Tag Archives: Elvis Stojko

Comments and queries for the week of February 1

I saw Elvis Stojko’s name in the credits, but as the episode went on I forgot about him. I absolutely did NOT recognize him as Sam. So as far as that goes, job well done Mr. Stojko! I really enjoyed the episode. Tesla episodes are usually highlights, even if they do end up pushing the technological bounds maybe a bit too far. I was deeply impressed that they made the villainous mastermind the woman of the piece. Wondering where things are going with Brackenreid? I’m glad to see that he hasn’t quite given up on reconciliation with Margaret. Speaking of Brackenreid, I’m kinda hoping his daughter will visit Toronto sometime. It would be interesting to see her again. Finally, I can’t believe they named the Alvin brothers Simon and Theodore (call him Ted). Really, MM? The Chipmunks? You had to go with the Chipmunks? —DMK

At first, I kept thinking, ‘Omg … he looks so much like Elvis Stojko.’ Then I thought, ‘Nah, that can’t be him. It just looks like him.’ Lol. —Kate

I didn’t realize it was Elvis! He did a great job! One of the funniest things in that episode was the brothers, Simon and Theodore Alvin. Cracked me up! MM often inserts these zingers into the dialogue. Love it! —June

I was thrilled to see Elvis! He was very good at the role of Sam. I would really like to see him in a recurring role, maybe as a mole or informant. It’s always been great to see various well-known people in cameos on one the best shows on TV. Well done, Elvis. —Kate

Elvis, you had us fooled! I kept saying, ‘I recognize that guy, but from where….?’ You with your made up brown-toothed smile was superb! I recall the first time I saw you skate. It was over 30 years ago at Easter in Edmonton (You were but a child.). You skated to ‘Desperado.’ I was transfixed. I told my husband to ‘watch this kid, he’s going to be a superstar.’ I was right! And here you are again, reinventing yourself as a wonderful actor. Good luck and the very best of what life has to give, to you and your family. Please come back to Murdoch as a bad guy or a great guy. We loved you! And I laughed out loud to the chipmunk joke! Murdoch forever. —A&O

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


Preview: Nikola Tesla and Elvis Stojko visit Murdoch Mysteries

There were two reasons for me to be giddy about Monday’s instalment of Murdoch Mysteries. First, it marked the return of inventor Nikola Tesla (Dmitry Chepovetsky), who hasn’t darkened William’s door since 2010 in “The Tesla Effect.” The second? Elvis Stojko, who skates in for a guest-starring role. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Combine that with the return of one Thomas Brackenreid and “Murdoch and the Undetectable Man” promised to be one heck of a great time. Here’s what the CBC released as the storyline:

Murdoch enlists inventor Nikola Tesla to help with the murder investigation of a man experimenting with invisibility.

And, here are more tidbits from me after I watched the episode, written by Paul Aitken and directed by Mina Shum. Look for my interview with Mr. Stojko after Monday’s broadcast.

Murdoch’s world is expanding
Every year, thanks to ever-improving technology, the Toronto neighbourhood surrounding Station House No. 4 continues to grow. The smallish backlot in eastern Toronto is swelling by leaps and bounds in post-production and now we can see faraway spires as the city expands.

Stojko as Sam
The medal-winning figure skater is a real hoot as ex-con Sam Marshal, a gap-toothed gent who comes under William’s suspicion for murder. Aside from he and Chepovetsky, keep an eye out for Anna Hardwick and Tara Yelland in guest roles.

Stunning sets
The CGI cityscape isn’t the only wow-factor in “Murdoch and the Undetectable Man.” The laboratory set is beautifully lit and funkily dressed. I think you’re going to love it.

Brack is back
Those CBC teasers didn’t deceive; Inspector Brackenreid makes his triumphant return after a visit to another metropolis. As for how things are between him and Margaret? Well, you’ll have to watch it unfold for yourself. Crabtree returns too and has some interesting thoughts out the disadvantages surrounding invisibility and on Murdoch and Ogden’s manuscript. And it’s George who comes up with the perfect name for their book.

