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Preview: Killjoys takes its final ride in Season 5

This is it, Killjoys fans. The end of the road for Team Awesome Force. It’s been one hells of a ride watching the journey Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), John (Aaron Ashmore), D’Avin (Luke MacFarlane) have been on, hasn’t it? And with the group the trio has assembled, including Pree (Thom Allison), Fancy (Sean Baek), Turin (Patrick Garrow) and Zeph (Kelly McCormack), these final 10 episodes are going to be amazing.

Season 5, returning Friday at 10 p.m. ET on Space, catches up after the Killjoys, with Aneela’s help, succeeded in killing the Green, the repository of living memories through which the Hullen lived eternally. But instead of helping Aneela escape it, they lead The Lady (Alanna Bale) into their world. She harnesses her ability to control their memories in hopes of finding Jaq (Jaeden Noel), the Hullen heir.

Here’s what Bell Media has revealed as the synopsis for “Run, Yala, Run,” written by show creator Michelle Lovretta and directed by Peter Stebbings:

A woman looks up.Dutch wakes up and realizes that The Lady has put Westerley under a collective delusion. With no memory comes a new reality. Dutch struggles to find a way to wake up her gang before it’s too late. But before she can, a new Killjoy comes into town looking for Jaq.

And here are more tasty tidbits I gleaned after watching a screener.

We kick off Season 5 with … jazz?
After the shocking Season 4 finale, Season 5 begins with a toe-tapping, finger-snapping tune and Johnny wearing workman’s coveralls. What the heck is happening here? And why doesn’t Dutch recognize D’Avin?

The sarcastic tone is still there
Listen, I didn’t expect the witty banter to abate, it just gave me immense joy to hear “Putting the ass in sass,” and “You put the dick in cocky,” being uttered in prime time.

The search for Jaq continues
And the group trying to find him is growing. And to get to him they’ll have to go through Delle Seyah.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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The Amazing Race Canada: One Way fun day in Edmonton

During last week’s teaser for Tuesday’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada, the double One Way was teased. How would this latest wrinkle affect the teams? We found out in Edmonton, the location for the latest Leg.

Aarthy and Thinesh departed Revelstoke, B.C., first, aiming to land one of two spots on the first airplane to Edmonton; the rest would follow two and a half hours later. That was the biggest advantage of this season so far. Close to three hours head start can give a struggling team the cushion they need to succeed. The double One Way, new in Season 7, enabled two teams to anonymously decide the Detours two other teams must complete. The advantage? It forces a team to complete a Detour they might not be good at. The possible backfire? Giving a team a Detour they master quickly.

Dave and Irina had bullseyes on their backs and were determined to get to the One Way board before anyone could target them. Anthony and James, meanwhile, were excited to return to their home turf, hoping it would give them an advantage. (Kudos to TARC‘s producers for letting the couple acknowledge they were wearing skirts to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.) Dave and Irina were on the board for Flight No. 1, as were Aarthy and Thinesh. Everyone else had to settle for Flight No. 2 and the possibility of being One Way victims.

I had totally forgotten Dave and Irina had an Express Pass to give until they offered it to Anthony and James who had inadvertently helped them during the tree planting in B.C. The first location in Edmonton was to The Source, which I totally forgot even existed. There, they would get their next clue and put on a (sponsor alert!) Samsung fitness tracker; the team with the lowest number of steps for the Leg pocketed a $5,000 gift card for The Source. That turned out to be Lauren and Joanne.

A man and a woman look at a shopping display.The next location? The high level bridge streetcar, to find their next clue … and dole out some One Way pain. Aarthy and Thinesh aimed to be the team with the last steps taken and allowed Dave and Irina to pass them on the way to the streetcar. Who cares if you win $5,000 if you’ve been eliminated?

This week’s Detour choices were Celebrate (performing with a youth choir at the Royal Alberta Museum) or Elevate (climbing aboard the funicular and completing two puzzles of the city skyline). Dave and Irina chose Elevate and did not One Way any other team. “We’ll let the peasants fight for last place,” Dave joked. Aarthy and Thinesh chose the same Detour and didn’t One Way anyone either, but didn’t mention anything about peasants. The two puzzles contained pieces from each, meaning teams had to use the funicular several times to complete the images. Dave and Irina completed the puzzles first and left for the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.

The second flight arrived, and third to show up at the streetcar were Anthony and James who opted not to punish anyone. Lauren and Joanne became the first team to utilize the One Way and targetted Trish and Amy for Celebrate. Sarah and Sam, who picked Elevate, One Way-ed Sean and Gilles for Celebrate too. Meaghan and Marie opted for Celebrate, meaning three teams were set to sing and dance. Amy was worried her hearing impairment was going to be a problem and asked their instructor to speak up. Meaghan and Marie needed just two attempts to master the dance and song and left for the antique mall, followed by Trish and Amy.

