Tag Archives: CBC

Video: 15 things you didn’t know about Murdoch’s Yannick Bisson

Kudos to the CBC and Yannick Bisson’s daughter, Mikaela, for sitting down and revealing some top-secret info about her dad. Sure we know that his television alter ego–Detective William Murdoch–is Roman Catholic and loves Dr. Julia Ogden. But what about the man who plays him? What is his favourite food? Is he a dog or cat person? What does he wear when he’s not dressed up like Toronto’s best turn-of-the-century detective?

Here are 15, actually 17, facts about Yannick Bisson, including how to pronounce his name.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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Heartland’s Amber Marshall riding high in Season 8

Life is complicated for Amy Fleming. The beloved Heartland character has a lot on her plate so far in Season 8, including a rich Prince who keeps sending her presents, a fiancé who’s struggling to make ends meet in his first business venture and a girl whose vision of Amy has been shattered.

For actress Amber Marshall, having her character go through these struggles represents the natural evolution of Amy, a gifted horse trainer who isn’t without her flaws. Georgie (Alisha Newton) was crushed after viewing an online video of Prince Ahmed (Jade Hasounné) kissing Amy during a farewell party for his European Equestrian team. Now Amy is feeling the effects of tumbling off the pedestal Georgie put her on.

“The fans may not agree with it right now, but there has to be a moment when the characters that you’ve seen as heroic people need to fall,” Marshall says. “They need somewhere to climb back up to. If you just have your characters going on this nice, mellow journey where they’re the hero of the show … what is interesting in that? There is no real life. There are no lessons to be learned. I was so happy when the writers took Amy and threw her down to basically starting from scratch.”

Marshall has literally grown up on the set of CBC’s Sunday night stalwart and she’s gained an immense amount of knowledge since filming the pilot episode when she was 19. And, unlike shows such as Degrassi, where the setting is high school and the characters have to be kept in a certain age group, Heartland‘s young folks have gotten older, matured and moved on to new stages in their lives.

Marshall has evolved too, adding the title of consulting producer to her list of responsibilities on the family drama. The London, Ont., born actress explains she was already on the set and involved outside of her acting role anyway. An experienced horse person, she was there to help the show’s writers tweak scenes that dealt with those four-legged co-stars; a discussion with Heartland‘s producers led to the additional credit. When she’s not on-set filming, Marshall educates herself on all aspects of production, an easy thing to do when you’re surrounded by folks you’ve been working with for years. Can executive producing or showrunning her own project be in Marshall’s future? Not until she learns more.

In the meantime, Amy is getting an education in the dangers of the Internet and her naiveté when it comes to Prince Ahmed. His peck on her lips not only has driven a wedge between Amy and Georgie, but Amy and Lou (Michelle Morgan) too. It all comes to a head this Sunday when Amy is forced to make a tough decision that affects her relationship with not only the Prince but Ty (Graham Wardle) as well.

“There is some very interesting conflict coming up,” she teases. “It’s going to have a huge impact on the whole Heartland family, not just Amy and Ty.”

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

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Video: 22 Minutes turns 22 years old

Happy 22nd birthday This Hour Has 22 Minutes!

The CBC satire show kicks off another season of skewering with current co-hosts Mark Critch, Shaun Majumder, Susan Kent and Cathy Jones; a special retrospective episode is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16, offering a look back at the series launch in 1993 with Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh and highlights from the last two-plus decades of laughs.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at a couple of bits featured on tonight’s return, including a unique take on the CRTC’s proposed Pick and Pay cable bundling idea.

22 Minutes airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBC.

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Murdoch Mysteries explores the dark side in Season 8

The closing moments of Monday’s Season 8 return of Murdoch Mysteries–“On the Waterfront, Part One”–isn’t like anything the series has done before. A showdown at Toronto’s waterfront between union workers–led by the dastardly O’Shea brothers–faces off against Det. William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and the rest of the Constabulary. Meanwhile, Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) and Dr. Julia Grace (Georgina Reilly) are caught up in their own conflagration between members of the Suffragette movement and men who don’t take kindly to women wanting to vote.

The carefully choreographed scenes that cut back and forth from wharf to city square ramp up in tension to a boiling point viewers aren’t used to seeing from the CBC drama.

