“I came away from that time, and I said to [the show’s creator] George [Adams], “The funny thing is, even though everyone acknowledges what has happened to Craig, they still expect the show to carry on. It’s like the show transcends what is going on in the real world – and that’s a really interesting thing.’”
Discussions got under way to reboot the series with Garner’s character Jean, wife of McLachlan’s Dr Lucien Blake, at the centre. In the producer’s minds, it was the Dr Blake world that they were invested in, not the character itself.
“Of course, Craig is loved in the role,” Garner adds. “He is beautiful in the role, but it doesn’t mean the whole thing has to die. I was starting to understand that the world was important to people, not just the leading character.”
The Blake Mysteries show does not shy away from McLachlan’s absence, instead addressing it in the script. “We don’t pretend – we very much talk about her grief at him not being there,” Garner says.
As for McLachlan, Garner says she has not spoken to him since the news broke. “Craig is in a world of trying to put his life together. He has a court hearing at the end of next year, October 2019,” she says. “We have no idea what is to come of that, or where he stands. So the best thing we could do, we thought, for everybody, for the 100 or so people that work on the show, is to try to keep it alive.”
They have – and for that Garner says she feels incredibly thankful.
“It’s a funny silver lining to a very dark cloud that we were all under for a long time,” she says. “Because the journey of the show has been just unbelievable – you couldn’t write it. Having been dropped by the ABC, then picked up by Seven, then dropped by Seven – it’s been a really tumultuous year.”