Tag Archives: Republic of Doyle

Production begins on new CBC original drama series Caught starring Allan Hawco and Paul Gross

From a media release:

Take The Shot Productions announced the start of production of the new CBC original drama series CAUGHT, which will premiere in winter 2018 on CBC, as announced at the public broadcaster’s 2017-18 season preview launch last week. Starring Allan Hawco (who will play David Slaney) and Paul Gross (playing Patterson) and produced by Take The Shot Productions, filming kicked off this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Executive producers include Allan Hawco, Perry Chafe, John Vatcher, Alex Patrick, Peter Blackie, Rob Blackie and Michael Levine. The series is written by Allan Hawco along with John Krizanc, Adriana Maggs, and Julia Cohen. It will be directed by TJ Scott and John Vatcher. CAUGHT is adapted from Canadian author Lisa Moore’s acclaimed novel of the same name (published by House of Anansi Press), which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and selected as an Amazon.ca Best Book and for The Globe 100 Books in 2013.

CAUGHT is a new series set in 1978. Locked up after a drug deal goes wrong, David Slaney (Hawco) makes a daring break from a New Brunswick prison to attempt one more deal with his former partner (Eric Johnson) – all this with a dogmatic police officer, Patterson (Paul Gross), at his heels. It’s Slaney’s last chance at freedom – but in this tale of bravado and betrayal, nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

CAUGHT stars Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Frontier, The Book of Negroes), Paul Gross (Alias Grace, Hyena Road, Passchendaele), Tori Anderson (Open Heart, No Tomorrow), Eric Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker, The Knick), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Disappearance), Greg Bryk (Bitten, Frontier) and Enuka Okuma (Rookie Blue, Battle of Sexes).

ABOUT TAKE THE SHOT PRODUCTIONS
Take The Shot Productions Inc. has developed and produced award winning content which has garnered critical and commercial success, both domestically and globally. Based in St John’s Newfoundland, TTS produces a variety of both scripted and unscripted projects for television. Past productions include award nominated series Republic of Doyle on CBC and Discovery Canada/Netflix Worldwide Original Series Frontier, starring Game of Thrones and Aquaman’s Jason Momoa. Frontier will be returning for Season 2 in 2017. Other projects have included the hot factual series Majumder Manor, Boy on Bridge featuring Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, HBO Canada’s Shaun Majumder, and Every Word is Absolutely True.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Discovery heads into a new Frontier

Allan Hawco is up front that Frontier is not “an Allan Hawco vanity project.”

He says that a couple of times during the course of our chat about Discovery Canada’s first foray into scripted television. Yes, he’s set to co-star in the six-parter about the fight for wealth and power in the North American fur trade of the late 18th century, but he’s not the lead. That honour goes to Jason Momoa. Instead, Hawco will remain largely behind the scenes, serving as an executive producer alongside his fellow Take the Shot Production partners, two of whom—Rob (on the right in the above picture) and Peter Blackie—actually conceived of the project.

“There are so many stories to mine from history around the world, especially here in Canada, that has never fully been exploited,” Hawco says. “That’s just bizarre to me. I think there is a real appetite from Canadians to hear their stories told in an interesting and thought-provoking way.” Hawco, who starred, directed, wrote and produced Republic of Doyle for six seasons describes Frontier as being the story of the birth of capitalism in North America, and the greed, blood and power that went along with it. Frontier begins with The Hudson Bay Company, which has a monopoly on what’s happening during the fur trade in the region that will one day be Canada. Smaller factions seek out their own piece of the pie; Hawco portrays Douglas Brown, who plots alongside his brothers to steal some of the HBC’s thunder.

Rob Blackie explains the idea for Frontier came about thanks to a chance meeting at MIPCOM between business parter Alex Patrick and Discovery’s Edwina Follows. The network’s interest in having more dramatic, scripted programming lead to the brothers kicking around ideas for a time period history-based series; they presented Follows with two projects and Frontier was greenlit.

‘It’s an interesting, super-violent part of Canadian history that not a lot of people know about,” Blackie says. “As soon as we started researching it, we were shocked at how little we knew and how conflictual the time period was. The deeper we got, the more interesting it got.” Momoa plays the series’ anti-hero, a part-Irish, part-Cree man named Declan who works with a gang and becomes an unlikely host to a boy named Michael who has been living on the streets of London. Other cast includes Alun Armstrong, Landon Liboiron, Zoe Boyle and Jessica Matten.

