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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Set visit: Frankie Drake

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Set visit: Frankie Drake
I took a step back in time this week as I visited the set of the upcoming CBC historical drama Frankie Drake.

The 11-episode, first season order is set in the roaring twenties. Lauren Lee Smith (The Listener) stars as Drake, a kick-ass lady detective patrolling the mean streets of muddy York. By her side is her trusty assistant Trudy, played by Toronto’s Chantel Riley. Versatile Riley dazzled for four season on Broadway in The Lion King. Continue reading.

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Comments and queries for the week of July 14

[The Amazing Race Canada] didn’t say that ‘Fort Mac was Canada’s oldest European settlement.’ That would be L’Anse aux Meadows in 1003, the first European settlement in the Americas founded by the Norse explorer Leif Erikson (in Newfoundland). What they said was Fort Mac is Alberta’s oldest European settlement. :-) —Kurt

Thanks for setting me straight, Kurt! —Greg

Dan Kipnis and Riya Malik trying to sing our Canadian anthem last night was a joke. If you want to play on The Amazing Race Canada than you should know our anthem. I was disgusted and disappointed. Happy to see them go just because of that! —Daphne

Hello from the States! I never miss TAR Canada since the first season, but it is not easy to watch without CTV. My heart went for the Goofy Newfies and, of course, they finished next to last [last week] and seem ready for an early exit. Otherwise, haven’t seen a favourite yet. The Yeller Boys may get on my nerves but they haven’t yet. Shout out to JonMonty. He’s the perfect host for this show. —Bob


It is time for Charlie and Alex get married! I love [Saving Hope]! —Gladusha

The whole separation thing has been incredibly artificial. Them snapping back together like magnets is only logical. Plus they’ve got three episodes to give us everybody’s happy ending. —ArghC

Hoping the payoff is believable because it’s hard to imagine something instantly bringing Charlie and Alex back together. Going to be hard to top the emotion of last week. —Hallie

 

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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Killjoys: We see a scary side to Aneela

Hells yeah, Killjoys is kicking some serious ass in Season 3. From deadly Hackmods to waging war against Aneela, we’ve loved every damn second we’ve seen. The fun continues on Friday in “The Hullen Have Eyes,” written by Adam Barken and directed by Ruba Nadda. It features a rollicking ride to a planet with a strange history, Johnny and Zeph—read our interview with Kelly McCormack—butting heads and a peek at what’s going on with Aneela.

Here’s what Space says about this week’s episode:

The Killjoys trace the last coordinates of a Black Root ship to a radiation scorched planet. The planet is home to an abandoned Hullen training camp, creepy inhabitants, and a surprising connection to their past.

And here are some fun tidbits we can add after watching a screener.

Aneela unhinged
We watched Aneela dump goo into Delle Seyah Kendry and bring her back to life. Barken’s script shows how far Aneela has gotten with regard to her war preparations … and how it’s best to run when Aneela gets angry. We also get our first gander at Ted Atherton as Gander, who reports to Aneela.

Speaking of Aneela…
Hannah John-Kamen is putting on an acting clinic with her portrayal of Aneela. She may look like Dutch, but her body language, accent and personality are totally unique.

Xeph + Johnny = plenty of laughs
There is a lot of creepiness to go around in Friday’s episode (what’s under that girl’s hood is going to give us nightmares), so the shenanigans between Zeph and Johnny are most welcome. He’s not happy she’s part of the team and she’s just trying to do her job.

Aidan Devine guest stars
The “that guy” of Canadian television appears in a memorable role. His character has got some unpleasant plans for our heroes … will he succeed?

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

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Kelly McCormack does double duty in CBC’s The Neddeaus and Space’s Killjoys

Like many Canadian actors, Kelly McCormack was plotting a move to Los Angeles this past January for pilot season. She was so busy packing for the trip, in fact, she almost missed a call from her agent, informing her the audition she’d done for Killjoys had scored her the part of Zeph.

