Adrian Scarborough and Sonita Henry Preview Acorn Mystery Drama The Chelsea Detective


The Chelsea Detective is a thrilling new drama series, and it’s available to stream today (March 7, 2022) on Acorn TV.

It stars Adrian Scarborough and Sonita Henry as detectives investigating crimes in London.

TV Fanatic got the chance to speak with Scarborough and Henry ahead of the launch.

Check out the interview below.

What attracted you both to The Chelsea Detective?

Adrian: The checklist was pretty comprehensive. He rides a bicycle, which I ride, I love riding bikes, and I ride mine all over London, so that was quite useful. I thought it’s been quite a long time since you saw a bobby on a bicycle in a British television series.

That’s not happened for a while. I love the idea of him sort of being on this little island of a houseboat, and I liked the fact that he’s melancholic, that he plays the piano, that he’s sort of a bit isolated and a bit of a lonely, but I think he’s really good at his job.

I quite like the idea that he’s technically minded, so he knows about computers and mobile phones and things like that because I’m an absolute technophobe, and I don’t know anything like that, so it was kind of nice to be able to pretend.

I get a fantastic sidekick. Obviously, if she weren’t here, I might not have said that, but right now, I have to say Sonita Henry is just a God amongst women. She’s incredibly brilliant and very, very funny and helped me every step of the way, and was unbelievably patient. She helped me learn my lines. She has a photographic memory. She doesn’t admit it.

Sonita: I do not. I bloody don’t. Thank you, Mr. Scarborough, I appreciate that. What I really enjoyed was the fact that it wasn’t just a detective show. It concentrated on their home life, which you don’t see very often. And, when I auditioned for the role, my daughter was four years old, so I still have PTSD from my birth.

The fact that Priya was a new mom struggling with being a mother and trying to juggle that as a detective, that was extremely interesting to me because you know, the societal norm is that women should just step into motherhood and be fine with it.  I liked the fact that this show shows that that’s not normal and women need help. So yeah, I really, I really enjoyed that.

And the fact that they told me Adrian Scarborough was attached. That, to me, was a big selling point because he’s quite talented.

Adrian: That makes it sound like there’s some sort of umbilical cord.

Sonita: Well, we did share it feeding tube. Do you not remember that?

Adrian: Indeed. I’m happy to.

Sonita: Happy days. Yeah. So that’s what it was, the fact that it showed a side of being a working mom and the struggle that causes, and I really related to that.

Could you both speak a bit about what you like the most about telling a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end?

Sonita: I liked the fact that it felt like we were shooting for movies. That’s what I liked, and to be able to have the full arc of everyone’s character journey, not just ours as the leads, but just the stories of that show and to resolve it for an audience.

I feel like if they’re left hanging every week, I mean, some people like that, but for the most part, people want it all wrapped up nicely. It felt pretty epic when we were filming it because we were shooting a feature in a month, which is not really supposed to happen. We’ve managed it somehow, thanks to coffee and Kit-Kats.

Adrian: I think I’d agree with that. The thing I like about it is that lots of things now aren’t linear. I think television goes out of its way to be quite duplicitous in not being linear, and it drives me a bit mad with bloody flashbacks everywhere, and beginnings at the end and ends at the beginning. 

I really liked that the story starts at the beginning, and it goes through to the end of that, ties it up, and it’s a very lovely package, but also we got the opportunity in a sense, which you wouldn’t get of you were doing sort of four episodes of something in a long-form drama, we got the joy and the benefit of four different families when we were shooting.

We got fantastic new guest stars each month, whose company we could enjoy.

It was really lovely to have such a wealth of talent in our guest artists that just kind of came in every month.

Could you both speak a bit about Max and Priya’s working relationship?

Adrian: I think he is quite insular. He can be prone to disappearing inside himself. I think what’s really brilliant about the relationship is that they are a bit like chalk and cheese, and he relies very much on her very much.

There’s a good reason why she’s a sidekick because I think she does kick it pretty regularly, not necessarily physically, but she definitely kind of goes, “Come on. Get up and get out there and get on with it and stop sort of musing in your head about it the whole time and actually sort of get out and be practical.”

She also does all the driving.

Sonita: Yes, I do, much to his chagrin. Someone asked me this question yesterday about Max and Priya’s relationship, and the only way I can describe it is that they together are one whole person and very good. That’s the only way I could describe it when they meet each other.

They get the job done because of the stuff that Max brings, which you’ve mentioned. I feel like Priya can sometimes be too aggressive or too tough or too cold. And Max is a much warmer individual.

When we’re questioning victims, not so much people that we suspect, but victims, you need both sides because sometimes it can get a little too emotional, and so you need Priya to kind of come in and go, “but no, seriously, what, what were you up to and what were you doing?”

And then Max is like kid gloves, really soft with them. So I think they complement one another very well. I think they really do. When they’re together, they’re one person I think.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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