City Homicide: articles

Daniel MacPherson

Daniel's back on the beat

WHEN Daniel MacPherson finally found out he had a part on Ch 7's new crime show City Homicide, it wasn't like he was sitting back with nothing to do.

“I was trying to stall three other job offers and City Homicide was the one I wanted but it was the last one I was offered,” he explains. “We were juggling three other networks and finally the call came … it was the one I was waiting for.”

MacPherson, who returned to Australia last year after a two-year stint on UK’s The Bill, says originally he auditioned for the part of Detective Duncan Freeman, a role eventually won by Aaron Pedersen.

“I knew I was wrong for that character I didn’t even learn the lines,” MacPherson says.

“Then I got a call back saying: ‘we think you’d be a great Simon’. And in between those two auditions I’d actually read the first episode and loved it. Suddenly I got a real taste of the tone of the show and the solidarity of the scripts. I came in and had nine pages pretty much word-perfect off the page, nailed the audition and got the job.”

But perhaps it’s because MacPherson seems suited to police roles?

“Maybe,” he says with a laugh. “The Bill was good grounding in that regard. I learnt a lot of the procedural stuff … and my mum says I look good in uniform.”

MacPherson, 27, says he was attracted to the show because it was a “high-quality, well-written, well-constructed Australian police drama’’ and that he could see it had the ingredients to be a long-running, successful series.

City Homicide follows the lives of four young detectives in the Homicide Squad. Simon and Duncan are joined by Jennifer Mapplethorpe (Nadine Garner) and Matt Ryan (SA’s own Damien Richardson) as they try to find justice for the murdered. The young squad is backed up by Detective Senior Sergeant Stanley Wolfe (Shane Bourne) and Detective Superintendent Bernice Waverley (Noni Hazelhurst).

MacPherson describes Simon, as a “good kid … he’s the kind of guy I’d have a beer with”.

“I just love creating a character from scratch in a new show,” he says. “It’s really exciting.”

He says the set is an enjoyable place to be because the cast gets along so well. “The one thing that was evident from day one was the chemistry between the lead cast, and that’s something that either happens or it doesn’t. You can’t manufacture it,” he says.

MacPherson says it’s been fantastic to be back in Australia and so in demand. “It was a lifestyle choice that brought me back here,” he explains.

“And for the first 18 months…everything revolved around seeing my family, catching up with my mates, a lot of lifestyle choices. I’d really taken my foot off the gas as far as my career had gone and removed that from being my No. 1 priority.

‘‘That has changed, and it’s been great to be able to go from job to job, although I still feel like I’m proving myself as a young actor. Prior to coming back from overseas, the only acting I’d done in this country was Neighbours. It’s nice to have had a busy two and a half years.”

Even with so many crime shows on TV, MacPherson is certain the Australian public will tune in each week. “The shift in the public perception is that reality is coming to an end,” he says.

“Everyone’s sick of it and craving drama. With crime drama, you can watch any number of American shows and not know which one you’re watching.

“But what’s happening here now is you’re having this rebirth of quality Australian drama across all the networks.”

MacPherson says people will watch City Homicide because other Aussie dramas “featuring large boats” have proved audiences here will support drama.

“Given the choice, people will choose Australian over imported stuff,” he says. “It’s got all the ingredients of a successful show. It’s shot well, they’re really intricately crafted and constructed scripts, great cast, great guest cast mind-blowing guest actors that come in and it’s really going to compete. It’s probably one of the best looking and biggest budget crime shows we’ve probably ever had in the country. It’s going to be sexy.”

By Liz Walsh
August 25, 2007
Sunday Mail (SA)