How Time Travel Could Exist In ‘Murder She Wrote’

How Time Travel Could Exist In ‘Murder She Wrote’


The world is more than a little worse today, because Angela Lansbury is no longer in it; the legendary actress passed away at the age of 96. A lot of us feel like we grew up with Lansbury, thanks her roles as cinema’s greatest singing teapot and Disney’s only Nazi-battling witch in a flying bed. But for many, Lansbury will always be synonymous with Murder, She Wrote’s Jessica Fletcher, the acclaimed mystery writer with a penchant for solving grisly murders on a disturbingly frequent basis.

We’ve mentioned before that Jessica’s quaint hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine is a staggeringly dangerous place to live. Thanks to its wildly irregular per capita homicide rate, some have even declared Cabot Cove to be the “murder capitol of the world.” What is going on? Well, we have one, admittedly bizarre, explanation …

Murder, She Wrote takes place in the same fictional universe as Magnum P.I., as evidenced by the time Jessica cleared Magnum of murder in a crossover episode (because ‘80s TV network synergy was the original multiverse of madness). Magnum P.I. and the beloved sci-fi series Quantum Leap were both created by Donald P. Bellisario, and both exist in the same reality – not just because of the proposed, but ultimately canceled, crossover between the two wildly different shows, but because Quantum Leap’s hero, Sam Beckett, casually mentions in an episode that his sister married one of Magnum’s buddies. 

Which means that the time travel wackiness of Quantum Leap also implicitly exists within the world of Murder, She Wrote. How does that explain the latter’s disqueiting surplus of murders? Well, remember how later seasons of Quantum Leap revealed that the literal Devil is manipulating the timeline in order to counteract Sam’s efforts – and is even forcing other time travelers to make history worse (if such a thing is possible)?

With that in mind, wouldn’t it make sense that the illogical excess of brutal killings in Cabot Cove could be the result of Satan’s meddling? Meaning that, in each episode of Murder, She Wrote, Jessica Fletcher is doing battle against agents of Lucifer, who keep popping back into the 1980s and committing murders that didn’t happen in the original sequence of events. Which sounds pretty out there, but how else do you explain why a tiny New England town is more deadly than Jason Voorhees?

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