Tesla and Murdoch work on an invention
When these two minds get on the same wavelength, you never know what they might create.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC and streams on CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Family Channel laces up for original movie Ice Girls

From a media release:

March Break gets an early start on Family Channel when the new original feature film Ice Girls glides onto the network, Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Starring three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic Silver Medallist Elvis Stojko alongside Natasha Henstridge (The Whole Nine Yards, Would Be Kings) and young Canadian figure skating champions Michaela Du Toit and Taylor Hunsley, the new movie follows skater Mattie Dane as she struggles to regain her confidence and determination after having her dreams shattered. Filmed in Sudbury, ON, Ice Girls highlights the world of competitive figure skating and features a guest appearance by Olympic Champion Tessa Virtue, who recently announced she and ice dance partner Scott Moir would be returning to compete on the international stage.

For 15 year-old aspiring figure skating champion Mattie Dane (Du Toit), life on the ice is her be all and end all. So when she sustains an injury at a major competition, her world comes crashing down. Her family moves to a small town after they fall on hard times, leaving Mattie struggling to find her place in her new surroundings. The local skating rink provides her some solace, but talented figure skater Heather (Hunsley), accompanied by her ultra-competitive mother (Henstridge), quickly remind Mattie what she’s missing by not being on the ice. Mercury (Stojko), the local rink manager and former figure skater, can see the potential Mattie possesses and sets to task mentoring her to guide her back on her path to greatness.

Ice Girls sets in motion a March Break lineup that any judge would give a 10. The weeklong programming event runs from Monday, March 14 through Friday, March 18 and is filled with morning and afternoon marathons of Family favourites starting at 7 a.m. ET/PT including The Next Step, Lost & Found Music Studios, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage), Nowhere Boys, AwesomenessTV and Cheerleaders. At 12 p.m. ET/PT each day, viewers can enjoy both classic and contemporary movies. Plus, with Family Channel on Free Preview this March, viewers across Canada can experience all the great programming the network has to offer for the entire month. For the full March Break schedule, visit Family.ca.

In addition to the aforementioned cast, Ice Girls stars rising music star Shane Harte (Lost & Found Music Studios) whose single “Left Standing” is rapidly climbing Canadian charts and renowned Canadian actress Sheila McCarthy (Little Mosque on the Prairie). Commissioned by DHX Television, Ice Girls was created by Responsible Cinema Inc. (RCI) and produced in association with Tajj Media. William Steinkamp serves as executive producer alongside G. Scott Paterson, Lowell Conn, Warren Fergus, Anthony Cowley, Kelly Gilbert and Lara Daans who was also a writer for the film. Damian Lee was the film’s director and writer, and Jeff Sackman and Steve Solomos were producers. Damian Lee was the film’s director and writer, and Jeff Sackman and Steve Solomos were producers.


Ice, Sweat and Tears – A Filmmaker Interview


Photo of Aaron Hancox (Co-producer) and Judy Holm (Executive Producer) at the Canadian Screen Awards

(Photo by Derek Langer)

 Ice, Sweat and Tears, an hour-long figure skating documentary, is set to air on Thursday, March 7 on CBC’s Doc Zone. The film investigates the dedication, stamina and training that it takes to compete as a figure skater on the world stage, and serves as an introduction to the fiercely competitive and highly athletic world of figure skating.

Ice, Sweat and Tears takes a close look into the journeys of ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the young pairs team Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, and the well known men’s competitor Patrick Chan, among others, with insights from seasoned veterans who’ve retired from the competitive scene, Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko.

Spouses, family, and fans of other sports often misunderstand the world of the figure skating “super fan” and misjudge the complex sport of figure skating. Where hockey is a team effort with easily definable points, figure skating is intense athleticism hiding demurely under carefully chosen costuming. It is a solo effort with a complicated scoring system, where one athlete spends time in the spotlight performing. Ice, Sweat and Tears opens up the world of the super fan, enlightening others as to why they may hold their breath for 4 minutes and 30 seconds until the artistic performance is completed. The film gets people to understand the relational and personal nature of figure skating, and serves as a great intro to the sport for those who may not quite “get it”.