At the antique mall, Racers were tasked with finding a Jon Montgomery bobblehead somewhere in the 27,000 square foot building. Dave and Irina found Jon’s bobblehead first, amid wrestling figures, and departed for the Kurimoto Japanese Garden to locate the Ozawa Pavillion. Sam spotted Jon in seconds; he and Sarah leapfrogged others into third place as they headed to the pavilion. Anthony and James and Lauren and Joanne were close behind. Trish and Amy located Jon, but it was a picture in an Olympic magazine.

Two women look through a pile of posters.The Leg’s Road Block challenged one team member to master an Ichiban flower arrangement by watching a silent demonstration and replicating it. Irina took it on, as did Thinesh. Irina seems to get stressed out at the littlest things and threatened to shake her confidence. But, right after the commercial break, she realized her mistake—the flowers were touching—and corrected it. Anthony, Sarah and  Lauren all arrived at the same time and Sarah was left alone after the others were done first because her flowers were touching. Things were even worse for Amy, who didn’t see that one leaf hiding behind the pot and keeping her from leaving the pavilion. The same mess was messing with Gilles.

This Leg’s Pit Stop was the Agha Khan Garden, where the real Jon waited. With 20 minutes of the episode still to go, Dave and Irina landed in first place and a trip to Casablanca, Morocco. Aarthy and Thinesh completed the Leg in second place and were feeling confident. Amy and Gilles’ massive delays with their flower arrangements meant they were the bottom of the pack. And, sadly for Gilles and Sean, it meant an elimination.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Dave and Irina
  2. Aarthy and Thinesh
  3. Anthony and James
  4. Lauren and Joanne
  5. Sarah and Sam
  6. Meaghan and Marie
  7. Trish and Amy
  8. Sean and Gilles (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Hudson & Rex: Jessie Gabe on writing for a series where a dog is the star

Jessie Gabe took a bit of a circuitous route to writing for television. Initially interested in acting, she moved from Montreal to Toronto where she performed and wrote sketch comedy. But it was on a train where her professional writing career took off.

“I met a guy on a train and I very luckily wound up, through him, meeting his cousin, who is now my agent and who got me my first job as a writer on Being Erica,” Gabe says. A stint on Being Erica was followed by co-creating Agnes & Harold (which she also starred in), penning the film Cas & Dylan, and a writing and executive producer gig on Mr. D and Frankie Drake Mysteries.

She also was part of the writing staff and co-executive producer on Season 1 of Hudson & Rex. In this week’s episode, the team moves quickly when Donovan’s ex wakes up with blood on her hands and a dead roommate. We caught up with Gabe, who is freelance writing scripts for Season 2 of Hudson & Rex and co-writing a feature film on the life of Canadian Phil Hartman.

Had you ever considered writing before?
JG: I had written, but I actually had never considered being a professional screenwriter. I don’t think it had occurred to me. I was in my 20s, and I had written sketch and by a total fluke, I had written a couple of spec scripts quite a bit before that, just because a friend of mine was considering being a writer and it was an activity that I did with him. I had them on file, but it was like a game at the time. And I was working on a feature, that again, with really no knowledge of anything, no outline, just Page 1, fade in, because my roommate was a filmmaker and thought, ‘We don’t anything, and you’ll write it, and you’ll star in it, and I’ll film it.’ We were both struggling artists. Luckily, it didn’t get made, thank god. It turned into Cas & Dylan, and it got made with, thank god, not myself in the lead role.

A dog stands, looking into the camera.You were on Mr. D, then you were on Frankie Drake Mysteries. And once you were in the Shaftesbury door, I’m assuming that’s part of the reason you ended up on Hudson & Rex, is that true?
JG: Yeah, they just moved me over. I was winding down on Frankie, and they were like, ‘Hey, we need writers on Rex.’ Initially, I was hired to just do one script and four weeks on the show, and I really thought it was just a short little stint, because they initially had, what was it, 8, or 10 episodes?

And then I suddenly got a call saying, ‘They’ve just expanded it, can you do another script?’ And I was like, ‘Great!’ And then a few weeks later, they’re like, ‘We just found out now that the order is 16. Would you do another script?’ And it kept expanding, so I kept getting a few more weeks, and then another script, and a few more. And now, I’m freelancing on Season 2, writing another script.

What were your first thoughts when it came to writing Hudson & Rex?
JG: I think the initial challenge was what is the tone of the show? Probably everybody assumed going in that it was going to be extremely lighthearted and comedic. And that’s my wheelhouse anyway, so I figured that’s what I’m going to bring also. Comedy is more my thing really. And then I get into the room, and the storylines are pretty heavy and dark. And I thought, ‘What is happening here?’ But it’s interesting, it’s just not what I initially expected, and I think maybe I wasn’t alone to think that, so we started to adapt. Making the dog the star of the show and trying to tell a mystery that would be impossible to solve without the dog—the dog is supposedly Charlie’s superpower—that is the goal that we always strive for anyway. It can be challenging, but it’s interesting that the show itself is more like just a cop procedural. So it doesn’t have that childlike, or younger, tone that maybe we initially expected going on.

