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City Homicide


John McTernan as Bill Mulholland

Assistant Commissioner Bill Mulholland

Assistant Commissioner Bill Mulholland is a political animal.

He's urbane, confident in front of the cameras and knows what makes a smooth sound-bite.

His motto is fight the battles that come to you and don't sweat the other stuff.

Played by John McTernan

Being a part of City Homicide has bought John McTernan's television career full circle.

John's first TV gig was on the popular police drama Cop Shop, which funnily enough, was filmed in the same Channel 7 studios where he is now based.

"I came to Melbourne in 1981 to do Cop Shop. And I walked into the studio for City Homicide and there was a bit of déjà vu there. The old Cop Shop studio is now a work room, but the corridor and make-up room are the same."

"I was playing a detective in Cop Shop and here I am again walking through the same doors," he says.

With successful TV roles in the popular series GP, alongside co-star Shane Bourne in MDA and police drama Stingers, John has also been a guest star in many Australian dramas from Blue Heelers to All Saints, Good Guys Bad Guys and The Flying Doctors.

His contribution to Australian television has been rewarded with three Logie Awards in 1992 for Most Outstanding Actor for GP and consecutive gongs for Best Lead Actor for Cop Shop in 1981 and 1982.

On the stage, John has been in various productions around the country with his stint in the Melbourne Theatre Company's "Twelfth Night" garnering him a Green Room Award in 1987.

John is now looking forward to working again with the City Homicide camera department, whom he worked with on children's program Scooter Secret Agent.

"It always makes it easier when you know the crew," he says.

Speaking highly of his co-stars, John says Shane Bourne is a great asset to the show. "There aren't many people who can be as funny as he is and be such a good serious actor. He has that comic's improvisational buzz about him and is very much in the moment," he says.

But while he respects Shane's work as an actor, his character Bill Mulholland is more likely to be telling Shane's alter ego Stanley Wolfe off.

"I'm the boss. Directly under me is Bernice (Noni Hazlehurst) and then Stanley (Shane Bourne). Bill is quick to take the praise when things go right, but he never takes the blame for those things that don't work out as well. He's a very political, greasy type of cop always thinking about himself."

But the role couldn't be any different from John's own character, which is very much entrenched in family life and taking care of his beloved dog, Bess.