I had a chance to talk to husband and wife filmmaking team Michael McNamara (not pictured) and Judy Holm about making Ice, Sweat and Tears.

RL: What got you interested in Figure Skating in the first place?

JH: I’m a big fan – I have been for a long long time.

MM: And I live with a big fan.

JH: I would call Michael in to watch specific things, since I came from a dance background; I get really excited and totally “get” it when they do something spectacular.

RL: What was the most surprising thing you learned about skating through the course of the documentary?

MM: I really didn’t realize the level of athleticism that was involved – the speed and stamina that is required of these athletes.  As soon as I realized this, that became the goal, to get the viewers a little closer to the action. When you’re watching on TV you can’t tell how fast these kids are moving.

JH: I don’t think that I really really really understood the depth of the danger that accompanies this sport.

MM: We were able to strap cameras to their arms, chests and skates to give their point of view. A whole different perspective.

RL: How would you say that Canada’s teams and program differ from other world teams.

JH: Canada has always been up there in the top competitors ever since we started. There’s always been a Canadian skater from one or two of the disciplines [singles, pairs, ice dancers] at the top. The interesting thing that is happening lately is the expansion of the disciplines that we’re at the top in.

When Tessa and Scott won at the Olympics it was the first time a North American team had won ice dance – it’s been a category dominated primarily by the Russian teams. It’s a bit more global now as they’re trained by a former soviet star: less political blocks and more global.

RL: What sort of sense did you get from the “retired” skaters?

JH: Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko are two guys who were fascinated by athleticism and speed. They were just guys out there. Kurt continues to skate with his shows. Elvis is an adrenaline junkie doing go-cart racing.

Competitively skating is a sport that has a limited life span. You’re not doing it by your mid 30s; amateur competition even more so. I’m sure there are all kinds of stories, good, bad, and in the middle. When you’re a champion, that  continues to be a part of you even after you’re done.

RL: What was the biggest challenge in making this documentary?

JH: Remembering to bring our long underwear.

MM: Even in the summer!

MM: I’d say maybe getting the skaters used to our presence. We wanted to be flies on the wall, to capture real honest responses. We were a small team, a small crew. They’re used to cameras but usually the scrutiny begins and ends at the competition. We had to gain their trust, and I think we did.

JH: It’s a fine balance between getting enough film, because they’re distracted and focused on their season. We worked a lot with Skate Canada and did a lot of planning with Barb McDonald to get everything we needed without taking away from the skaters’ focus.

RL: How do you feel this documentary will affect the Canadian public?

JH: I think they’re gonna love it!

Doc Zone and CBC have positioned it so it’s a lead-up to the Worlds. CBC has worked very well with Skate Canada.  We’ve got some preview clips to be shown at the lead-up events.

MM: People who are skating fans can be quite obsessive; they’re a different breed than other fans. When a skater is on the ice, they’re all alone. It’s a very different kind of sport than any other sport. It’s an enormous pressure. The super fans feel very invested in the athletes, like they have a relationship and it’s reciprocal. We hope the super fans will take something away from it, and for people who don’t know anything about it at all that it will make an impact.

JH: I want to convert [more fans]!

 RL: What is your next project, if you have one in the works?

 MM: We have a couple dramas in development at the moment as well as a BravoFACT project – Incident at Lesion Fields that we are co-directing starring Mary Walsh ,Tommy Lee Williams, and Janet Burker.

Thank you Mike and Judy for taking the time to talk to me about Ice, Sweat and Tears.

Ice, Sweat and Tears airs on CBC Television’s Doc Zone Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 9pm (9:30 NT) and repeats Saturday, March 9 at 11pm ET/PT on CBC News Network.