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Seven’s Dr Blake Mysteries to go ahead without Craig McLachlan

Craig McLachlan has been dropped from Seven’s upcoming Doctor Blake Mysteries series, which is set to go ahead without the lead role of Doctor Lucien Blake.

The Herald Sun is reporting that housekeeper Jean Beazley, played by Nadine Garner, will play a more central role to compensate for the loss of McLachlan.

The story will jump forward three years in time in order to explain the disappearance of the central character.

When McLachlan was accused of indecent assault and harassment in early 2018, December Media “temporarily” stopped pre-production of its upcoming series of telemovies, casting the show’s future into serious doubt.

While an investigation by December Media found no evidence of misconduct on the Dr Blake Mysteries set, it wasn’t known if the show would continue, posing a serious risk to Seven’s programming schedule.

The series of four telemovies are now expected to air towards the end of 2018 and through to 2019.

Seven first picked up the popular series in October 2017 after the ABC dropped the television version of the show earlier that year. At the time, McLachlan was named in the lead role.

The allegations against McLachlan came to light after a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC. Among the allegations, McLachlan was described as “calculated” and “manipulative” with “sinister, predatory behaviour”.

McLachlan consistently denied such behaviour, calling the allegations “baseless” and “all made up”, suggesting the women could be motivated by money.

He eventually launched legal action against ABC, Fairfax and former Rocky Horror Show co-star Christie Whelan Browne.

Garner has previously defended her Doctor Blake Mysteries co-star, describing the on set atmosphere as “the most joyous time I’ve ever had on a film set” during an appearance on ABC News Breakfast.

“It’s a terrible loss to a show that’s been so loved and that’s been such an important part of my life and Craig’s life and all the people who have worked on it. So it’s with a heavy heart that we talk about these matters,” she said.

When asked if she would describe the Doctor Blake set as “bawdy” and “Benny Hill-esque” she added: “I guess, on reflection, perhaps that’s how it was seen.”

Seven has been approached for comment.

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