“I’d read the character description and it said, ‘farm girl turned androgynous science nerd,’ and I said, ‘Well this is me,'” she recalls with a laugh. “I walked in with no makeup on, dressed in a black hoodie with a Dillinger Four t-shirt on over top—teenage boy from the 90s in my jam—and I went as weird and eccentric as I possibly could.” A week later, she was prepping for L.A. and had slept in. Her agent had been trying to contact her. She’d booked the role on the Space drama and had to be at a table read in an hour. McCormack’s Zeph has made an immediate impact on the trio of Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) and D’avin (Luke MacFarlane), acing her initiation test and now part of the Killjoys squad. The Vancouver native couldn’t divulge too much information about Zeph’s Season 3 adventures other than to say she’s in awe of Dutch and runs afoul of Johnny in her season-long arc. (The whole running afoul of Johnny happens this Friday, BTW. It is awesome.)

McCormack as Eloida Neddeau and Zeph

The fast-paced shoot-em-up of Killjoys couldn’t be more different than McCormack’s other project, The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island. Currently streaming on the CBC’s website, the 10 episodes are comedy’s version of the found-footage genre that exploded thanks to The Blair Witch Project.

Created by Aaron Schroeder and produced by CBC and McCormack’s Floyder Films, The Neddeaus is presented as a controversial 1970s documentary lost in the CBC’s archives. Stories of it were spoken of in hushed tones at the network, with folks like David Suzuki, Graham Greene and former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien all speaking on-camera about the series. The hook? It’s all fake, but like The Blair Witch, comes off as totally authentic.

Schroeder, an acquaintance of McCormack’s gave her a call one day, seeking a producer for his project; it was weird enough to catch her interest. After shooting a pilot, showing it to friends and being told it was amazing but too strange to be made into a series, they pitched it to CBC, who jumped on board. The result is an odd, engaging and ultimately heartfelt look at a faux family eking out a living on an island in Northern Ontario. Descendants of the Acadians, the Neddeaus utter an odd Newfoundland-ish hybrid language sprinkled with nonsense sayings only a family living away from the rest of the world would use. Cameras—and narration from Colin Mochrie—capture the day-to-day life of son Elmer (Schroeder), daughters Elène (Caitlyn Driscoll) and Eloida (McCormack), father Bichon (Tim Walker) and mother ‘Vangeline (Tara Samuel), who carry on the religion of their forefather and subsisting entirely on potatoes. Once a year they trek to town via boat to stock up on supplies they need to survive.

Aaron Schroeder as Elmer Neddeau

The key to making The Neddeaus seem real? Introducing each episode with the old CBC logo from the era it’s set in, keeping the cast’s names off the credits until Episode 10, the wardrobe, and extensive post-production work. McCormack says everyone involved pored over old CBC and National Film Board documentaries to get a feel for what The Neddeaus should look and sound like.

“It’s a comedy show, but it’s made by cinephiles,” McCormack says. “We spent hundreds of hours making sure we coloured the footage the way 70s footage picks up the blue and green in a way that HD doesn’t. We looked up how, when a camera is moving at this speed—or at what temperature—will a frame be blurred?”

Even more fun than the 10 episodes themselves is Not for Broadcast: The Lost Documentary The Neddeaus, where the aforementioned Greene, Suzuki, visual researcher Elizabeth Klinck, journalist Nerene Virgin and Chrétien all weigh in on the fabled project. Landing Chrétien was a major coup for McCormack, who was allowed five minutes with the former prime minister to explain what the heck she was making and what he needed to say.

“I’m sitting there, explaining a fake documentary about a fake documentary to him,” she says. “I nudged my cameraman and said, ‘You better be rolling!’ I was drenched in sweat and so nervous. But it was gold.”

All 10 episodes of The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island are available on CBC’s website. Killjoys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Space.

Neddeaus images courtesy of CBC. Killjoys image courtesy of Bell Media.

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TV, Eh? podcast Episode 231 — Hot Town, Summer in the City

This weeks’ podcast is brought to you by Mill St. Brewery’s Rodeo Monk and Jim Beam’s Double Oak Twice Barreled!

After a couple of weeks away, Greg and Anthony collaborate on a short Calendar of Canadian programming that includes Season 4 of 19-2 arriving July 31 on CTV. (Listen to Anthony’s previous interview with 19-2 showrunner Bruce Smith!) Then it’s on to talk about CBC’s host and judge announcement regarding The Great Canadian Baking Show, Burden of Truth losing its showrunners and Michael Morin’s opinion that the CRTC is leaderless and adrift.

Update: In the podcast, I neglected to mention the Season 2A finale of Private Eyes, which happens Thursday, July 21, on Global.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

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