HE MAY have been in the country for only four days, but flying home for the Melbourne Cup was a breath of fresh air for Nicholas Bishop.
The Body of Proof star took a short break from his busy filming schedule to make the whirlwind trip Down Under, as one of the spring racing carnival's swag of celebrity guests.
"It's great to be back," he told The Guide, while in Melbourne.
"There's something about this place. I said to my colleague, when we flew into Sydney, it's a breath of fresh air."
Upon his return to LA - where he has been living with wife Claire and kids Ava, 5, and Harrison, 2, for the past two years - it was straight back to the set to continue shooting the second series of Body of Proof.
Best known to Australian viewers as Peter Baker on Home and Away, Body of Proof is Bishop's breakthrough role in the US.
He stars opposite Dana Delany (as medical examiner Dr Megan Hunt) as former police officer turned medical investigator Peter Dunlop, in the popular drama about Dr Hunt's unique approach to solving crimes.
Bishop said he was happy with the development of his character (and other supporting characters) in the second series.
"I think the writers have kicked it up a notch this year, as far as investing time in the other characters, as well as Dana's character," he said. "It's important in any ensemble to find out more about the other characters. All of us get much more of a back story this season and we delve a lot more into each of our lives and where we come from."
The cast sat down with the show's writers to talk about their hopes for their characters in the second series.
"One of the burning things, for me, is why Peter is one of the only people who can look Dr Hunt in the eye and say 'you're way out of line' or 'you're being rude to people' or just to call her on her actions and catch her out," Bishop said. "I wanted to know why he's the one to do that. Why he's such an expert on people and relationships.
"They've been really great with supporting a lot of that stuff I put forward. It's nice to see it come to fruition on screen."
Dunlop's past as a police officer was also an intriguing subject for Bishop.
"I also wanted to know why he left the police force and went to the medical examiner's office," he said.
"It's always been a bit of a question as to what his function is in the office. What exactly does a medical investigator do?"
Bishop can answer that question after shadowing a real life medical investigator in the US state of Rhode Island, as part of his research for the role.
"We talked about what his function was, right down to what he wears and what he does at a crime scene," he said. "I then got taken around the office and shown where they do the autopsies and the freezers where they keep the bodies."
He and Delany also observed three autopsies during filming of the first series. "We held every single organ, got to feel inside the rib cage and I think Dana helped saw open the top of the skull. It was pretty amazing, one of those things I'll never forget."
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