Make Canoe my Homepage

Yannick Bisson and Murdoch Mysteries “take flight” at their new CBC home

- November 21st, 2012

Yannick Bisson

New century. New network.

New Murdoch Mysteries?

Yes and no, according to lead actor Yannick Bisson (pictured above).

A sixth season of Murdoch Mysteries makes its debut early in the new year, on Jan. 7, on its new network, CBC. The Canadian series previously existed for five seasons on Citytv.

As it turned out, the previous season ended as the clock struck midnight and a new century – the 1900s – was born.

“It’s almost like it was pre-ordained somehow,” said Bisson, who plays William Murdoch, an innovative police detective with an eye toward the future.

“New century, new broadcaster, it really did fall that way. Man, nobody is happier than me.”

Bisson was asked if fans of Murdoch Mysteries are going to notice a difference from broadcaster to broadcaster, other than merely having to click to a different channel. Is the transition intended to be seamless, or do the creators want viewers to perceive that something has changed?

“It’s actually not really either in terminology for me,” Bisson said. “Really what we’re doing is continuing to give the audience what has been working. They love the show the way it is. We’ve given them new, more, extra of what they’ve liked so far. And to be honest it has been business as usual. It hasn’t been different in content or approach at all.

“But having a home (on CBC), having more people talking about the show, having a consistent time slot, having publicity, getting ancillary publicity on different platforms, knowing that we’re wanted, maybe that has changed us a fair bit.

“Confidence is such a big part of this. So definitely, I would say that aspect has changed.”

As far as story lines go, Murdoch Mysteries always has existed in a fortuitous time period, because so much of what we take for granted today was invented or conceived in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Now with the new century we’re able to talk about things like flight,” Bisson said. “So there is an aspect of that coming up in season six. If you can picture the Murdoch character experiencing flight, that gives you an idea. It’s going to be great.

“We also have people who come into historical prominence later on, and we always take a bit of creative licence with stuff like this. But we’re bringing Winston Churchill to the show, with all of his young man’s sort of foibles (Churchill is portrayed by Thomas Howes, who played William on Downton Abbey).

“Some of it is really trivial, little things like sticky tape. Stupid little things like that, but it puts a smile on your face. And at the end of the day, we’re entertained just as much as the viewer by this stuff. I absolutely love doing the show for those little moments. ‘Canned meat? Who are you trying to kid? That will never take off!’ ”

As long as Murdoch Mysteries continues to take off – literally and figuratively – Yannick Bisson will have his head in the clouds.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv