Everything about Saving Hope, eh?

Saving Hope co-executive producer previews the series finale

When you have a chance to talk to one of Saving Hope‘s writer-co-executive producers, you take it. I ran into Patrick Tarr earlier this week in North Bay, Ont., where he is doing pre-production work as the showrunner on Season 3 of Cardinal. Tarr, who has written for Showcase’s King and CBC’s Cracked and the Murdoch Mysteries web series The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, penned several instalments of Saving Hope, including last week’s “First and Last.”

Now, with the finale “Hope Never Dies” just two days away, we asked Tarr to tease his thoughts on Charlie and Alex’s final storyline.

“I don’t think that there is another ending that is true to what the show is about,” Tarr says. “I asked Adam [Pettle, Saving Hope‘s showrunner], when we were breaking the final episode and we had the idea we did: ‘What is Saving Hope about?’ This is what we’ve been doing for five seasons.”

Tarr acknowledges that, after a handful of seasons, fans are definitely going to have strong feelings if anything untoward were to happen to any of the key characters they’ve fallen in love with. To have something other than a happy ending for Charlie, Alex, Zack, Shahir, Dawn, Dana or Jackson would be incredibly upsetting. That said, Saving Hope is about life, death and everything in between. And, as the writers have proven over the show’s run, no one is safe from injury.

Tarr joined Saving Hope in Season 3 and has been involved in the last 54 episodes and exits with fond memories.

“I’ve been lucky to come on board a successful show that works really well and has great characters and directors,” he says. And now it’s coming to an end this week.

Saving Hope‘s series finale airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.



Saving Hope says goodbye with tears and triumphs

This is it Saving Hope fans. The last episode before the doors of Hope Zion close forever this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. It’s been one hell of a ride, hasn’t it? I distinctly recall watching the first episode of the show back when I was at TV Guide Canada. “Another medical drama?” I thought. Yes, Saving Hope is a medical drama, but with one heck of a twist: a doctor who can see dead people. In the wrong hands, the premise would be cheesy, over-the-top and unwatchable.

In the right hands, it became a bonafide ratings hit for CTV. Stellar writing from co-creators Morwyn Brebner and Malcolm MacRury and a whos-who of scribes like Fiona Highet, Waneta Storms, Adam Pettle, Patrick Tarr, Noelle Carbone, Amanda Fahey and Jennifer Kassabian established the characters. Actors Erica Durance, Michael Shanks, Wendy Crewson, Benjamin Ayres, Julia Chan, Huse Madhavji, Joseph Pierre, Michelle Nolden and Daniel Gillies breathed life into them and made us care. Thanks to them—and all those behind-the-scenes folks and dozens of additional actors—who put in the long hours to make a truly great Canadian television series.

Here’s what CTV revealed as the episode synopsis for Thursday’s last episode “Hope Never Dies,” written by Adam Pettle and directed by James Genn.

In the shocking series finale of Saving Hope, following a mass casualty accident involving a bus full of teenagers, Dr. Alex Reid and Dr. Charlie Harris rush to the scene to try and save the kids while waiting for backup to arrive. The Hope Zion Hospital family must band together to overcome the tragedy, and move on to the next chapter of their lives.

Are here are a few more tidbits to get you through to the broadcast.

So, do Alex and Charlie finally tie the knot?
They were on the verge of it last week, but an injured bride-to-be got in the way. Now, the road is clear for these two to make it official, right? It would be a major bummer if, after five seasons, they didn’t get married. But, this being Saving Hope, nothing is easy, is it?

A truly shocking moment
I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop on a series like Saving Hope. Even I gasped because of what occurred just minutes into the episode. It was unexpected and takes “Hope Never Dies” in a stunning place made even more effective with Pettle’s storytelling, Michael Shanks’ and Erica Durance’s performances and Genn’s direction.

Guest stars aplenty
Keep your eyes peeled for Alden Adair from Workin’ Moms, Lisa Codrington from Letterkenny, Paul Popowich (Cracked) and Dempsey Bryk, who appeared on Heartland earlier this year.

What happened to Jackson?
Last week’s liver surgery went south thanks to the longtime nurse having an allergic reaction to the anaesthetics. We find out Jackson’s fate.

Related: Here’s what writer-co-executive producer Patrick Tarr says about the series finale!

Want to send the folks at Saving Hope a message? Post in the comments section and I’ll pass it along!

Images courtesy of Bell Media.



Saving Hope sets up its series finale

This is it, Saving Hope fans. The penultimate episode of CTV’s long-running medical drama is coming to a close. Last week, Cassie exited Hope Zion for a dream gig working with her hero in New York City and Alex proposed to Charlie, setting up what we’re pretty sure will be their wedding in the series finale … unless it happens this week.

But before nuptials can happen—if they really happen—everyone has to get through this Thursday’s episode unscathed. Here’s what CTV has revealed in its episode synopsis for “First and Last,” written by Patrick Tarr and directed by Jordan Canning:

Dr. Alex Reid and Dr. Charlie Harris have to put their own wedding plans aside while visiting a chapel after a bride falls down the stairs and they have to work to save her life. When a down-on-his-luck patient comes in with liver failure due to a lifetime of hard drinking despite trying to turn his life around, Dr. Zach Miller takes a special interest in the case and tries to get him a transplant, with Dr. Jackson Wade (Joseph Pierre) offering to help. Dr. Shahir Hamza and Dr. Dana Kinney are confronted with a coma patient who wakes up with no memory of the last 20 years of his life.

Here are more tidbits we can divulge after watching a screener.

Matt Gordon guest stars
It’s so great to see Matt Gordon back on our television screens! The veteran actor, who has starred on Rookie Blue and most recently on Mary Kills People, checks into Hope Zion as Liam, who wakes up from a coma having lost 20 years of memories. Only Gordon can bring the humour and sensitivity needed to play a role like this, and we’re thrilled he was cast.

Jeremy sticks around
Turns out Peter Mooney’s appearance wasn’t a one-time thing; with Alex going on maternity leave and Cassie gone, it looks like there might be a spot open for Dr. Bishop.

Dr. Scott is traumatized
Who wouldn’t be, after what happened in the break room last week, when that wrestler wouldn’t take no for an answer?

Jobless Daddy has its perks
Alex and Luke are getting gourmet breakfasts in bed now that Charlie has the time to make them. What can be better than that? Also, Alex and Charlie’s one-upmanship at planning what will be served at their wedding reception had me laughing … and then drooling. Meanwhile, the future of a soon-to-be bride has Alex and Charlie reflecting on the history of their own relationship and fate.

Shahir and Jonathan are struggling
Losing out on the adoption last week has left the pair reeling and Shahir wondering if it’s time to walk away from the relationship.

Jackson gets a major storyline
Usually there for comic relief—which we totally love, by the way—Jackson is part of a big, emotional storyline. Be forewarned: have tissues at the ready.

Cringeworthy term of the week
Penile swab.

Saving Hope airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Link: Daniel Gillies speaks out on crisis in South Sudan

From Ashley Jude Collie of the Toronto Star:

Link: Daniel Gillies speaks out on crisis in South Sudan
“I have two young children and I want them to know that their father gave a s–t, because this will be their world and we should be fighting for it. And I feel with great conviction, that if we allow this situation to continue with the same state of ignorance, my children will be asking, ‘Daddy, what did you do when this terrible thing took place?’” Continue reading.


Saving Hope: Peter Mooney returns to Hope Zion

We had a sneaking suspicion the wrestler who grappled his way into Cassie’s life might return. He does, and it leads to an incredibly shocking storyline in this week’s episode of Saving Hope. Add in the fact Peter Mooney returns to Hope Zion to portray Dr. Jeremy Bishop and there is a lot going on this Thursday.

Here’s the official synopsis for “La Famiglia,” written by Noelle Carbone and directed by Peter Wellington:

Dr. Alex Reid has to put her concern for the newly-unemployed Dr. Charlie Harris aside when the chance to perform a revolutionary cancer surgery arises. Alex, along with Dr. Dawn Bell, Dr. Cassie Williams, and Dr. Dana Kinney band together for the surgery, and are surprised to be led by Dr. Jeremy Bishop (Peter Mooney, ROOKIE BLUE), who returns to Hope Zion Hospital. While they are performing the radical and controversial surgery, Charlie tries to help the distressed spirit of the patient. Cassie is unexpectedly called away from the surgery by her former patient Jake Bugle (James Preston Rogers, REIGN), who seems to have a very different idea of the nature of their relationship.

And, as always, here are a few morsels we can add after watching a screener.

Reunited and it feels so good
We loved how the Saving Hope writers got Alex and Charlie back together again. Having Alex see what Charlie sees was a monumental moment for the couple and she truly understands what he’s dealing with. Now the pair can get down to the really serious business, like naming the baby that’s on the way. Eunice, anyone? There is a lovely car conversation between the pair that we never wanted to end. Where’s big city traffic when you need it? Also? We kind of like it that Charlie’s out of work. He can spend more time with Luke and focusing on family.

Will Shahir and Jonathan finally adopt?
The wheels were set in motion last week when Shahir performed surgery on an infant with spina bifida and the mother wanted him to adopt the baby. But will the pair put pen to paper on the official documents?

Cassie’s paramour is revealed
Who sent Cassie that handful of super-scary balloons, book and chameleon last week? Yup, it was Jake, the pro wrestler who has taken a shine to our young surgeon. He may not be suffering from mercury poisoning anymore, but that doesn’t mean Jake’s anger has gone away. What happens is shocking and terrible, and had us thinking of “Be Still My Heart,” the horrific Season 6 episode of ER.

Dawn is pissed
Check out the image above. There’s a very good reason for her to be upset and she hashes it out with Dana and Alex.

Two big storylines play out 
We won’t give either of them away, but you’re going to love them.

Saving Hope airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.