Tag Archives: Mary Kills People

Caroline Dhavernas returns to TV in Global’s controversial Mary Kills People

“We’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen.” That, says Caroline Dhavernas, is at the heart of Mary Kills People, Global’s newest original drama.

Debuting Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the network, Mary Kills People will certainly elicit discussion about the subject matter. Dhavernas is Dr. Mary Harris, an emergency room doctor and mother who—with the help of her friend Des Bennett (Richard Short, Covert Affairs)—assists those who want to die. Mary struggles to keep her two careers in order while keeping her night job a secret from her family as the authorities—led by Det. Frank Gaines (Lyriq Bent, Shoot the Messenger)—investigates her. Add to that Mary’s intense feelings for a terminal patient named Joel (Jay Ryan, Beauty and the Beast) and her plate is full. (Look for Bitten‘s Greg Bryk, Rookie Blue‘s Matt Gordon and Charlotte Sullivan, and InSecurity‘s Grace Lynn Kung in key roles.)

Created by Tara Armstrong and executive-produced by Tassie and Amy Cameron alongside Armstrong, Jocelyn Hamilton and director Holly Dale, the six-part event provides plenty of dark comedy to go along with the serious subject matter. (That’s 19-2‘s Adrian Holmes in the opening twisted, gruesomely giddy opening scene.)

We spoke to Dhavernas about her character, the subject matter and where the show goes in the next six episodes.

(l-r) Bent, Ryan, Dhavernas and Short

Can you give me some background on Mary?
Caroline Dhavernas: She’s an ER doctor and a mom. She has this side gig where she assists people in their wish to die. Of course, it’s completely illegal and she will get in trouble for it. It comes from a place of compassion, really, because she has been very close to people who have had to make that decision and she deeply understands where that desire comes from. She doesn’t judge it and she also knows it’s not about her.

It’s a very emotional debate and there is a lot of grey zone. It becomes a lot about not knowing what death is all about because no one has come back to say what it is. We’re very afraid to send people over the edge because it almost feels like pushing them into a place that’s too dangerous. But the place these people are in is so damaging to them that they would rather go to the unknown. I think she gets all that. Not everyone does, and that’s why she gets into real trouble. What’s fascinating about this show is that we’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen. It’s fascinating subject matter and a great part. There are a lot of levels to play.

Where do you stand on the debate of doctor-assisted suicide?
I’m on Mary’s side. [Laughs.] It’s good, as a society, to have both sides to the discussion and hear what everyone else has to say. The more you talk about it, the more you know where you stand. If anything, this solidified how I feel about it.

Describe Mary’s relationship with Des.
We don’t really explain where they’re coming from, but I’m pretty sure they went to school together and have been friends forever. Des is going through a hard time because he’s done things that are very wrong for a doctor to do and she is trying to include him in all this and make him feel like a doctor again. They’re in this together and they have a very strong bond.

How many people know what Mary is doing? I feel like she’s going to get caught soon.
It is very illegal, so she will get in trouble for it. She is trying to not let too many people know but these people have families and diaries that she can’t control. Mary has one partner at the hospital, a nurse named Annie, who sees who needs help and meets with people who are asking for that help.

Related: Our podcast chat with Mary Kills People creator Tara Armstrong, executive producer Tassie Cameron and co-producer Marsha Greene

What were your first thoughts when you read the script?
I like bold, daring subject matter and this is certainly that. I like the fact that we’re not judging anything. And, also, a strong female lead is so rare still. The director is female, the writers are female as well … that is so rare and it’s so great to be part of this team. When I met with everyone there was an immediate connection. I’d never worked with Holly Dale before, but when she showed me the mood boards and the water theme … visually it’s going to be stunning as well.

Mary Kills People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.


Links: Mary Kills People

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Caroline Dhavernas on her new high-stakes drama series Mary Kills People
“I just loved the subject matter and I think this character is very deep, beautiful and compassionate. I love all the gray zones and her contradictions. I’m very drawn to TV shows where the content is interesting and cable television has really showed us that people are there for content.” Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of the Toronto Star:

Mary Kills People tackles thorny issue of euthanasia
Mary Kills People is one of those TV titles that grabs your attention.

Mary really does kill people, but they are people who want to die.

Tara Armstrong developed the idea for the series while still a student at the University of British Columbia. Continue reading.

