Everything about Frankie Drake, eh?

Photo gallery: Frankie Drake Mysteries

Are you ready for Frankie Drake Mysteries to debut this Monday? We sure are. The series follows Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they fight crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners and speakeasies in 1920s Toronto.

Along for the 11-episode first season ride with Smith and Riley are Sharron Matthews as Flo, a Toronto morgue assistant; and Rebecca Liddiard as morality officer Mary Shaw.

Ahead of the debut, check out these gorgeous gallery images of the key cast.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.




Links: Frankie Drake Mysteries

From Melissa Hank of Canada.com:

Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries celebrates strong women
“We sort of dive right into a case and into Frankie and Trudy’s friendship. We’re not going to get a whole lot of backstory into how they became partners and how their friendship evolved — I think that’s going to slowly trickle in as the season progresses. But you will get a sense of their sisterhood.” Continue reading.

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies:

Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries: 7 Reasons to watch the female-led series
“It has elements of everything. The period aspect, the action-adventure aspect, the drama aspect, and the somewhat procedural aspect in that every episode the audience will know that there’s some conflict that needs to be resolved. It melds the best of all of these little worlds.” Continue reading. 

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Link: The name’s Frankie, Frankie Drake, not Murdoch
“I don’t think it’s a show that necessarily shouts “Hey, I’m a woman!” But history is something that is very present. But it doesn’t overtake the storylines; it’s not necessarily a main focus, but it is important. Frankie solves the cases that people don’t want to touch or the police don’t want to know about. But she’s doing it during a certain period in time where women are not equals.” Continue reading.

From Anne Brodie of What She Said:

Link: There’s a New Trendsetter in Town: Interview with Lauren Lee Smith
“The creators of the show about this iconic, incredibly strong-willed rebellious character who in 1921 in unheard of. Yet it makes sense. It was such an interesting time for women. It was a time of liberation and females were standing up for themselves for the first time.” Continue reading. 

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Review: Frankie Drake Mysteries
Frankie Drake Mysteries is not deadly serious like PBS’s Sherlock. It works best when it is played broad in every sense of the word. There’s plenty of bounce in Episode One, with a jaunty jazz score accelerating the action. Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries is fabulously fun Canadian content
Attention Murdoch Mysteries fans, there’s a new detective on CBC and this one is better dressed and more adept with the cutting wit. Oh, it’s all still set in the Toronto of the past so there’s that comfort factor if you like the cozy period-piece shows. But this new detective is all wisecracks and fab outfits. No Murdoch melancholy here. Continue reading.





CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries solves crimes in a post-Murdoch Mysteries Toronto

There’s a new detective in town, and CBC’s hoping she’s as popular as Detective William Murdoch. Frankie Drake Mysteries, debuting Monday at 9 p.m. after Murdoch Mysteries, is chockfull of sass, swagger and, yes, murder.

Frankie Drake Mysteries also shares key DNA with Murdoch Mysteries. The drama is produced by Shaftesbury, who also produce Murdoch, and series co-creators, Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, were longtime writers on Murdoch (learn how Frankie Drake came to be) with fellow Murdochian producer/director Cal Coons doing showrunning duties on Frankie Drake.

So, what sets it apart? Frankie Drake Mysteries is set in 1920s Toronto, a time of change in society in general and for women in particular. The series follows Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they fight crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners and speakeasies. Frankie Drake Mysteries is a riot of flashy wardrobe, sparkling cars, jazzy soundtrack and funky settings. There is a sense of lightness and fun—aside from the murders of course—and a fast pace.

“It has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Smith says during a break in filming on location in Hamilton, Ont. “We’re sort of discovering things as we go along. I’m certainly discovering things about the character as we go along. The writers are kind of doing that on purpose, giving us little snippets here and there.” Last seen on This Life, Smith says she was immediately drawn to Frankie upon reading the first script and had an idea of who she was, looked like and moved. As viewers will see in Monday’s debut, Frankie struts through life with confidence with a twinkle in her eye and a crooked grin.

Along for the 11-episode first season ride with Smith and Riley are Sharron Matthews as Flo, a Toronto morgue assistant; Emmanuel Kabongo as boxer Moses Page; and Rebecca Liddiard as morality officer Mary Shaw. Season 1 guest stars include Lucas Bryant, Steven Lund, Derek McGrath, Grace Lynn Kung and Wendy Crewson, who drops by to play Nora Amory in Episode 1.

“I am having a blast,” Crewson says between takes. “I’m playing woman of that era who is able to understand psychology and really sort of played on men’s egos. Men thought they were smarter and [Nora] plays to that weakness.” Of course, not all is as it appears with Nora and that shakes Frankie to her core.

And while Frankie struggles with the information Nora has for her in Monday’s debut, Smith had some major issues behind the scenes thanks to the 1920s car she was tasked with driving.

“The car and I have a tumultuous relationship,” Smith says with a laugh. “I was trying to make friends with her by saying, ‘Come on, girl. I know you’re old-timey and a little rusty, but let’s be friends.’ I realize she wants to be bossed around by a strong person behind the wheel. She has caught on fire twice, she stalls constantly, the brakes only work sometimes and to go forward you need to put her in reverse.”

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

Images courtesy of CBC.




Comments and queries for the week of October 27

Will cast members of Murdoch Mysteries ever visit Frankie Drake Mysteries? Yes, they will be older but sometimes a crossover is interesting. —Gary

We’d love that! Let’s hope!

I am glad Cherry is back [on Murdoch Mysteries]. Better than Davis coming back. I hope she gets hers. —Sylvia

I was totally happy Shanti was sent home [on The Bachelor Canada]. What was she thinking? Chris asked her to stop and she didn’t hear? Guys aren’t into girl cattiness. She was totally depressing me, never mind Chris. Great move Chris! —Anne


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




Rebecca Liddiard, Sharron Matthews and Emmanuel Kabongo join Frankie Drake Mysteries

From a media release:

Shaftesbury and CBC today revealed additional casting for new one-hour original drama FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (11 x 60). Starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener, The L Word) and Chantel Riley (Race, The Lion King) and set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies. With production underway on location in Toronto and southern Ontario until late October, the series will air Mondays at 9p.m. ET (9:30 NT) on CBC and stream at cbc.ca/watch beginning November 6, and make its UK debut on Alibi (UKTV) in early 2018.

Joining the cast are Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Houdini & Doyle, Slasher 2: Guilty Party) as police morality officer Mary Shaw, Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as morgue attendant Flo, and Emmanuel Kabongo (21 Thunder, Teenagers) as boxer Moses Page. Guest stars include Lucas Bryant (Haven, Shoot the Messenger), Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope, Slasher, Revenge), Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis), Grace Lynn Kung (Carmilla The Movie, Mary Kills People), Steve Lund (Reign, Bitten), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Rookie Blue), and Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Smallville).

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. The Drake Private Detectives take on cases that explore every cross-section of Toronto, from gospel church choirs, bathing beauties and the early cinema scene, to the homes and private parties of the city’s elite. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, who also serve as executive producers, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Cal Coons, who is also showrunner, and produced by Jonathan Hackett. The series is written by Hay, Ricci, Coons, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Ian Carpenter, and Adrianna Maggs and directed by Leslie Hope, Norma Bailey, Eleanor Lindo, Ruba Nadda, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland.

A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, and the Bell Fund. Content Media is the global distributor of the series.