“It was fun to shoot,” Jonny Harris says of the scene between the dock workers and the police force, of which his Constable George Crabtree is a part. “All the dock workers were big sort of stunt guys and all the cops are station cops that have been on the show for years … not huge guys. Everybody went for broke on every take that day.” The conflagration at the dock is a result of union guys refusing to back down against the police, but it’s also about a police force seeking justice for the vicious attack on Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) at the hands of the O’Sheas. The Season 7 finale “The Death of Dr. Ogden,” saw the engagement of Murdoch and Ogden announced, but that happy moment was tempered by the discovery of Brackenreid’s beaten body on a dusty Toronto street.

Monday’s return does address the fate of the beloved Brackenreid while introducing a new boss in Det. Hamish Slorach (Patrick McKenna, Remedy), a man very unlike his predecessor.

As for Crabtree, Season 8 represents growth for the character. His up-and-down relationship with Dr. Grace is put on the back burner when a new lady enters his life in the form of a lady from the series’ past. Harris says Tamara Hope, who appeared in the very first episode of Murdoch Mysteries in 2008, reprises her role as Edna Garrison, a single mom struggling to make ends meet. Crabtree becomes a surrogate father to Edna’s son, a departure for a character usually relied upon for laughs.

“Over so many years, you want to keep your characters that people fell in love with, but you do need to make significant changes otherwise it just becomes redundant,” Harris explains. Does he ever wish Crabtree would show a dark side to him? The Newfoundland native smiles.

“He’s a pretty good guy,” Harris says. “I was liking Crabtree and Grace last year because they each had their moments of being petulant and jealous. I thought that was kind of nice. You have the romance between Ogden and Murdoch, which has always had its obstacles and troubles, but they’re mostly pure of heart. With Crabtree and Grace, it had to do with envy.”

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.

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Review: Not-so hero worship on Heartland

The kiss. Oh, that kiss. It was brought to my attention last week that Georgie may not have witnessed a kiss between Prince Ahmed and Amy–we didn’t actually see it but I was reacting to the look on Georgie’s face–but it was confirmed Sunday as she replayed the online clip again for herself and then for Lou. Now the cat is out of the bag. Or the horse has jumped the fence. Pick your cliché; the point is Georgie and Lou know. And now Amy does too. How long until Ty finds out?

“The Big Red Wall” may have dealt with Amy being at first too scared to try getting Ahmed’s gift horse to jump over a high wall, but it was as much about Georgie putting a wall between she and her former hero. By episode’s end Georgie had torn down her picture shrine to Amy and was disgusted by the whole situation. Yes, Amy told Lou that nothing had happened between she and Ahmed–he made advances but she told him to back off–but nothing will be the same between the three girls until the family sits down and talks about it. And despite Ty being busy with Caleb wanting to fast-track train the horses and Tim giving him the rough side of his tongue, he’s going to surf the ‘net soon. Better nip this bad news in the bud before it explodes.

The only bright spot in Heather Cronkie’s script came via Jack and Lisa, and even that came with its share of challenges. Georgie and Lou’s idea to hold a simple wedding party for the happy couple threatened to turn sour when Jack’s old gal pal Val Stanton arrived from Florida to sort out some business at Briar Ridge. Jack was reluctant to tell Val he and Lisa were a couple even before she revealed her cancer was back; after she did he swallowed hard and invited her to the party instead. The silver lining? Val had been stringing Jack along for fun–various townsfolk had spilled the beans to her about Jack already–and she had nothing but well-wishes for he and Lisa.

I can’t help but think the arrival of Val and her son, Jesse, spell conflict in the coming weeks. Jesse, in the space of just a day or two, asked Amy to be Briar Ridge’s trainer twice and despite her protestations I bet he’s not going to give up without a fight. And just because Val said she was happy with Jack’s situation doesn’t mean she was being truthful with him.

Other notes 

  • “Peter called. Your husband? Said he was at work and he’d call you again when he got home. You know, his home, in Vancouver?”–Gotta love Jack’s little dig at Lou
  • I’ve always loved Shaun Johnston’s craggy face; he can portray so much emotion with a twitch of his moustache. Jack caught between Lou and Lisa at the table over discussions surrounding the wedding party was great.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CBC.

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