difficult crimes in the city. To aid him are his fellow members of the Toronto Constabulary (including the hot tempered York-man Inspector Thomas Brackenreid and the clever, though unusual Constable George Crabtree) and the medical examiner Dr Julia Ogden. Murdoch blends realistic period forensics with steampunk flair through his inventions – some of which are accidental. Murdoch theorizes the future of television, the microwave, digital pictures, and creates basic models of many of his inventions. For added fun, historic guest stars like Nicola Tesla, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.G. Wells often make an appearance.

Bottom Line:

A witty weekly mystery with lovable characters, fantastic costuming that’s historically accurate, and just enough drama to keep you coming back week after week without wearing you out. Overall, a great idea that’s well executed AND is in its 6th season so there are plenty of episodes to marathon watch.

Find It:

In Canada: Episodes online via the CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/murdochmysteries/

In the States: Seasons 1-3 on Netflix, 1-5 on DVD or via Amazon Prime.

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The Leaue of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Creator: Directed by Stephen Norrington , Staring Sean Connery

Tags: Adult, Teen, movies

Media Type: Feature Film, 110 minutes

Audience: Rated PG-13

Summary:

The Who’s Who of Victorian monsters come out to play in this big screen adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel. Mina Harker turned vampire, the Invisible Man, Dr Jekyl, and the immortal Dorian Gray come together with Allen Quartermain, Captain Nemo, and Tom Sawyer to try and stop the mysterious “Fantom” who is trying to start an international arms race. However, there is a traitor in their midst. The Fantom doesn’t want to create normal bombs and tanks, he wants to create superhuman weapons and copy Nemo’s advanced technologies. The team must race against time, and each other, to stop the Fantom from succeeding.

LXG is far from a cinematic marvel, with weak acting and lacking storyline, but it does look amazing. It’s a chance to see characters interact who never would, see true steam punk style technology and costumes, and consider how many Victorian monsters lived after “The End” (if you ignore the fact many die in their original books).

 

Bottom Line: Eye candy, nothing more.

Find It: https://www.worldcat.org/title/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen/oclc/53041880&referer=brief_results

Van Helsing

Creator: Directed by Stephen Sommers, Starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale

Tags: adult, teens, movies

Media Type: Feature Film, 131 minutes

Audience: Rated PG-13

 

Summary:

Meet Van Helsing, the Catholic Church’s bounty hunter for all things mythical and otherworldly. When the Church needs someone to deal with a vampire infestation in northern Transylvania Van Helsing and his friar assistant Carl are sent on the job. There they meet Anna Valerious and her brother – the last two in an ill fated family line. The Valerious founder made a promise to God, than none of his line would enter heaven until they had killed the worst of all vampires: Dracula. As the end of their family line, Anna desperately seeks Dracula’s fortress to save the souls of her family. With Van Helsing’s help they fight werewolves, Dracula’s brides, and try to stop his dastardly plan… as soon as they find out what it is.

The main steam elements in the movie are the weapons like Van Helsing’s mechanized, revolver style crossbow and the clothes; Anna’s costumes offer a colorful alternative to wearing a bustle. The high-Victorian pseudo-science re-imagining of Frankenstein’s Monster is also very steampunk.

 

 

Bottom Line: A little cheesy, but a lot of fun with great weapons and costumes.

Find It: https://www.worldcat.org/title/van-helsing/oclc/55859335&referer=brief_results