We’re sending out well wishes to Jason Priestley, who suffered an injury while filming Global’s new 2016 drama The Code. The drama project has been shut down for at least three days after Priestley was bucked off a horse while filming in Toronto; he won’t return until given a clean bill of health from a neurologist.
We understand the precaution. Priestley suffered a serious head injury, fractured spine, broken nose and fractured feet in a 2002 car crash during the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway.
As previously announced, The Code stars Priestley as Matt “Shadow” Shade, an ex pro hockey player who uses his ability to read people and anticipate their next move to success as a crime-solving private investigator. The 10-part one-hour project also stars Cindy Sampson (Rookie Blue) as Angie Everett; Barry Flatman (Defiance) as Matt’s father, Don; and Jordyn Negri (Warehouse 13) as Matt’s daughter, Jules.
Based on the book of the same name by G.B. Joyce, The Code is executive-produced by John Morayniss and Rachel Fulford for eOne along with Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, Shelley Eriksen, Alan McCullough, Tassie Cameron, Kelly Makin and Priestley.
Priestley has become a staple of Canadian TV both in front of and behind the camera in the last couple of years, appearing on Haven, Package Deal and Spun Out, and directing episodes of Saving Hope, Rookie Blue and Working the Engels. He’s also set to star alongside Molly Ringwald in Family Channel’s original series The Wonderful Wayneys.
I miss Call Me Fitz. The HBO Canada award-winner about a morally-bankrupt used car salesman named Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (Jason Priestley) isn’t officially dead, but it’s as close as you can be without the press release shovelling dirt on it. I loved how Priestley blew his Beverly Hills, 90210 past out of the water by embodying a man who drank too much, chain-smoked, bedded women by the hundreds and elevated personal insults to new levels of atrocity.
And while Fitz may have moved on, Priestley isn’t totally over playing him. The actor chewed up every piece of scenery available as weatherman Storm Chambers in Monday’s episode of Package Deal. Storm may not share the same last name as Fitz, but he was full of his DNA. Smarmy charm? Check. Double-entendre jokes? (“Did you hear the news? There’s a storm brewing’. Down south,” he said to Kim.) Check. A taste for booze? You got it.
“The Imperfect Storm” brought hurricane Storm into Danny, Kim and Sheldon’s lives when Ryan saw the superstar meteorologist blow into the gang’s watering hole. Ryan was star-struck, Kim was repulsed and Danny was irritated, mainly because Storm had once reported sunshine on a day that downpoured on him. No matter; Ryan dropped everything and was at Storm’s beck and call. Late nights, drinking and over-laughter hid a side of Storm that was only revealed when Danny–attempting to make amends for not defending Kim during a robbery at the tea shop–informed Storm that no one really liked him. Shattered, Storm returned to the airwaves on the verge of suicide and only Sheldon’s foster puppy could brighten his day.
I had the chance to see Priestley work a room when he appeared in an episode of Spun Out last year and he’s a pro at it. That showed in “The Imperfect Storm”: he elevated the script to new levels and pushed his co-stars to up their game. The result? A great episode.
Package Deal airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on City.