Back in September 2021, I put together a video collage on YouTube which allowed for a side-by-side comparison between the different versions of the introductory montage seen at the beginning of every Murder, She Wrote episode.
In putting together the collage, I realized that there were a total of 5 unique versions of the montage. As I have more free time this summer, I wanted to go back to examining these montages more closely. This post is the fourth in a series which breaks down each of the five versions scene by scene — primarily with the goal of identifying where each scene comes from (i.e. whether it was pulled from a particular episode).
As I write and publish each post in the series, you will be able to find links to them below:
- Version 1 (used in Seasons 1, 2, and 3)
- Version 2 (used in Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7)
- Version 3 (used in Seasons 8 and 9)
- Version 4 (used in Seasons 10 and 11)
- Version 5 (used in Season 12)
With that said, this post focuses on the fourth version of the introductory montage, which was used throughout Season 10 and Season 11. A collage of each of the major scenes in the montage is presented below:
This opening montage has several notable differences when compared to previous iterations. First, following Jessica Fletcher’s adoption of computer technology in Season 8, the opening montage was now updated to reflect that. Thus, after just a brief scene of her using a typewriter at the beginning of the montage, there are several scenes in the remainder of the montage that depict her typing on a personal computer. Second, whereas the majority of the scenes in previous versions of the opening montage were filmed especially for the montage, this montage went beyond using just two or three clips from previous episodes.
With that said, the first few scenes in the montage (which depict a typewriter, Jessica riding her bicycle, and Jessica going fishing) were all taken from previous versions of the opening montage.
However, the next few scenes were lifted from previously aired episodes:
- The scene in which Jessica walks through a door and into the Cabot Cove coffee shop was lifted from S9E2 “Family Secrets” (approximately 5 minutes into the episode).
- The scene in which Jessica is sitting at the computer in her New York apartment was lifted from S9E19 “Lone Witness” (approximately 11 minutes into the episode).
This is followed by several more scenes filmed specifically for the opening montage. A new addition includes a close up of a computer screen typing out “SHE WROTE”. This is followed by a series of scenes used in the previous version of the montage: one in which Jessica is reading a New York newspaper; and one in which Jessica is exiting a flower shop. The scene in which Jessica is standing in front of a chalkboard also appeared in the previous version of the opening montage (but was likely filmed at the same time as S8E2 “Night Fears“).
Subsequent to this is a series of six scenes which appeared in previous episodes:
- The scene in which Jessica has just walked through a door and is looking left and right appeared in S8E13 “Incident in Lot 7” (approximately 37 minutes into the episode).
- The scene in which Jessica is walking down a dark hall with a flashlight appeared in S9E4 “The Wind Around the Tower” (approximately 38 minutes into the episode).
- The scene in which Jessica is looking at some papers and makes a gun shape with her hands appeared in S9E10 “The Sound of Murder” (approximately 33 minutes into the episode).
- The scene in which Jessica is rummaging in something and pulls out a bullet appeared in S9E19 “Lone Witness” (approximately 22 minutes into the episode).
- The scene in which Jessica is looking around and is startled in a messy office appeared in S9E10 “The Sound of Murder” (approximately 36 minutes into the episode).
- And finally, the scene in which Jessica kisses her pen appeared in S9E6 “Night of the Coyote” (approximately 10 minutes into the episode).
The montage concludes with scenes of Jessica typing at her computer and printing out her work, all in the kitchen of her Cabot Cove home.