Production just wrapped filming in England and has set up shop in St. John’s until a Christmas hiatus. Then it’s on to Louisbourg, N.S., to film at the famous fort and Morrisburg, Ont., to capture action at Fort Wellington in February.

“Winter has an inherent beauty and, if you can capture it, an amazing production value,” Blackie says. “And it’s true to the story. Winter was an important part of the fur trade.”

Frontier debuts on Discovery Canada and Netflix outside of Canada in 2016.

(Photo credit: Duncan de Young on set of Frontier.)

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Georgina Reilly: Why I left Murdoch Mysteries

It’s the end of the road for Murdoch Mysteries’ Dr. Emily Grace—a.k.a. Georgina Reilly. After 64 episodes, Dr. Grace opted to leave Toronto for London and the opportunity to further the Suffragette Movement.

Far from a run-of-the-mill episode, Monday’s “Double Life” featured the death of Emily’s girlfriend, Lillian Moss, and the discovery that she’d led an adventurous life under another name. Turns out Lillian was really a woman named Helen who had been in a same-sex relationship with a married woman. Lillian thought she’d killed the woman’s jealous husband in the midst of a shipboard fight, but he’d survived and returned to exact his revenge.

The episode marked the last for Georgina Reilly, who made the decision to leave Murdoch Mysteries to be, well, we’ll let her explain it all, including the chance she might return.

I’m sad to be chatting with you because it means Dr. Emily Grace has left Murdoch Mysteries.
Georgina Reilly: I know, I know.

I was told that it was your decision to leave. Can you tell me why?
It wasn’t an easy decision at all. It was a combination of things, personally and professionally. My husband, Mark O’Brien, was on Republic of Doyle and we moved to Los Angeles together. We’ve never actually spent a whole year together and I don’t know if we ever will because that’s just the nature of the business. As soon as we got here he booked Halt and Catch Fire and moved to Atlanta.

I love Murdoch and I love everyone and I love playing the character. As an artist, I’m excited about new things too, and opportunities in that regard as well. It becomes a question of when do you make a change creatively for yourself? I’m good with change, but it’s hard because, as an actor you’re like, ‘But you’re on a show, what are you doing?!’ You never know if you’re making the right decision at the time. You just have to go for it.

How did you tell everyone you were leaving?
I wrote handwritten letters to Christina Jennings and Peter Mitchell because I really wanted to express my gratitude and my reasons and everyone has been so supportive and understanding. Then, obviously, I told the main cast and team as well.

Jonny Harris was crushed.
I know. Well, Jonny and I are the closest because Jonny is very good friends with Mark and they’ve known each other for years, before I even came along. He was at our wedding. We had a social life outside of work as well as at work. He’s a very dear friend of mine and it was very fitting that my last scene was with Jonny. A lot of people were there on-set because they’d started blocking for the next episode.


I’m very proud of this character and if one person got a happy moment out of this relationship that’s all I’d ask for.


Did you get emotional?
Oh yeah. There were a lot of ‘lasts.’ This is my last read-through, this is my last costume fitting. I was more emotional at the beginning of the block, knowing it was coming. But then, I had a really big block and had to do a lot of work. I had an amazing episode written for me by Jordan Christianson; it was so much about Grace personally that it was a very emotional episode for me as an actor. Playing a doctor on this show, I know what I’m doing professionally and I’m not emotionally invested. Thank goodness for Gary Harvey, who is amazing and I’m so glad he directed the episode. There were a lot of tears here and there.

Murdoch Mysteries‘ fans were very divided when it came to Lillian and Emily’s relationship. Do you want to comment on the feedback you received?
My favourite note I got was that I’d ruined Murdoch Mysteries. I was like, ‘Wow, thanks for thinking I have that much of an impact!’ The optimism was wonderful and I think that representing different types of love is important. I respect people’s opinions and they are entitled to them, but at the same time social media enables you to say whatever you want without any thought as to what impact you may have. I’m very proud of this character and if one person got a happy moment out of this relationship that’s all I’d ask for.

Let’s look forward. What’s next?
I’m auditioning and seeing what’s out there. After being on such an awesome show and playing a fantastic character, I’m being a bit picky about what I go for, what I like and what I want to do next. To be able to do that and be confident about it is a testament to being on Murdoch Mysteries for so long. I know this can happen. Mark and I are creating our new life here away from our families and friends.

We’re also discussing whether we’ll expand our tribe or not.

