Tag Archives: Rebecca Liddiard

Frankie Drake Mysteries: Lauren Lee Smith reflects on Frankie’s evolution

Anyone who watches television knows the evolution of a series is ongoing. Writers give characters tweaks as they get to know the actors involved. Story arcs change. A secondary character can grow because of on-screen chemistry. In the case of Frankie Drake Mysteries, two showrunners in two years and actress Lauren Lee Smith’s changing look has made the series somewhat uneven.

Now, the program feels as though it truly has found its stride with Peter Mitchell as showrunner, gorgeous opening credits and Frankie’s blonde hair. Throw in the genuine chemistry between Frankie (Smith), Trudy (Chantel Riley), Mary (Rebecca Liddiard) and Flo (Sharron Matthews), and Frankie is revving on all cylinders.

We spoke to Lauren Lee Smith about all of that and more.

Congratulations on Season 3.
Lauren Lee Smith: Thank you. Yeah, it’s pretty exciting. I feel like it’s like a whirlwind. I can’t believe where we’re premiering Season 3. It feels like yesterday that we were premiering Season 1. It’s been a quick, a quick three years.

And with that has come change. There’s, there’s Frankie’s hair, the opening credits, and then behind the scenes with Peter Mitchell as the showrunner. What was your reaction to, to having him be named as the showrunner for Season 3?
LLS: Well, we are very fortunate to have Pete come on board. He’s the man, he knows what he’s doing better than anyone in this country. And, and to have him come on board, especially last-minute, we were super fortunate and lucky to have someone of his calibre come on and, and help helm the show.

Does the blonde hair stay through the third season?
LLS: It does. And I think we’ve nailed Frankie’s look. In Season 1 they sort of had this image that someone found and it was with this red hair. Very cool. And we tried it. I’m not naturally a redhead. Maintaining red hair was extremely difficult, especially keeping the style. That made it very difficult for everyone. It was very time consuming for everyone. My hair started to fall out.

So Season 2 we’re like, ‘OK, maybe we’ll try a wig.’ Right. That again added about an hour and a half to my day each day, and you’re already dealing with it a 14-hour day. That’s a lot of extra time to add to a day. And also, we were very limited in terms of how I could move with it, and if you’d be able to see it. It was one of those things where everyone’s like, ‘You know, you’re naturally a blonde. We’d love you as a blonde.’ Why didn’t that, why wasn’t that ever sort of…

Three women stand in a morgue.It sort of goes with the original idea that we had of this character anyway, which is a little bit more of a tomboy, a little bit more ahead of her time, a little bit more androgynous and ready to take on action and not be so girly girl. We tried a few different styles. We, we did a bunch of hair makeup tests and, and then everyone just sort of agreed, wait a minute, I think this is sort of the Frankie, that we all, we all envisioned her to be in the first place.

In the first episode, Frankie is in London. How long did you film there?
LLS: We did two full days in the UK and we took advantage of those two days. They were full days. We were all over the city. It was incredible. It was surreal to shoot at The Savoy. That alone was, I think worth it. We can shoot a lot here in Toronto and the outskirts of Toronto, but I think actually being in London and not having to sort of use green screen and, and, and have those actual locations, just it makes the episodes so, so much bigger.

As a fan of Foyle’s War, when Honeysuckle Weeks’ name jumped out, I was pretty excited. 
LLS: I was so stoked to be getting to work with her. I think she’s incredible. And then I met her on the first day I was just like, ‘Oh my god. Okay. This is amazing.’ She’s so down to earth and so lovely and so talented and such a fun energy to work off of. We had an absolute blast and she got to come over to Toronto for a week and shoot here with us.

This group of women, they’re just so tight now. They get along so well. The show just oozes fun.
LLS: We’re not faking the friendship. We actually are all really tight and we’re all really close and we hang out outside of work and we adore each other and we’re all so different. It’s a natural chemistry that we have in the scenes and the times that we do get to all be there together. You can’t really fake that stuff.

Can you give me a little bit of a teaser into some of the storylines or maybe a major story arc this season?
LLS: We have a really exciting story arc coming up early on in the season where we delve into Frankie’s personal life and she’s thrown for a loop yet again by some personal stuff that she had no idea about and perhaps a new person in her life that she was not aware of. So that’s pretty cool and very, very different. And it’s definitely something that when I read I was like, ‘What? OK, where are we going with this?’ So that’s really exciting. And then we, you know, there’s lots of really fun stuff. Again, we have Wendy Crewson, who plays Nora. There are lots of really interesting beats with that. We have some, we have a few familiar faces who, who will pop up again who we haven’t seen maybe since Season 1, which was really fun.

And again, it’s always interesting incorporating actual people into our show and we definitely do that in Season 3.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Save Me doles out excellent new episodes on CBC Gem

I was instantly enthralled with the first season of Save Me. Created, written and directed by Fab Filippo, the dark comedy follows Toronto EMT Goldie (Filippo) and his assorted partners (Amy Matysio and Suresh John are two), as they arrive on the scene of 911 calls.

The twist in the storytelling is Goldie et al. are the through line connecting those making an emergency call rather than being the mains. That’s not to say we don’t get some back story into Goldie and his fellow EMTs lives, but they’re not the focus.

The second chunk of new episodes have landed on CBC Gem—produced by Lisa Baylin—and they’re as strong as the first. The Canadian Screen Award-nominated program is in fine fettle, boasting not only great scenarios for EMTs Goldie, Dogf***er (John), Kevlar (Matysio) and Bizemmingway (John Bourgeois), but a plethora of guest performances by Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire, Frankie Drake Mysteries‘ Rebecca Liddiard, Bad Blood‘s Lisa Berry, Kim’s Convenience‘s Andrew Phung, Hudson & Rex‘s Kevin Hanchard, Scott Thompson and Nicholas Campbell.

