It all began with a tweet. Back in March, veteran comic actor and improviser Colin Mochrie posted congratulations to Murdoch Mysteries landing a Season 11 renewal while making a not-so-veiled pitch to get himself on the long-running CBC series.
The request led to reality: Mochrie’s guest role happens on Monday during “8 Footsteps,” when he portrays Ralph Fellows, house detective at the Windsor House Hotel where Murdoch and Julia are living. The relationship between Fellows and Murdoch is anything but friendly, especially when a murder occurs inside the hotel. Monday’s instalment is jam-packed with special guests, including the return of Alexander Graham Bell (played by John Tench), who is accompanied by Helen Keller (Amanda Richer) and her companion Anne Sullivan Macy (Severn Thompson).
We spoke to Mochrie ahead of “8 Footsteps.”
Congratulations on landing a guest role on Murdoch Mysteries.
Colin Mochrie: It took long enough, didn’t it?
How much of your tweet was just having a little fun?
It was about 50 per cent. It’s alway good to put yourself out there and I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to be the last one [to guest star]. That happened with The Red Green Show, so time was running out.
Had you wanted to be on Murdoch Mysteries before and have been waiting for the call all this time?
Yes, sure. It’s a Canadian institution and I always enjoy working. It seemed like the perfect fit.
How did getting you onto the show actually work? Did Yannick Bisson contact you, or was it the show’s producers, Shaftesbury?
I tweeted, ‘Hey, come on, hire me.’ And Yannick had been working on it for awhile and this part came up and I guess they figured, ‘What the hell, maybe he’ll stop tweeting us.’
What can you say about the character of Ralph Fellows?
He is the hotel detective at the hotel that Murdoch lives in. So, there is a little bit of a professional jealousy. He has to deal with things like stolen cutlery whereas Murdoch gets all the sexy cases. There is definitely an antagonistic quality in their relationship throughout the show. He doesn’t hide it very well.
It sounds as though Monday’s case is a little bit more serious than stolen silverware if Murdoch is involved.
It’s murder! It’s great because it involves Alexander Graham Bell and Helen Keller, so it’s sort of a high profile case. There is a charity event and she is the guest of honour. They decide to have a meal in total darkness so that people can get insight into what it’s like being blind. The lights are out and not everyone makes it through dinner.
A great storyline!
It is. And a great set. I had always heard how wonderful it was to work there. The cast and the crew are just great, and I have to give Yannick full points. The feeling on-set emanates from the star and he is such a graceful man and classy, it’s very professional set and we have a lot of fun. When we get down to work, we work.
Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Are you looking forward to Monday’s episode? Let me know in the comments below!