Preview: Tara Spencer-Nairn guest-stars on Frankie Drake Mysteries

I love watching Tara Spencer-Nairn act. I first came across her work in a little show called Corner Gas. I think most know her from playing Officer Karen Pelly on Corner Gas in the live action TV show, movie and animated series, but she’s turned in some incredible dramatic roles. Two recent standouts for me was an episode of Saving Hope and a mini-arc on Killjoys. (And if you’re not already following her on Instagram, you really should.)

All this is my way of saying if she’s on-screen a series is better for it. So I was thrilled to see her name in the credits for Monday’s episode of Frankie Drake Mysteries. She portrays Ida Pike, a woman who asks Frankie and Trudy to find her missing husband.

Here’s what the CBC has revealed as the storyline for “Radio Daze,” written by Cal Coons and directed by Ruba Nadda.

Mary (Rebecca Liddiard) is acting in a radio drama, but when she realizes the play is a cover for a heist, she must find a way to warn Frankie (Lauren Lee Smith).

And I’ve got more details after watching the instalment in advance.

Mary Shaw, Morality Officer
I’d almost forgotten Mary had that title, but I was reminded during her stint on the radio, where she reminds listeners to, among other things, not venture into the woods alone. And certainly not without sensible footwear. There’s also a nod to Lillian Gish that had me scrambling to my Google machine to learn more about the actress, writer and director.

A salute to Orson Welles
The nod to Lillian Gish isn’t the only reference to real history in Coons’ script. The radio show has a distinct The War of the Worlds vibe about it that makes this storyline even more enjoyable.

More guests
Tara Spencer-Nairn isn’t the only familiar face in 1920s Toronto. Look for recent Wynonna Earp visitor Justin Kelly—who portrays broadcasting great Foster Hewitt—and Kevin Jubinville. Grace Lynn Kung and Romaine Waite check into their recurring roles as Wendy and Bill. Speaking of Bill, he’s started acting strangely and Trudy is worried he’s keeping secrets from her.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Featured image courtesy of CBC.

Greg David
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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.
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