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Murder, She Wrote

Season 1 Episode 8

We're Off To Kill The Wizard

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 09, 1984 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

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Episode Summary

We're Off To Kill The Wizard
During a visit with her niece in Chicago, Jessica is summoned to the offices of 'Horrible' Horatio Baldwin, who would like to adapt her books into an attraction for his amusement park. When he is found murdered shortly after, Jessica is asked by the police captain to help with the investigation, which seems to be centering on Baldwin's missing secretary, Laurie Bascomb. Jessica initially wants nothing to do with the investigation, but since everyone, including the dead man's widow (who is willing to pay her $100,000 to prove he was murdered), wants Jessica to investigate, she finally agrees to take a look into the matter.moreless

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  • Jessica gets tangled up in a murder committed under a theme park.

    SPOILER ALERT This is one of the most interesting episodes of the first season because: I still can't remember how the murder was committed because it was so well executed but complicated; the episode's setting; and the characters' intentions, which are incredibly diverse. As I said in my "Sing a Song of Murder" review, in this episode, Kristoffer Tabori sounds American with a British accent trying to creep in even though both the actor and the character are American. He performs well nonetheless as Horrible Horatio's murderer Phillip Carlson, who ingeniously

    carries out the murder and makes this episode stand out. John Schuck (who I know best as Gil Kessler in the Golden Girls episode "Strange Bedfellows") is the lawman in this episode, but is more or less kind of average. As many reports say, look for a young Joaquin Phoenix as Jessica's niece's son Billy, who is wowed by the mock hanging at the theme park. A definite standout episode.moreless
Christine Belford

Christine Belford

Erica Baldwin

Guest Star

James Coco

James Coco

Horatio Baldwin

Guest Star

Kim Darby

Kim Darby

Laurie Bascomb

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Carol Donovan is another of Jessica's many nieces (it is not clarified whether she's Macgill or the Fletcher side). She is married to Bert, and they share children Billy and Cindy.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Horatio Baldwin: I'm not used to being refused.
      Jessica Fletcher: Well, they do say a new experience broadens the mind.

    • Horatio Baldwin: Don't you go to the movies?
      Jessica Fletcher: When Cary Grant bowed out, so did I.

    • (Gardner attempts to convince Jessica to meet with his employer.)
      Michael Gardner: Perhaps you've heard of him? Horatio Baldwin?
      Billy Donovan: (in utter awe) Horrible Horatio?
      Michael Gardner: That's right, son.
      Jessica Fletcher: And precisely what or who is a Horrible Horatio?

    • Carol Donovan: [W]on't you come back and stay a few more days?
      Jessica Fletcher: No, dear. A good guest is like Halley's comet -- seen and enjoyed seldom and briefly.

  • NOTES (0)


    • The title of this episode, We're Off To Kill The Wizard, is a play on words from the song We're Off to See the Wizard made famous in the film The Wizard of Oz.

    • Jessica Fletcher: When Cary Grant bowed out, so did I.

      Hollywood star Cary Grant retired from acting in 1966, at the age of 62. Numerous reasons have been given for Grant's retirement, including not wanting his fans to see him age, but the generally accepted reason is that Grant wanted to devote his time to only child, Jennifer, who was born in February of 1966.