Tag Archives: Daniel Gillies

Review: Saving Hope hits midseason with head trauma

Looking back through history, there have been many quintessential movie and television openings that have been shocking, whether it was for the gore value, something popping out at you, or an all-out unexpected scene throwing you off before things could begin. Falling right into the almighty gore factor was Wednesday’s dramatic episode opening of Saving Hope, where we watched Robert, a depressed man, try and committ suicide … using a power drill. In the middle of the hospital lobby. If that doesn’t set the mood for an episode, I don’t know what does.

It certainly was an interesting midseason finale with the incorporation of Thor MacLeod (Hamilton’s own Currie Graham)–one of the greatest TV names of all time–into the Hope Zion mix, as someone who claimed to have experienced the same out-of-body experiences of being in a coma as both Alex and Charlie. It helped trigger some of Alex’s own memories and seemed to open her up for the first time to the moments we know she shared with Charlie during her coma, which I really liked.

That being said, MacLeod himself was a total tool as he took command of the operating room saying things like, “I’d hate to leave my patient, but I’d love to buy you a latte.” It also killed me that Alex initially seemed to be so into MacLeod because he finally had some answers she was looking for. If only she knew Charlie could give her much better answers, all without having to share airspace with MacLeod’s ego. Thankfully Alex’s vision cleared on MacLeod and his experimental faulty implants in his pursuit for another near-death experience. Consequently, it seemed to actually open Alex up to telling Charlie about what she remembered, which feels like the right progression for their characters.

Of course while MacLeod was parading around the hospital, Charlie was the one actually dealing with poor Robert in his coma and helping him come to terms with both the death of his wife and the true cause of his mental breakdown (nice one, MacLeod). Robert and Charlie’s interactions were quite possibly one of my favourite Charlie’s ever had with a patient, perhaps because he wasn’t cryptically asking Charlie to help him do something but instead just needed Charlie to help talk him through his repressed memory of his wife’s death.

In other storylines, Dana’s daughter, Molly, also began working at the hospital, a move you knew would result in some sort of trouble from the minute Dana began praising her daughter to her colleagues. So when the pill bottle of oxy went missing it was mindless to point the finger Molly’s direction as the thief, rightfully as Maggie did. Of course it seemed Dana is clearly in denial about who her daughter really is (gutsy enough to pop a pill right outside the hospital moments before meeting her mom), so I’m curious to see what ultimately makes Dana realize who Molly is–a real piece of work. But shout out to Molly’s reference to Toronto’s own Gracie’s!

Also not so surprising was that hot and steamy Joel and Selena hook-up while at the clinic, where Joel’s clearly been hiding out. Their entire segments were spent showing him stepping in as a white knight for Selena by trying to help save the clinic and treat her broken bones, and the two had a blatant attraction to one another. It also wasn’t so surprising when Selena’s crazy husband, Brad, whom we all knew was the one that broken her arm, attacked Joel in the parking lot. But I won’t deny yelping in surprise when Joel’s self-defense ended with Brad’s head meeting a concrete block, followed by more yelling in anguish as the Hope Zion team couldn’t resuscitate him. I can’t even imagine how murder–defensive or not–is going to weigh on Joel’s conscience in future episodes, let alone how this will affect his reputation and relationships at the hospital. We’ll expectedly find out when Saving Hope returns for a two-hour event on Jan. 7, 2015.

What did you think of the midseason finale? Sound off through the comments below!

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Saving Hope star talks most challenging season yet

Saving Hope just might be the Canadian show that could. While this summer saw two Canadian shows, Seed and Working the Engels, come to a sudden end after failing to grab an American audience, Saving Hope avoided that fate after NBC dropped it at the end of Season 1. Going into Season 3, it’s not only managed to stay on the air in Canada, but it’s gotten picked up by another American network.

The difference between NBC and ION, Saving Hope’s new southern home, is a U.S. network willing to put the energy into promoting the show. Canada-born Daniel Gillies, who plays Dr. Joel Goran, can’t say enough about the attention the drama’s been getting south of the border.

“They’re an interesting new energy. They’re the kind of hot, burgeoning new network in the United States and they’ve got all these amazing shows,” which include Canada’s Rookie Blue, Flashpoint and the recently-finished The Listener. He adds, “I think there are a lot of viewers who managed to watch it in spite of the lack of publicity in the beginning and those sort of steadfast fans who had to sort of either download or whatever to find out what was happening with us and now, obviously, are pretty delighted it’s got some U.S. distribution again.”

But it’s the support at home that’s kept Saving Hope on the air and the Canadian fan-base has certainly been a strong and vocal one—when the show returned with a two-night premiere, it won its Thursday night timeslot with 1.2 million viewers. “If it had even a fraction of what was happening here in Toronto that first year,” he says, “We would have had a degree of longevity because it’s a very good show.”

Things only seem to be picking up this season, which opened with Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) on the operating table after being stabbed in the heart with a pair of scissors. While the second half of the return ended with Alex waking up, it only set the stage for more tension on the hospital drama, which meant plenty more Joel for Gillies to discover. “I’ve been shooting this show for three years and I’ve never seen his bedroom,” he laughs, before calling it the most challenging season for the character yet. Since Joel was partially responsible for Alex getting stabbed in the first place, it’s taken his character to a much darker place.

“He’s sort of addressing and embracing a lot more of the emotional aspects of his career than he ever did,” Gilles explains. “I think that Joel was someone who derived his identity purely from his work and I think now he’s discovering he’s much more than that. By sticking around in one place he’s been forced—there’s this kind of mandatory introspection by being around. These energies around him are eliciting all this stuff from him that he’s probably never looked at himself before.”

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

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