Ioan Gruffudd says audiences will love his new character, forensic pathologist Daniel Harrow – even though he does have skeletons in his closet
He’s smar t, handsome, handy with a scalpel, harbours a dark secret and is helping the police with their inquiries. Meet Daniel Harrow, the central character in an absorbing new crime drama, and the latest role for actor Ioan Gruffudd.
If Daniel sounds ominously like the character Ioan recently played in ITV’s Liar – Andrew Earlham, a serial rapist – you’d be right. But the two have some crucial differences…
‘Audiences will warm to Harrow, he‘s an interesting man, a brilliant forensic pathologist who refuses to play by the rules,’ says Ioan. ‘He has a dark secret but nothing like Andrew’s, thank God.’
We first meet Harrow at The Institute Of Forensic Medicine in Brisbane, Australia, where he works as the state of Queensland’s senior medical examiner.
There’s not much sign of him actually working in the opening scenes, however – he has the body of a man dressed as a clown on his slab, who was suspected of being a paedophile, and Harrow is too appalled to examine him, preferring to watch classic Hollywood movie High Noon in his lab while eating crisps.
But it’s a very different Harrow we see spring into action later, when he meets grieving father Bruce Reimers.
‘Unlike some of his colleagues, such as his rival Dr Lyle Fairley, Harrow is as interested in why people died as how, and he’s fascinated by the case of Reimers’ daughter, Olivia,’ explains Ioan. ‘However he and her father are just about the only people who are interested. Harrow is normally an aide to the police but on this occasion he’s a thorn in their side.
‘Detectives closed the case months ago, deciding Olivia took her own life while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. To their annoyance, Harrow keeps gnawing away at the case, with help from his colleague Simon Van Reyk.’
If finding out what happened to Olivia proves Harrow’s prowess as a pathologist and medical investigator, the opening episode also exposes his vulnerabilities.
‘He has a troubled private life. He put his career before his family and he is estranged from his wife and worried about their teenage daughter Fern. In episode one, we see him dash to the hospital, where Fern has been admitted after an apparent drug overdose.’
Single and living on a boat called Bettie in Brisbane Harbour, Harrow’s private life takes a more positive turn when he strikes up a relationship with flamehaired police officer Soroya Dass.
But Soroya also unwittingly introduces Harrow to his worst nightmare after roaring up to his boat on her police launch.
‘She takes him to a place in Brisbane River where human bones sealed in concrete are being dragged up. She doesn’t realise Harrow has a personal link to them and he has to hide his distress as they’re brought to the surface. They are his dark secret,’ says Ioan.
In the ten-part series Harrow covers cases including a woman apparently murdered by crossbow, an arm found in a crocodile’s stomach, a skeleton in a tree and a corpse that comes back to life. All while he fights to stop his secret coming out. ‘The bones haunt Harrow and it becomes more a question of how criminally culpable he was in the case, than whether he had anything to do with them being there,’ explains Ioan. ‘They could be his downfall.’
Harrow, Tuesday, 9pm, Alibi (Sky 132, Virgin 126).
DET SENIOR SGT BRYAN NICHOLS (Damien Garvey) A respected officer who gets annoyed with Harrow for interfering. SERGEANT SOROYA DASS (Mirrah Foulkes) She clicks instantly with Harrow. They are a great fit at work – and fancy each other.
SIMON VAN REYK (Remy Hill) Harrow’s protégé, he has a lot of potential and enjoys a banter-filled relationship with his colleague. DR DANIEL HARROW (Ioan Gruffudd) A pathologist who bends the rules to find the truth. He listens to the Blues while dissecting bodies.