Sherlock's Steven Moffat is back with a new TV drama featuring a brilliant yet unorthodox detective – but he promises that Inside Man's Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) is a departure from any crime-solver we've seen on screen before.

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A four-part drama, Inside Man sees the life of Tucci's character become unexpectedly entangled with that of a small-town vicar (played by David Tennant), a journalist (Lydia West), and a maths teacher (Dolly Wells).

Grieff is awaiting execution for murder, solving crimes from behind bars, which Moffat felt gave the character a perspective different to most TV detectives.

"I was thinking of what kind of detectives we hadn't had," Moffat – who co-created and co-wrote four seasons of BBC One's Sherlock – explained to RadioTimes.com.

"Pretty much ever since Doyle invented Sherlock Holmes, there has been no other kind of detective – they're all rip-offs of Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) BBC

"But [Grieff's] particular area of insight is he knows that anyone can do it. He's not supporting his worldview with the fairy tale that supports your worldview and mine, that there's goodness and kindness and some of us just wouldn't [commit murder].

"He knows – he's solving crimes from hell. He does believe that every human being is absolutely capable of the abominable – the advantage of the loss of everything he valued from his life is that he has the insight that strips away all the lies that sustain our illusion of security."

Grieff, like Sherlock, has a sidekick of sorts, though even this concept is turned on its head in Inside Man, with Jefferson's partner-in-solving-crime – Dillon Kempton (Atkins Estimond) – being another death row inmate, a serial killer with no moral conscience.

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"Doyle just got so many things right when he did Sherlock Holmes," Moffat said. "If you have a detective, you've got to have someone to talk to!"

Moffat also revealed that David Tennant almost missed out on the role of vicar Harry Watling in Inside Man, despite being his "first choice" for the part.

Inside Man airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Monday 26th September at 9pm. Steven Moffat and Dolly Wells will also feature in the new behind-the-scenes podcast Obsessed With... Inside Man, available on BBC Sounds on 27th September.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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