"Murdoch Mysteries" premieres in its 6th season on CBC this January 7th.
Yannick Bisson has captivated audiences around the world in his role as Det. Murdoch in the Victorian Toronto police drama "Murdoch Mysteries."Bissonís Murdoch is a highly educated and intuitive investigator whose pioneering methods baffle his superiors, who crosses himself over murder victims and studies human psychology.
In series six of the one-hour drama, Detective Murdoch tries to clear the name of a young Winston Churchill after his visit to Canada goes awry; a dangerous madman threatens to unleash a deadly toxic gas attack; and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance when his supposedly fictional creation, Detective Sherlock Holmes, becomes entangled in a violent robbery.
Murdochís dedication to his work hasnít been without cost, so when season six was announced, we were keen to find out what lies ahead for him. Monsters and Critics visited Bisson on the Toronto set.
Monsters and Critics: It was so ironic to see you on set in full costume reading your iPhone!
Yannick Bisson: I know, I know. You should see me when I have my sneakers on.
M&C: Your character has been through so much personally and professionally. What lies ahead?
YB: Itís been fun to be able to colour Murdoch, the way we built him has been somewhat restrained and reserved and really we painted him into a corner. Heís not able to show a huge amount of emotion but when we have these contexts that are long running. You, know, he lost the girl, so he spends season four very much in a dark place. Itís fun to be able to colour each episode with a bit of that, while still satisfying and wrapping a murder up in 40 minutes. Itís fun to be able to add personal side to him.
M&C: What defines him best?
YB: Heís very idealistic and a champion of right and wrong and justice. His principals are what drive him the most. Being aware he has a gift to bring people to justice by finding evidence others wouldnít necessarily find. He knows thatís his calling. If heís able to get the girl, he will, but sometimes his own principals get in the way of that.
M&C: Heís an amazing character. Thereís no one like him on TV.
YB: Yeah, he is and he keeps going even though his career will never go anywhere. Heís a Catholic in religion and the city of that time, the police and politics and everything, but he still drives forward and keeps going. Itís the same with the girl. Heís messed it up or whatever but heís going to solider on and do what he needs to do.
M&C: The showís doing so well internationally. It must make you proud.
YB: I get fan mail from all parts of the world. Thatís not something that hasnít happened before, but people are very much invested in the show and the character and the stories. Itís not ďIím a fan of Yannick BissonĒ. Itís 'I love Murdoch Mysteries...' or 'My family sit down and watch it together,' a ten year old girl, to a Prime Ministerís daughter to the head of our country and grandmas and aunts and my daughterís friends. They donít just like it, they love it. Itís a great feeling especially this many years in.
Itís a very polished take on the Victorian murder mystery. Itís slick and watchable. Itís somewhat formatted but there are elements that are very watchable today and certainly in content to.
M&C: And the winking to the future!
YB: I love that, too!
Jonny Harris plays Constable George Crabtree, Murdochís smart, well-meaning partner who was kicked upstairs in the police station when Murdoch took his dark journey to Alaska. We asked Jonny why the show works.
Jonny Harris: Itís a testament to all the hard work that everybodyís put in. Theyíve hired the right people. The key is the writing. I think our team does a good job of unravelling the mystery of the formula for the whodunit and they have great imagination. Here we are shooting scenes with Winston Churchill! Weíve had Nikola Tesla and borrowed from a lot of Jack London. We also had run ins with people we think are ghost or vampires or werewolves and science always wins the day in the end. They do a great job and keep it interesting.
M&C: What lies ahead for Crabtree this season?
JH: It will be interesting. There is a crime, a murder committed at a nudist colony and Iím the only one who didnít go to preliminary investigation so they needed someone to go undercover era and thatís going to be me! Itís my obvious rippling physique will only draw more viewers to the show. They need more eye candy. To up the sex appeal of the show. Get Jonny Harris to take his shirt off. Obvious.