Detective William Murdoch and team investigate when a philanthropist is murdered before the holidays and presents he distributes to Toronto orphans go missing. Airs Monday 8:00 PM Dec 21, 2015 on CBC (Airs on UKTV’s Alibi channel Tuesday December 22nd).
Guest stars: Ed Asner as St. Nick, Brendan Coyle as Mr. Rankin, Kelly Rowan as Mrs. Millicent McGowan, Peyton Kennedy as Mary Pickford
“The thing that I like the most about having the opportunity to do a Christmas special is that it means Murdoch Mysteries has become one of those shows that is loved and admired by a strong loyal audience,” said the weekly drama’s executive producer, Peter Mitchell.
The two hour special follows Detective Murdoch and the team at Station House No. 4 who are called to investigate when a rich philanthropist is murdered, which may result in many of Toronto’s underprivileged losing Christmas after the presents he hands out every year go missing. As the investigation unfolds, Murdoch believes he has found the murderer in one Cyrus Lynch, but when he turns up dead and the presents are still missing, Murdoch and colleagues have to find out who killed him.
On a snowy night before Christmas, Murdoch and Ogden are attending a party at the McGowan mansion with Inspector Brackenreid, his wife Margaret and Constables Crabtree and Higgins. The evening’s guests, who include orphans and patients from the Hospital for Sick Children, are being treated to a production of The Little Match Girl featuring a young Mary Pickford in the title role. But for the children the real treat is when Mr. Rankin and hostess Mrs. Millicent McGowan introduce their special guest, St. Nick. Unfortunately, when the curtain lifts to reveal Alister McGowan, the philanthropist host in a Santa suit, he’s lifeless and the generously donated gifts for the needy children have been stolen.
As Murdoch investigates McGowan’s murder, he learns the local business tycoon was avowed enemies with his former partner Cyrus Lynch. The Toronto Constabulary is unable to locate their prime suspect, but has little difficulty finding the missing booty, which is being handed out on the street by a man claiming to be the real St. Nick. Despite the protestations of his helper, Mary Pickford, they arrest him.
For Brackenreid, the crime brings up sour memories of childhood Christmas disappointments, leading him to admonish Constable Jackson for putting up holiday decorations in the stationhouse. Meanwhile, Crabtree is sullen when his own plans go awry and it appears he will be alone for the holidays. But when nefarious forces intent on tarnishing the spirit and goodwill of the season suddenly appear, Murdoch realizes that in addition to solving a terrible crime, he must also save Christmas.