Highlands & Islands

Grimm up north: The Scots influences on cult US show

Bitsie Tulloch Image copyright NBC/Watch
Image caption Bitsie Tulloch who plays the show's Juliette Silverton has family connections with Scotland

Cult US TV show Grimm reaches a season finale later on Wednesday.

Centred around a Portland police detective's battles with strange, shape-changing creatures called Wesen, the drama features witches, werewolf-like beings and even a "bad santa" called Krampus.

The show draws about 800,000 viewers in the UK, has a following of 4.6 million in the States and more than 2.1 million likes on Facebook.

Its biggest fans call themselves Grimmsters.

While inspired by the fairytales of Germany's legendary Grimm brothers, the show has some unexpected Scottish influences and connections.

Image copyright NBC/Watch
Image caption One of Grimm's menagerie of supernatural creatures known as Wesen

Actress Bitsie Tulloch - who plays a veterinarian and the love interest to the show's lead character, detective Nick Burkhardt - has strong links with Scotland on her father's side of her family.

She said: "My grandma's family was from Renfrew, near Glasgow, and my grandpa's family was primarily from the area around Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands.

"We think the first Tulloch came to the US around 1880 and the Kerrs came in the early 1900s."

Tulloch added: "There is a Tulloch Castle in Dingwall but we have not directly linked our family to it."

Dating back to the 12th Century, Tulloch Castle has its own Grimm-like tales of being haunted by a ghost known as the Green Lady and also two phantom girls.

Season three of Grimm has seen actress Tulloch's character drawn increasingly into Burkhardt's strange world of dealing with the show's trademark shape-shifters.

Image copyright NBC/WATCH
Image caption Tulloch and lead character Nick Burkhardt played by actor David Giuntoli

She said: "I think it's so fun that they've made Juliette sort of geeky and into the research side of things - I love all the scenes where she gets so excited about reporting her findings to Nick that she can barely take a breath.

"And I have so much fun whenever I get to do stunts.

"That's one of the great things about season three for me - those stunt sequences are a blast to rehearse and shoot."

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Dan Kremer decided to give his character a Scottish accent

Tulloch is aware of the show's cult status in the UK.

"The UK Grimmsters on Twitter are an especially loyal and active group. I know Grimm does very well in the UK," she said.

Another of Grimm's cast with Scottish roots is Dan Kremer, who plays his character King Frederick with a Scots accent.

He said: "Originally from Texas, I am of Anglo-Scots heritage though many generations removed."

For the past 35 years, the actor has made his living on the American regional theatre circuit.

"This has enabled me to spend most of my career performing in a classical theatre repertoire and playing a lot of Shakespeare," he said.

His Grimm character Frederick is the reigning patriarch of a Wesen faction called The Royals.

Kremer said: "As such, he is a figure of considerable mystery and wields enormous power."

"The character description said only 'he has an accent'.

"I sought to give the king an accent that would leave open the question of his origin and give a sense that the royal family had endured for centuries."

He added: "I hoped to convey the idea of someone unbound by borders or nationalities.

"The hint of a Scots' accent brings a mystery, history and power that fits King Frederick well."

Grimm's season three finale will be shown on Watch from 21:00.