Yannick Bisson Talks the Future of ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ Ahead of the Season 14 Finale
A woman from William Murdoch’s past plays a crucial role in the final episodes of Murdoch Mysteries’ 14th season. The early-20th-century Toronto police detective (Yannick Bisson) first encountered British barkeep Anna Fulford (Lisa Faulkner) way back in Season 3 when he was suffering from amnesia. Now, he must find those responsible for her death.
Both installments of the two-part season finale (airing Saturday, April 24 and May 1 on Ovation, and streaming the following Mondays on Acorn TV) are packed with flashbacks to that and several other earlier episodes.
“My initial thought was, ‘Uh-oh, people are really going to see the aging,’” says Bisson, who has played the usually unflappable Murdoch since 2008. “But I started to see how much more comfortable with the character I am in the later years — physically, emotionally. It was reassuring.”
The flashbacks, he adds, not only helped tell the current story, but they also aided the production of the coronavirus-delayed season. “We were able to immediately revisit the past in order to serve the storyline,” explains Bisson, who’s also an executive producer and occasional director on the popular Canadian series. “But it also helped us, in a very challenging year, to stretch our resources, because minutes on the screen add up to hours on the set, and resources were limited in terms of time and scheduling.”
In these episodes, Murdoch isn’t the only one at Station House No. 4 in crisis. Lovestruck constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and gay detective Llewellyn Watts (Daniel Maslany) contend with their own urgent matters of the heart, while Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) faces pressure to resign.
And Murdoch’s investigation isn’t something he can leave behind at work. His wife, Julia (Hélène Joy), also feels its ramifications. “It’s going to create some tension,” Bisson hints. “We’re still not entirely sure what the outcome is going to be.”
With only 11 episodes instead of the past year’s 18, Season 14 is the shortest to date. And although the series hasn’t officially been renewed, the creative team “had a pretty strong feeling about Season 15,” Bisson says, “so we were able to leave some cliffhangers that we might not have in the past.”
In the meantime, he’s directing a Christmas movie for Lifetime. But Bisson has no plans to turn in Murdoch’s badge anytime soon. “You’ll have to drag me out kicking and screaming,” he quips, noting that the show, which is the second-longest-running scripted drama series in Canada, is “part of our culture and such a valuable export worldwide. It’s not lost on me what an incredible opportunity this has been in so many ways.”
Murdoch Mysteries, Season Finale, Saturdays, April 24 and May 1, 7/6c, Ovation. Also streaming Mondays, April 26 and May 3, Acorn TV