Even though the writers’ room is so collaborative, when it comes to writing, do you go off on your own, do you have a soundtrack that you listen to while you write, do you need to be in a Starbucks or something with some background noise, how does it work for you?
JG: I don’t like listening to music, because I’ll start singing along, or even humming to a tune. I’m not hearing the words and the dialogue, so I like being quiet. But at the same time, I’m happy to work in a coffee shop, so background noise doesn’t bother me. But I tend to work at home. I’m flexible. I don’t have only one way that I can do it. I have a four-year-old and sometimes it’s wherever.

Is there anything that you’re working on that you talk about at this point, or is it all just about focusing on Hudson & Rex?
JG: A feature that I’ve been working on, it’s a biopic about Phil Hartman. I have a co-writing credit with Jonas Chernick. He wrote the initial script that I was brought on to rewrite, but we’re co-writers on it. So yes, story biopic about Phil Hartman, and we’ll see where it goes. It’s being produced by Tyler Levine at Carousel Pictures. Phil Hartman’s daughter has been very supportive and got the creators of The Simpsons on board with us.

Hudson & Rex airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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Comments and queries for the week of July 12

I would love to see Flashpoint come back. I always watch the re-runs. Excellent series. Great cast. Miss it! —Diana

Us too, Diana. Us too.


A group of people run toward the camera.I liked the self driving shifts and that the grandfather came in third. Another Express Pass, so that’s the standard three. Interesting that Nicki and Aisha seemed to have lost due to bad directions from a local. What is a Double One Way supposed to be? I caught the premiere as well; quite a shock Jet and Dave were first out, especially when compared to how veteran teams just did on TAR 31 in the U.S. I wonder if that’s why they aren’t promoting the “Second Chance” angle after looking for it in casting as opposed to how much they over-hyped “Heroes Edition.” It’s been a while since we had a “villain” team on any of the seasons though Irina yelling at the clue lady to hurry up was funny. She’s self-aware with the “most hated couple in Canada” bit so I don’t think she really cares how it will play for TV; and they actually reside in the UAE which makes them more international then the actual show. —DanAmazing

Your opinion about Irina is right on. Also, her comment about the other teams not being so bright. And the comment made by Dave about being the hated couple is also right on. I do hope they go home soon. —Mary Ann

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

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Discovery’s Make It to the Moon tells the Apollo 11 story in fascinating new way

I’ve been a fan of the U.S. space program since I was a kid. In 1981, I watched as the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off on April 12. I was transfixed. I don’t know when I first learned of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong and the moon landing, but it was likely before Columbia. Regardless, I thought I pretty much knew everything there was to know about Apollo 11—through books, movies and documentaries—until I watched Make It to the Moon.

Debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery, this Canadian production unearthed a treasure trove of information. While 600 million people watched the first astronauts land on the moon on July 20, 1969, four teams contracted by NASA played crucial roles in the historical moment were unknown to most.

“What people know about the Apollo program is the mission control and astronaut story,” says Maria Knight, Make It to the Moon producer and director. “What people don’t realize is how many people were involved to get this off the ground. President Kennedy really did harness the entire technological power of the U.S. in order to pull this off.” Narrated by Golden Globe-nominated Canadian actor Stephan James, the two-part project truly is an international affair, jetting to Australia to interview former employees of the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, most famous for receiving and relaying the television images of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon.

An astronaut looks into the camera.Virtually every piece for the mission was built from scratch, with four organizations embracing the challenge: Honeysuckle Creek; the Grumman Aircraft Corporation designed and built the first-ever lunar lander; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created groundbreaking navigational software and shrunk a computer the size of a semi-trailer to one-cubic-foot so it could fit onboard the lunar module; and the International Latex Company, best known for its Playtex bras and girdles, stitched a new kind of space suit by hand.

After eOne did the legwork, contacting former workers at the four companies, Knight and her team sat down and interviewed them. Though it’s 50 years later, their eyes light up with excitement recalling the rush to complete the project and ensure the U.S. was the first country to conquer the moon.

“Most of these people got jobs in the Apollo program straight out of college and I think the average age of the program was mid-20s,” Knight says. “Can you imagine graduating from university and, in the case of Don Eyles, [ending up] writing the code for the lunar lander?

“Technology is so fast-moving for us right now and there is sort of a blasé feel about it,” Knight continues. “We want to show how extraordinary this accomplishment was and bring a bit of awe into what these people accomplished.”

Make It to the Moon airs Sunday, July 14, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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