It’s hard to believe (though not if you’re a fan) but Murdoch Mysteries Season Twelve is almost upon us.
To millions of us, Murdoch isn’t simply a televised period piece focusing on a detective who is decades ahead of his time. It’s a creative hub for writers, actors, prop and make-up artists who are also ahead of their time. It’s brought together a diverse community of viewers, some of who have crossed borders to meet in person and share their love of the Artful Detective. It’s given more than one terminally-ill patient a reason to get up in the morning. Think about that for a moment: there are people out there who are spending their final days enthralled by a “simple Canadian detective series”.
No wonder Murdochians are on the edge of their seats right now.
So let’s take a moment to step back from our breathless anticipation and read a few Q’s and A’s from the folks who bring Detective William Murdoch and Company to life, shall we?
We’ll begin with the wingnut that holds the entire operation together. He’s the captain of this particular ship and he takes his role as seriously as Capt. Edward John Smith. (Though thankfully, his ship is in no danger of sinking anytime soon.) He’s MM Executive Producer Peter Mitchell.
1) MM is entering S12 and shows no signs of slowing down, but have you given any thought as to how you’d craft a series finale? Or is that too self-defeating?
We in the writer’s room have entertained numerous series finales. They seem a long way away but all the characters will get what they have earned and the audience will be able to rest easy with their fates.
That’s a damn fine answer that deserves a damn fine cup of Joe. From Tim Hortons, of course. Personally, I’m hoping William Murdoch gets struck in the head and wakes up on a tropical island with Rick Springfield. (Only true Yannick Bisson fans will get that reference.)
2) How great does it feel to be filming/crafting the dozenth (hey, I made a word!) season of Murdoch? Your cast and crew have worked unbelievably-hard over the years and it must feel amazing to see that hard work pay off. Especially since the TV game can be an especially volatile one at times, right?
It feels great to be a part of crafting a great Canadian novel. It feels great to work with a group of people who care deeply about their jobs. It is great to embrace the challenges of the future and to work with people who want the next one to be better than the last. We don’t always succeed but we don’t rest on what we’ve done.
No MM post would be complete without a comment – or five to be precise – from Mrs. Brackenreid herself, the incomparable Arwen Humpreys. Arwen, whom I refer to as “AW” was recently drawn into the fray caused by the media’s “outing” of former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens as a performer who bags groceries at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s in-between professional gigs. AW waits tables when she’s not being brilliant on the Murdoch set.
(And yes, we’re close enough that I can call her “AW”. Get over it.)
1) You recently became my newest hero when you opened up about your life as a working actor (literally!). Does this sort of vulnerability make you a more fearless Murdoch cast member? I would imagine fearlessness is an essential part of being a thespian.
I don’t know if my revealing my “double life” has made me more or less fearless. Though it has made me feel more like I’m living a more truthful existence in this “living your best self” Social Media World.
2) It’s been twelve seasons. (Wow!) How does a cast and crew keep things fresh and yet retain all the qualities that have made them so successful in the first place?
I know! Who knew!!!??? The writers. The writers keep us fresh. I think Pete, Simon and the gang give us some really great material. Also, our Directors are fantastic at letting me explore different options during a scene. Not too many though… 😉
The mere thought of being featured on my blog again sends chills through AW’s body…
3) Any hints as to what we can expect from Mrs. B this season?
It’s the journey, not the destination that counts. haha! But seriously… I want everyone to have a great time watching the show. Giving hints would ruin the fun!!
4) Did you manage to meet any international fellow actors/cinematic professionals at TIFF that were fans of Murdoch Mysteries? (Besides Anne Rice, of course.)
I did not, but I became a HUGE fan of all the amazing women I got to hang out with!! It was a really empowering experience!
Incidentally, Anne Rice liking Murdoch was one of the most off-the-charts moments for me!! Wowowowow!!
Speaking of “Wowowowow!!”
5) Any chance we’ll see a Margaret/Louise Cherry spin-off series where they team-up to open a private eye agency anytime soon?
If it means working with Erin Blair then absolutely!! In terms of Margaret… I think she’s more political than mystery solving. That is NOT A HINT!!!! It is merely the observation of the person who has inhabited her world for a very long time!! And what a wonderful world it is!!! I really hope everyone enjoys Season 12 and THANK YOU as always for all your support!!!! xoxo
Now let’s see, who else can I
harass persuade from the MM set? Oh, I know! Special effects maven Debi Drennan is always willing to subject herself to my unique brand of madness genius…
1) Do you hone your craft by studying old school methods or are you all about cutting-edge, state-of-the-art tech, Debi?
My art is a combination of old and new for sure. I was trained using my hands and building everything from scratch whether it was a simple bullet hole or a complete Y incision.
However, every day it seems they come out with new products that make our job just a little bit easier.
For speed though, I will still resort to the tried-and-true forehand art.
2) Just between us, are Yannick Bisson’s eyebrows CGI or are they the result of twelve hours in your den of magic, Debi?
Yannick eyebrows and eyelashes are completely natural. I do nothing to them. We have had people for years on social media say Yannick wears too much mascara or eyeliner. Hear me now….. He doesn’t wear anything on his eyes and eyebrows!
(Personally, I never thought Yannick’s look was anything but natural!)
3) You’ve shared a few amazing creations on social media (Debi’s Instagram account rocks!) so far, but which of Season Twelve’s challenges has proven to be a true test for you and your team? Without spoiling anything of course!
The shots I have put up lately on social media were all shots I got behind on last season. I left the country late January and spent the winter in Indonesia and stopped posting so I wanted to get caught up before Season 12 goes to air next week.
It has been a fun and surprising season. We have had guests come back that you didn’t think you would see again.
(Is it true? Could Sally Pendrick be returning at last?)
One more thing before we move on. I felt compelled to share this comment from Debi:
The town of Ajax commissioned and unveiled an amazing monument dedicated to the women war workers from the munitions factory. It is amazing! I went to the dedication ceremony and they said that Bomb Girls was their motivation and that I was their inspiration. So cool to see that come together.
Bomb Girls chronicled the lives of several young women working in a munitions factory in WWII Canada. It was filmed in Toronto and was based on an idea by Debi and Murdoch creator Maureen Jennings. Well done, Debi!
Let’s close out with five words from the Artful Detective himself, Yannick Bisson:
“Twelve is absolutely the best.”
To be fair, he gets paid to say more than five words and I have no budget whatsoever so…
“It says here there’s no legal recourse that allows us to lock The Hook up for being annoying, sir.”
And now, kids, it’s time to return to our not-so-lonely vigil as the minutes tick by until Murdoch Mysteries Season Twelve finally begins.
See you in the lobby and on the CBC kids…
This is how we all feel, right?