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Mary Kills People star Caroline Dhavernas on doctor-assisted suicide: “Dying is not a crime.”
“Dying is not a crime. Personally, it’s someone’s right. If you have nothing but suffering ahead of you, we make choices for ourselves through our lives, and that’s the final one.” Continue reading.

From Bill Harris of Postmedia Network:

New series Mary Kills People finds both drama and comedy in assisted suicide
Mary, Mary, quite contrary.

That could apply both to the lead character in the new Canadian series Mary Kills People, and to the show itself, which debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25 on Global. Continue reading. 

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Mary Kills People is a killer of a good, provocative drama
Mary Kills People is, yes, definitely, a black-comedy-drama about euthanasia. In advance notices about its arrival on Lifetime, later this year, it is inevitably called provocative.

It sure is that, on several levels. It is also remarkably assured, droll and adult. It’s very smart and utterly intriguing. Watch episode one and you’re sucked into anticipating the second hour with pleasure. Continue reading. 

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Caroline Dhavernas on her new series, Mary Kills People
“I’m really happy you’re bringing that up because it can seem like a depressing subject matter. The writers were smart to see that it’s part of life to have these moments of darkness [followed by] laughter because of the density. It’s like a funeral. So many times I’ve been to funerals and then never felt as alive as I do after. We rarely talk about death. When we’re so close to it, we’re reminded how privileged we are to be here and be healthy.” Continue reading.



Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Marsha Greene

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Marsha Greene
“But I do see the importance of women having showrunner power. The female showrunners I’ve worked with are treated with a lot of respect in the room. They don’t have to demand to have their ideas heard or valued, because it comes with the job. Having said that, I imagine those are all things they dealt with en route to getting that job. So I think I’ve gotten to reap the benefits of their hard work, because my experiences have been working for women who are generous, encouraging and supportive of other female writers.” Continue reading.


TV Eh B Cs podcast 58 — Who makes Mary Kill

Tassie Cameron is a Gemini and Canadian Screen Award-winning screenwriter, who has written for television series, MOWs, mini-series, and feature films.

Cameron is currently the showrunner and executive producer on Global’s upcoming six-part series, Mary Kills People (under her new production company, Cameron Pictures, in partnership with eOne). She is also an executive producer on Global’s Private Eyes, Jason Priestley’s new hit P.I. series. Cameron was the co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner on the hit series, Rookie Blue which ran for seven seasons on Global and ABC.

Co-executive producer on the first season of Flashpoint, Cameron’s other credits include The Robber Bride, Would Be Kings, The Eleventh Hour, Degrassi: The Next Generation and Tom Stone.

Tara Armstrong is a recent graduate from UBC’s Creative Writing Program and the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time TV Program. Since graduating, Tara has written for Global’s television series Private Eyes which premiered on Global in summer of 2016, and Showcase’s Travelers.

A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time Television program, Marsha Greene also has an Honours BA in Creative Writing from York University, and a graduate certificate from Humber College’s TV Writing and Producing program, where she was won the Brian Linehan Award for Outstanding Artistic Promise.

Marsha has lent her skills to scripted and unscripted productions for Global, CBC, Discovery Channel and Food Network. She was the Interactive Writer for the YTV/Teen Nick mystery-drama Open Heart. Marsha was a story editor on Global’s Remedy and Private Eyes, and a co-producer on Mary Kills People.

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Photo gallery: First-look photos of Global’s Mary Kills People

We’ve been jazzed about the Season 1 debut of Mary Kills People since we visited the set a few months ago. Now, not only has Global revealed the drama series debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, but they’ve released a handful of images too.

Executive-produced by Tassie Cameron, Amy Cameron, Tecca Crosby and Holly Dale and co-executive producer Tara Armstrong, Global describes the series thusly:

Set in the morally grey world of assisted suicide, Mary Kills People is an intense, controversial, and thought-provoking drama.  The series follows Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), a single mother and emergency doctor by day, who also moonlights as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients who want to die and slip away on their own terms. So far Mary has managed to stay under the radar; but business is booming, and her double life is getting complicated.  When her world starts to unravel, Mary realizes she’s going to have to fight dirty if she’s going to stay in the killing game.

Additional cast includes Jay Ryan as Joel, one of Mary’s terminally ill clients; Richard Short as Des, Mary’s trusted partner in crime; Lyriq Bent as Frank, Joel’s friend; Greg Bryk as Grady, Mary’s drug supplier; Abigail Winters as Mary’s teen daughter; and Charlotte Sullivan as Nicole, Mary’s concerned sister.


Mary Kills People debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.