Murdoch Mysteries' Inspector Brackenreid: he's "gruff," he's "by-the-book," he's "completely lacking in imagination."
Look, we're just repeating what the show's official website has to say about him.
And fair enough. In the turn-of-the-century world of Murdoch Mysteries, Brackenreid's always getting his whiskers up over Detective William Murdoch's new-fangled forensic theories - a dynamic that will be back in action on Monday night's new episode, "Lovers in a Murderous Time."
Thomas Craig, the man behind the ginger muttonchops, was in Toronto last week. A former Coronation Street star, Craig lives in London - "real London; not London, Ontario" - when not filming the Toronto-set Murdoch Mysteries four months of the year. He'll appear on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Tuesday - which is his favourite CBC show other than his own, by the way. ("I've always watched Strombo...it'd be the last thing I'd watch before going to bed.") But before taking a "red seat," Craig stopped by the CBC Live studio to chat.
If Brackenreid's unimaginative, the same doesn't apply to Craig. And in case Murdoch is picked up for a seventh season, Craig has some pie-in-the-sky ideas for Brackenreid's next chapter.
"You know, Murdoch's family has pitched up here on the show: he's had his sister, his brother, his dad. Crabtree had his mom. But we've not seen much of Brackenreid's English family," Craig says. "I'd like to see some of his family come over from England. He's mentioned his brothers from England."
But who to play them? On that front, Craig has a few options.
few English actors with red hair I could think of," he laughs. "OK, you don't
have to have red hair, but it helps."
Geoff Bell would do nicely, he suggests; you may remember him from RocknRolla or War Horse. Also, The Tudors actor Steven Waddington. "My missus always says that me and Steven Waddington look like one another," says Craig.
We'll let you be the judge:
-- Getty Images, CBC
As for what
would happen if and when the Brackenreid Boys descend on the Toronto
constabulary, Craig will leave that to your imagination. (Or, better yet, the
Still, he thinks his character must be a homesick guy - despite the odd complaint about London's crime and filth. A family visit, then, is overdue.
"I've got a mate who lives in Australia, and he's always having a dig at Britain, for instance, but he really misses it. I think that's the same with Brackenreid. He's a bit Queen and country even though it riles him - all that, the monarchy. I think anyone who's moved away from home gets a little bit more patriotic, even though they won't go back and live there." It's a phenomenon Craig can relate to for a few months of every year. "I'm not a big England football fan, I'm more into club football, but when England have been playing and I've been in Canada, I've been really into it," he explains.
Back to that casting, though. Craig's not entirely optimistic Murdoch Mysteries could land the likes of Steven Waddington if and when the opportunity arose. "He does a lot of movies, so Murdoch might be too small potatoes," Craig says, reflecting on the actor's CV.
No worries.There are other avenues to pursue. Such as...
"My mates! None of them look like me, but I'd get a lot of my pals involved," suggests Craig - and incidentally, he used to pull strings for old Corrie co-stars during Murdoch Mysteries' early years. "On the first two seasons I remember recommending actors and they'd get a part, pals of mine. Lake Chris Gascoyne from Corrie did Season 1 and Danny Cunningham, who's in 24 Hour Party People, was in Season 2."
Murdoch producers, take note.
a new episode of Murdoch Mysteries Monday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.
Thomas Craig will appear on George Stroumboulopolous Tonight Tuesday, March 26
at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET on CBC.