All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Preview: A sequential killer stalks Toronto on Murdoch Mysteries

There are three new faces in the Murdoch Mysteries writing room this season. Dan Trotta, Natalia Guled and Noelle Girard joined the long-running, high-rated CBC drama after Michelle Ricci and Carol Hay departed to create Frankie Drake Mysteries and the untimely passing of Jordan Christianson.

Tonight, Dan Trotta—who most recently wrote and produced on the Omni drama Blood and Water—gets the spotlight with “Dr. Osler Regrets,” directed by Alison Reid. Here’s the official synopsis from CBC:

A spate of murders staged as suicides leads Murdoch to suspect a sequential killer targeting the elderly.

And here are a few more tidbits we caught after watching a screener.

Louise Cherry returns
I’ve read the comments on the Murdoch Mysteries Facebook pages and fans are pretty clear in their feelings regarding Ms. Cherry: they don’t like her. It will be interesting to see what fans think of Ms. Cherry after this week’s instalment because she’s up to her old tricks again.

Kristopher Turner guest-stars
I’ve missed Kristopher Turner since This Life was cancelled—watch both excellent seasons via the CBC site—so it’s a treat to see him in Detective Murdoch’s world as Jack Borden. Also after appearing on Murdoch Mysteries once before as Dr. Lawrence Abbott in “Buffalo Shuffle,” Stewart Arnott re-appears in the role of Dr. William Osler. You can read up on Osler’s real-life achievements here; among his accolades, Osler was one of the founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital. We get a nice little bit of backstory with regard to Julia’s education and how Osler factored into it.

Violet gets her hands dirty
It doesn’t take long for Violet to contribute to the team. Within minutes she’s up to her elbows in guts at the city morgue, helping Julia determine a cause of death in the episode’s first victim.

George reveals a timely hobby
Julia isn’t the only one we learn something about. After 11 seasons Crabtree unveils an interesting hobby.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.




Link: Camille Sullivan Talks The Disappearance

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Camille Sullivan Talks The Disappearance
“I started watching documentaries about children who had gone missing and been found or never been found. What struck me was that the parents would say they felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. You want, as a parent, to save your kids, find your kids, and protect your kids and you can’t do anything. The emotion starts there and then you just jump in.” Continue reading.


Super Channel to premiere new original drama series, Acceptable Risk

From a media release:

Super Channel is pleased to announce that Acceptable Risk, a six-part gripping conspiracy thriller, will make its Canadian broadcast premiere on Thursday, November 9 at 9 p.m. ET (SC1) as a new Super Channel Original Series. Each episode of the Canada/Ireland co-production, will also be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast.

Shot in Dublin and Montreal, Acceptable Risk is written by Emmy® Award winner Ron Hutchinson (Traffic; The Ten Commandments, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story) and directed by Kenny Glenaan (Charlie, Paranoid, Noah’s Ark, Wired).

Principal cast includes Elaine Cassidy (Harper’s Island, No Offence), Angeline Ball (Mr. Selfridge, The Commitments), Lisa Dwyer Hogg (Waking the Dead, The Fall) and Morten Suurballe (The Killing, Vikings), as well as Canadians Paul Popowich (Rogue, Saving Hope, Cracked) and Geordie Johnson (Copper, Murdoch Mysteries, Reign).

When her husband, Lee (Paul Popowich), is murdered while on a business trip to Montreal, Sarah Manning (Elaine Cassidy) comes to realize that she knows nothing about his past. While coping with her grief in her home in Dublin, Sarah questions who Lee actually was and what he did in his work for a powerful global pharmaceuticals organization. And why did Lee, a salesman, need to carry a gun?

The growing suspicion that Lee’s death may be connected to the death of her first husband, leads Sarah to confront a powerful conspiracy of corporate, police and political interests, extending from Dublin to Montreal, in which her own family may be complicit.

Acceptable Risk was produced for Irish broadcaster RTÉ by Siobhán Bourke and Kathryn Lennon of Saffron Pictures (Whistleblower) and James Mitchell of Soho Moon Pictures (Croupier) with funding from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland.  The series is being co-financed by international distributor DCD Rights and U.S. partner Acorn Media Enterprises.  Canadian Producer is Stephen Greenberg with Anna-Sue Greenberg and Jamie D. Greenberg as Executive Producers, all of Facet4 Media. Acceptable Risk is being distributed in Canada by Incendo Media Inc.




Massive Monster Mayhem runs riot on Family Channel

“What’s the craziest things that kids love and how do we jam them all into one show?” That’s the question Art Spigel was asking himself when he ruminated on his newest project. The answer: a lot. Debuting Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel, Massive Monster Mayhem is a mishmash of genres—live-action game show, comedy, CGI and sci-fi series—delivered at a frenetic pace.

Where else can you create a world where kids teleport to an alien planet or a hot dog can drive a robot? That’s just the tip of the iceberg with Massive Monster Mayhem. Co-created by Spigel, the veteran of kids’ programming recalled all the things he loved as a child—giant robots, wrestling, outer space and winning prizes—and jammed them into a television show.

Each episode is an ingenious combination of technology and old-school, as kids don costumes and become intergalactic heroes, facing off against each other in Intergalactic Battle Alliance challenges. The winner of those tests faces a monster sent by Master Mayhem (voiced by Daniel Davies and performed by Thomas Lorber), who has proclaimed himself “Greatest Ruler in the Universe.” Master Mayhem wants to rule Earth and these kids are our last hope. Shot against a massive green screen, CGI transforms the challenges to a space-based colosseum where Graham Conway and Devon Deshaun Stewart call the action from Wipeout-ish obstacle course to the monster movie-inspired smackdown of a cityscape finale. The competitor that successfully defends the world takes home $1,000.

Spigel teamed with Toronto video effects company Playfight to utilize a real-time CGI environment usually reserved for feature films like Avatar—he likens it to dropping the television cameras into a video game—when creating Massive Monster Mayhem.

But Massive Monster Mayhem isn’t just the competition. Master Mayhem is a shade-throwing, sarcastic fellow who delights in boasting of his powers in comedic segments between tests where he preps to destroy Earth.

“I think the humour is universal,” Spigel says. “As crazy as this is, we want there to be some co-viewing. Parents can appreciate the wrestling parody and kids can laugh because that monster looks funny when he breaks things.”

Massive Monster Mayhem airs Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel.

Image courtesy of Family Channel.





Comments and queries for the week of October 20

WOW! I live in and have raised two children in an 1,100 square foot home with wood heat, etc. I am amazed at the expense and extravagance of this home of Sarah’s [on Off the Grid]. I feel sorry for all of the young folk out there that aspire to this lifestyle. We need more shows about living more simply and more environmentally sensitively. Beautiful home, Sarah but wouldn’t want to have to clean it or keep it up. —C.K.

Disappointed that her show did not address how to live without ANY connection to hydro. —Brian

I have watched all of the episodes so far and do not see any heating vents or electric registers in any of the rooms. My wife and I built our own home north of Winnipeg over 30 years ago to R2000 standards, which is super insulated with an HRV air exchanger, and passive solar heat gain and forced air natural gas furnace. My question is, are you using solar electric with propane backup with radiant heat in the floors and ceilings? —David

Not sure they know what “off the grid” is. —Gordon


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