The Calling: Matthew Tinker shares what makes Avi different

THE CALLING -- "He's Gone" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Peacock) The Calling
THE CALLING -- "He's Gone" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Peacock) The Calling /

Matthew Tinker is one of the EPs on The Calling, a new series from David E. Kelley. What makes Avi Avraham so different to other detectives on screen?

When you have a detective series, the aim now is to make it stand out. The best way to do that is with a different type of detective in the lead. It’s something Emer Kenny recently talked about when it came to developing Karen Pirie, and we did see something completely different to the normal aging detective with a drinking problem.

The Calling offers us something unique, too. Avraham Avraham is a spiritual man who is full of empathy. He will do what he can to solve the case, and that can often take him down a dark path. Nobody can learn to do what he does, but sometimes, he needs to take a step back.

Matthew Tinker is one of the executive producers on the new series. He talked about what made Avi different to other detectives, and also how he ended up involved in the project.

How familiar was Matthew with the Avi Avraham books?

It’s important to be somewhat familiar with the source material before adapting. That doesn’t mean needing to be a fan to begin with, but at least reading it and understanding what makes character popular with fans to create a similar vibe for the series.

Matthew admitted that he wasn’t familiar with the books at first, but that soon changed.

"“I didn’t know about it until it hit my desk. David [E. Kelley] started reading it and said ‘hey, there’s this character Avraham that you really gotta check out’ and he hadn’t even finished the book yet. So we took a look and fell in love with him. He wasn’t like anything we’d seen before.”"

Since getting the project, Matthew has ready all of D.A. Mishani’s books. This allows the writers to incorporate various aspects of the other books into the first season. It also helps with future developments should there be a second season.

Making Avraham Avraham balanced in The Calling

When you start watching the series, you’ll see that there is a lot of balance in Avi’s character. The first two minutes got me and (spoiler alter—although I did spot it in the trailer) it involves him praying over a body, which you never see in a cop show. There are times that Avi is a little more closed off, so how did Matthew and co. find a balance?

"“I think audiences are smarter than they ever were before…with this show we wanted Avi to remain a mystery throughout the entire series…by that, he should feel very real. You don’t know all the people you interact with in this world, that you work with. It should take some effort from Janine, in particular, to chip away at that outer exterior that may seem standoffish and tough.”"

Avi and Janine have a great partnership throughout. Janine isn’t a character taken straight from the book, so how much was taken from The Missing File and beyond to get this balance between the two?

"“Janine was David…Often, you need that character that is going to serve as the audience’s eyes. [Avi is] not often a reflection of the audience, so Janine’s invention, we’ll say, serves as the audience’s POV to question Avi…to inform on Avi, to push him to different things.”"

He does have a lot of great things to say about Juliana, who plays Janine in the series. We certainly agree with his comments!

Check out the full interview with Matthew Tinker from The Calling below:

Next. The Calling trailer, show art, and more. dark

The Calling is on Peacock on Thursday, Nov. 10.