“I shall call you, Audrey.”
Those words were the second last to be uttered by Spinner, an artist laying the finishing touches on a sculpture he’d created, before he put a Mozart track on repeat, then sat down to play chess online with a beer and a pet rat to cuddle.
His last were - “Your move, Tulip.”
That’s right, in episode two of ‘90s crime show Murder Call, Spinner was the victim. Even though the whole set up was creepy enough to have you thinking he was a killer.
And creepy is pretty much the vibe throughout this show.
Set in sunny Sydney – but on dark and stormy nights – Murder Call is about a homicide squad headed up by detectives Tessa Vance (Lucy Bell) and Steve Hayden (Peter Mochrie). She works on hunches; he works on more tangible, practical men stuff. Together, they’re an unstoppable killer-catching force to be reckoned with.
Other members of the team include pathologist Dr Imogen Soames, forensics officer Sergeant Lance Fisk and crime scene photographer Constable Dee Suzeraine. Who are all a tad eccentric, and not only provide necessary clues with their lacerations to tracheas and lifted fingerprints, but just the right amount of comic relief.
And finally, their boss - Detective Inspector Malcolm Thorne.
You know what Thorne hates? Hunches. Know what he loves? “Solid” police work. Know what’s he unfamiliar with? This quote from Einstein:
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” - Albert Einstein.
Thorne and the bureaucratic upper echelons breathing down his neck give this largely puzzle-solving crime show its dash of workplace drama - as the team gripe about the boss over open cadavers on autopsy tables, much like Gibbs and Ducky on NCIS.
But Murder Call is not as brightly lit as NCIS. This is a darker, kind of Aussie detective noir. Creators Hal McElroy (Blue Heelers, Water Rats) and Jennifer Rowe (whose novels Murder Call is based on) probably love a good Agatha Christie. Much like the rest of us.
And much like in an Agatha Christie, while the crimes on Murder Call are ghastly, we’re largely spared the gruesome violence.
There's just a shadow, a thump, a blood-spattered gloved hand typing a few words to a waiting online chess game opponent...
Watch full seasons of Murder Call on 10 play.
Browse Hours Of Entertainment for more great shows to binge watch.