Back when Still Standing debuted, I remarked that Jonny Harris was becoming the next Wayne Rostad. Now, five seasons in, he really has. Like Rostad—who spoke to Canadians from regions of the country from 1987 to 2007—Harris has the wit and charm to win over strangers and get them talking, and a genuine warmth. You can’t help but like him.
Returning Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Season 5 follows Harris to a little part of the country I’d never heard of: Campobello Island. The New Brunswick community’s only year-round and direct access to the mainland is a bridge to the U.S. This, of course, makes for a unique Canadian/American cultural blend and many challenges. Including, as Harris points out in the first minute, worrying about having your passport. If the ferries are running, you catch one from mainland New Brunswick to Deer Island and another to Campobello Island. If they aren’t you have to go through Maine.
It’s a unique trait not shared with the rest of the country. And, like the places showcased in Still Standing, makes Campobello Island’s 850 citizens unique. And, like those other communites, this one has fallen on hard times. A decline in fishing has seen the population drop; children are reluctant to stay if the area isn’t prosperous.
But while times are tough on Campobello Island, there’s lots to laugh about. And that, of course, is what Harris helps them do, whether it’s over outlandish border import rules or a wayward brining shed that made international new. Over the course of their visit in each episode, Harris and his writers craft fresh material based on the community and the people in it before entertaining them with a stand-up performance. The result? A funny, folksy look at smalltown Canada.
Future episodes include stops in Schreiber, Ont., and Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.
The fact that the summer has flown by—to me, anyway, is great for two reasons. The first: autumn, my favourite time of year. The second? The return of Murdoch Mysteries of course!
Copious Instagram posts during the past months from stars Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy only served to grow my excitement for Season 13 while showrunner Peter Mitchell’s frequent Twitter and Facebook posts reminded me he was not only running Murdoch this year but Season 3 of Frankie Drake Mysteries as well.
But enough about the past, let’s get into Season 13, shall we? Here’s what the CBC has revealed as the official storyline for “Troublemakers,” written by Peter Mitchell and directed by Harvey Crossland.
Murdoch investigates an explosion at a suffrage rally attended by Dr. Talbot (Claire Goose) and Julia, after a man dies.
And here are more thoughts from me after watching a screener.
Hélène Joy’s newest role
To those who missed it in CBC’s Season 13 production announcement earlier this year, Ms. Joy has a new role on MM. She is now an executive producer. What does that mean? I’ll let you know; I’m hoping to land an interview with her this season. But for now: congratulations!
Who is Claire Goose?
As is the norm on Murdoch Mysteries, British actors are constantly dropping by to play in our sandbox. The latest is Claire Goose, who has appeared in such UK series as The Coroner, Death in Paradise, Waking the Dead and Casualty.
Brackenreid’s life continues to be complicated
Thomas’ daughter writes to her father with a request. One he’s reluctant to fulfil.
Murdoch’s not keen on Ms. Hart
As we discovered last season, William knows Ms. Hart’s plans and is keeping a close eye on her. And though she uncovers many facts pertaining to Monday’s case (particularly concerning an Orsini bomb), he’s not willing to toss much praise her way.
The fall television season is here, and we couldn’t be happier. With the crisper weather comes the traditional time of year when networks’ new and returning favourites hit the airwaves.
In particular, the CBC jumps into the next few weeks with longtime faves in Murdoch Mysteries and Heartland alongside soon to be classics in Anne with an E and Frankie Drake Mysteries. Not to be outdone, Corus series like Carnival Eats and Property Brothers are back and Citytv’s newbie, Hudson & Rex returns with new episodes. In short, there is a lot of television coming our way.
To celebrate, we’re asking you to check off the three returning television series you’re most looking to watching in the coming months. Have fun, and please feel free to leave a comment below regarding why you chose which shows you did. (After you make your selections, make sure you hit the blue “Vote” button just below and to the right of The Nature of Things.)
Throughout many modern-day television series, some of the characters written into production aren’t always going to make the show’s conclusion. While some actors may simply want to move on in their search for a new challenge, their character’s legacy will live long in the memory. We’ve even seen characters change actors, although that tends to happen to particular types of TV shows almost exclusively.
At the very heart of the success of series such as Degrassi Junior High, Heartland and Murdoch Mysteries are entertaining and relatable characters. As a result of that fact, we’re going to look at some of the most popular characters who have disappeared from Canadian television shows.
Back in October 2007, Heartland, a Canadian family drama series aired for the very first time on CBC. Renewed for its 13th season in May of this year, the show has been the home to several iconic characters that have continued to capture the hearts of viewers. Following the show’s debut, we saw young Mallory Wells’ journey from season one right the way through to season ten.
After being heavily involved in the show for the first six seasons, Mallory eventually disappeared in season seven as she left for Paris with her at-the-fiancé, Jake, who was the young cowboy that she had fallen for. While Mallory would spend a few seasons away from Heartland, she would return as a 21-year-old woman in Season 10 where she and Jake would get married before later disappearing once more for the following two series.
Dr. Emily Grace
Murdoch Mysteries is another immersive television show that peaked the interests of Canadian viewers, as well as many fans abroad. The drama is centred around the character of William Murdoch, who, to this day, still seeks to solve the city’s most gruesome crimes. However, it would be Dr. Emily Grace who would eventually disappear from the show.
After being introduced as the second female lead in 2005, the character of Dr. Emily Grace went through on a roller coaster journey before choosing to leave as the city’s coroner in Season 9. After George Crabtree, Dr. Emily’s love interest, is arrested for the murder of Edna’s husband in season eight, and Emily becomes involved in women’s rights, she opts to disappear to London in the following series and is subject to an emotional good-bye with George before leaving the train station.
Much like Mallory Wells in Heartland, Stephanie Kaye’s disappearance from Degrassi Junior High occurred for all the right reasons. Stephanie, who was elected as the class president, attended Degrassi Junior High for two years before eventually moving to a private school when her mum won the lottery in Season 3 of the show.
While being fortunate enough to win the jackpot was rare back in 1986 when Stephanie was attending Degrassi Junior High, modern-day services offer a better chance of success. As platforms such as Lottoland offer lottery betting, online games, and scratchcards, private education may be something that can be enjoyed by people other than just Stephanie.
Iconic Characters Have Moved On
Ultimately, although they may be loved by the masses, some of our favorite television characters inevitably must go their own way. Whether it’s as a result of marriage, a politically driven journey, or maybe even because of a big jackpot win on the lottery, many iconic Canadian television characters have moved on.