In the first instalment, it’s all hands on deck as the EMTs—including rookie Hubcap (Heartland‘s Kataem O’Connor)—are called to the scene of multiple ecstasy overdoses suffered by aging couples looking for some fun. Watching Thompson, Hanchard and Fiona Highet tripping out is something to behold. But where there is comedy, tragedy follows, and how each of the paramedics deals with it is also what makes Save Me so engaging. In just a few short minutes in each episode, the web series is able to jump from laughter to tears, while exploring the PTSD first responders experience.

In Episode 2, two men choose to trim some hedges using a lawnmower. It has the predictable, bloody, result, but also reveals a shift in the tale I didn’t see coming. You never know what’s going on in the lives of the folks calling 911; Save Me goes there with spectacular results.

Season 2 of Save Me is on CBC Gem.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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Archie Panjabi and Christopher Plummer lead Global’s new original event series Departure now in production

From a media release:

Global announced today that it has commissioned a new Canadian original six-part event series, DepartureProduced by Shaftesbury and Greenpoint Productions Ltd., the thrilling drama is directed by Canadian Screen Award Winner T.J. Scott (Orphan Black, Star Trek: Discovery), with Malcolm MacRury (Saving Hope) joining as showrunner, and created by Vincent Shiao (RansomAftermath). With principal photography now underway in Toronto, the Canada/UK co-production will also shoot in London, England. The project was developed by Shaftesbury in association with Corus Entertainment and Red Arrow Studios International.

Slated to join Global’s 2019 primetime schedule, the high-octane conspiracy series follows the mystery of a passenger plane that vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean. Featuring an all-star cast, the series stars Emmy® winner Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Oscar® winner Christopher Plummer (All the Money In the World). The adrenaline-fueled serialized thrill ride also includes an impressive supporting cast with Kris Holden-Ried (Vikings), Claire Forlani (Hawaii Five-O), Rebecca Liddiard (Frankie Drake Mysteries), Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery), Tamara Duarte (Longmire), Peter Mensah (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), Allan Hawco (Caught), Dougray Scott (Snatch), Sasha Roiz (Grimm), Mark Rendall (30 Days of Night), Dmitry Chepovetsky(Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Paris Jefferson (Sunset Contract), and more.

Departure is a six-part event series that follows the shocking disappearance of Flight 716, a passenger plane that vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean. Kendra Malley (Panjabi), the recently widowed, brilliant aviation investigator, is called in by her former boss and mentor Howard Lawson (Plummer) to investigate the mysterious crash. With the whole world watching, Kendra and her team race to pinpoint the missing aircraft and locate possible survivors. They must battle through a host of suspects and motives – pilot suicide, terrorism, politically motivated murder, systems failure – to determine what really happened to Flight 716… and to stop it from happening again.

This newly greenlit series is the final original series commissioned by Global for the 2019 broadcast year joining NursesRansomMary Kills PeoplePrivate Eyes, and Big Brother Canada.

Departure is a Canada/UK treaty co-production produced by Shaftesbury (Canada) and Greenpoint Productions Ltd. (UK) in association with Corus Entertainment.

Departure is executive produced by Christina JenningsScott GarvieMalcolm MacRury, and T.J. Scott. Creator Vincent Shiao is co-executive producer; Patrick Cassavetti, Tina Grewal are producers, with Julie Laceyserving as Shaftesbury’s producer.

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More mystery to go around: Frankie Drake Mysteries greenlit for Season 2

From a media release:

From the Shimmy to Art Deco, the Roaring Twenties return with Shaftesbury’s prohibition-era-set FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES renewed for a second season (10 x 60) by CBC, UKTV, and Kew Media Group. Season 1 of the series garnered an audience average of 782,000 on CBC, making FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES the public broadcaster’s second-most-watched drama of the current broadcast season after Murdoch Mysteries.

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES stars Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water, The Listener, The L Word) as the private eye with the mysterious past Frankie Drake, Chantel Riley (Race, The Lion King) as Frankie’s fearless and clever partner Trudy Clarke, Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Houdini & Doyle) as keen police morality officer Mary Shaw, and Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as spirited morgue attendant Flo.

Season one saw secrets emerge from Frankie’s tightly hidden past, from discovering her mother alive and working as a con woman, to her friends uncovering her past as a spy. What other secrets will be discovered about the enigmatic Frankie Drake in season two?

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. Their cases take them through every cross-section of Toronto, meeting people of all backgrounds and means, as well as historical characters, along the way. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Carol Hay, and James Hurst, who also serves as showrunner, Ruba Nadda serves as lead director/co-executive producer, and Teresa Ho is producer. A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, and the Bell Fund. Kew Media Group is the global distributor of the series.

Source: Numeris TV Meter, Nov. 6, 2017 – Feb. 5, 2018, CBC, A2+, Mon. 9:01-10:00p, Total Canada, AMA, generated by InfoSys+TV

 

[themoneytizer id=”12602-28″]

 

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Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries’ Rebecca Liddiard on Mary’s growing confidence

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries’ Rebecca Liddiard on Mary’s growing confidence
“She has this puppy dog-like quality where she’s just willing to take anything, whereas by the end we see her taking matters into her own hands. For instance, she just decided to go to New York all by herself to pursue the case that Frankie didn’t even ask her to do. She just took it upon herself to do it. I think that fits with the bigger theme of independence and women doing what they think is right and best. You really get a nice sense of that with Mary.” Continue reading. 

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