Quinn's mighty detective

Last updated 05:00 19/04/2013
Aidan Quinn
MIGHTY DETECTIVE: Aidan Quinn as Captain Tommy Gregson in Elementary.

Relevant offers

TV & Radio

DVD review: The Rise and Fall of The Clash Christmas' trip down memory lane Could Game of Thrones change the TV industry? Has George RR Martin given away villain? Game of Thrones: A Song of the Sofa (spoiler) ZM's Polly and Grant move to The Hits Jesse Mulligan uncouples from Seven Sharp There will be tears as curtains draw on Mad Men O'Brien promises nudity at MTV Movie Awards Rose Matafeo - the thorn within

Landing a role in the modern Sherlock Holmes series Elementary was a chance to revisit childhood for Aidan Quinn.

The Chicago-born actor, who plays Captain Tommy Gregson in the TV series, says he remembers reading Sherlock Holmes stories as a youngster.

"You know, it's funny, I remember as a kid reading one or two of Arthur Conan Doyle's books and watching some of the old Sherlock Holmes shows on television," he says. "I just got off another job, but I am going to go back and read them now."

Captain Gregson meets Sherlock, played by Jonny Lee Miller, in Scotland Yard when he is doing anti-terrorism work after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

"Holmes called Gregson and said, 'Listen, I am coming to New York, I am offering my services if you have anything,' and Captain Gregson says, 'Hey, why the hell not? Let's give it a shot'.

"He walks the line between being a chief and being a captain, and he is also in a position where he could bring in a consultant like Holmes. He just likes getting the job done, solving murders and solving crimes."

Sherlock is known for his quirky and eccentric behaviour while solving crimes with his sidekick Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). But Quinn says his character isn't worried about how the job is done, as long as it gets results.

"Once you have been in NYPD for 30 years like Gregson, and have risen through the ranks and been a homicide cop and a lieutenant, a squad commander, and now a captain, he knows that the best way for the leader to lead is not to have any personal prejudices about people's behaviour, but to look at the results."

Quinn's previous role as Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney on the crime drama Prime Suspect helped him to prepare for Elementary.

"Luckily I just came off playing a lieutenant squad commander for the last seven or eight months in the NYPD. I have been in this world for a while, so I didn't really have time or the need at this point to do an awful lot of research."

Much like Captain Gregson, Lt Sweeney has spent 30 years with the police and is willing to take a punt on a good detective, even when others consider them difficult to deal with.

Quinn discussed his Elementary character with the show's executive producers to make sure he would have depth.
"We talked on the phone about making Gregson interesting and not just a cliched, exasperated boss captain. They all said the right things and it sounded like it would be lot of fun, so here I am.

Ad Feedback

"I thought it was a fun idea updating the story and bringing Sherlock Holmes and Watson to New York. It certainly gives a very wide palate of places you can go with the characters and a lot of fun that you can have."

Elementary - Prime on Wednesdays

-TV Guide

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Mike Kilpatrick

Couch Potato

Primetime? Don't make me laugh