Emily could return to Murdoch Mysteries. She wasn’t killed off.
I’m very grateful to them for that. I think it would be fun for Emily to pop back in here and there in some crazy episode for some reason. I think that would be great. It was really great when Pete said, ‘We didn’t kill you off.’ I had been bracing myself and was OK with a very dramatic death!

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Comments and queries for the week of Dec. 12

This week was a big one for Canadian TV. On Monday, it was announced that Continuum had been renewed for one more six-episode season. And Wednesday saw the series finale of Republic of Doyle. Both were hot topics among readers who follow us on Twitter.

Sorry to hear #Continuum will be ending, but perhaps they’ll give us 6 tremendously strong episodes as their finale.–Jeanette607

Mixed feelings … we wanted more … Hope they bring Sonya back, at least :(–Lisuni

Bummed and happy. More on the bummed side though :( at least they’ll be a proper send off #Continuum–E_84

I wish there was more Episodes but 6 is better then none and I am Sooo happy–lorenbhollander


I happen to think Republic of Doyle has been the funniest thing on television for as long as it’s been on, and I’ve been hoping CBC would make a spinoff about Des. I also think Sean McGinley was much more interesting as Malachy than a certain other much-in-demand Canadian actor–reportedly the first choice–would have been. I enjoyed this show enormously.–Nick


The show Heartland has inspired me tremendously, as I have grown up around horses. I watch regularly and it would be a great honour if I could get a role in the show or meet Amber Marshall. Thank you for your time as it is greatly appreciated.–Hannah

I’m sure Amber would love to hear from you. You can pass on your well wishes to her Twitter account @Amber_Marshall.

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or head to @tv_eh.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Review: Republic of Doyle says goodbye

“I wish this day would never end.” Those were Jake Doyle’s final words on Wednesday night. And while I’m sure fans across the country shared his thoughts, it was time to say goodbye.

This most likely isn’t the last that we’ve seen of those folks from St. John’s, Newfoundland–Allan Hawco is hopeful a feature film is in the cards–but this was certainly it for the television series. But rather than it being a final goodbye, this was more of a so long for now. The back-to-back “Judgement Day” and “Last Call” served as a suitable farewell, combining the car chases, catastrophic explosions, fisticuffs and heartfelt moments that have been the mainstay of the veteran drama.

The first 60 minutes, of course, dealt with Jake’s murder trial. After being found guilty of murdering Mayor Clarke, Jake was given 48 hours on the outside before sentencing (that was Republic of Doyle art director and Majumder Manor star Peter Blackie playing the crown prosecutor who wanted Jake kept in jail), and that was just enough time for he and Malachy to be hired by the judge to find out who was blackmailing him. Judge Tizzard suspected his wife, Miranda (Mary Walsh), but evidence seemed to point at a variety of suspects including Alisha, the Chevalier bike gang and a city planner. Alisha became prime suspect No. 1 after Miranda’s bar was blown to smithereens, until it was revealed the mysterious Damon Rhodes (The Border‘s James McGowan) was behind the whole thing and held the key to Jake’s freedom in his hands, literally: a flash drive showing Brogen killing Clarke.

Damon’s plan? Have Jake work for him in prison for three years and the drive’s contents would be revealed and Jake would be set free to work for Damon on the outside. That, of course, wasn’t going to happen, so Jake and his family became targets of the biker gang. The one to feel that the most was poor Des who, already heartbroken because Tinny broke up with him, had his skull cracked by Damon at The Duke. It was nice to see Malachy and Jake get involved in a good old-fashioned donnybrook at The Green Room, though it ended prematurely when Picard arrested Jake.

Leslie, meanwhile, had her hands full with the Inspector Pickard (John Kapelos), and was called to the carpet in front of Internal Affairs for her relationship with the Doyles. But rather than apologize to the panel as the Inspector advised, she was unrepentant and got fired.

The final blow? Leslie was pregnant, a story angle hinted at every time she dreamt of she and he being a family. After busting him out of the interrogation room (with help from Hood and somehow sneaking out of an entire precinct packed with coppers), Leslie and Jake were on the run.

So, what did the last hour, “Last Call,” hold? A manhunt for Jake and Leslie, an unconventional teaming with Alisha, Rhodes going to drastic measures to get Jake on board and an eventual clearing of Jake’s name in the death of Mayor Clarke. It wasn’t an easy task. Not only did Jake resort to swapping out the GTO in favour of a–gasp!–Mustang to keep a low profile, but he had to witness the beatings of Des and Malachy because he wouldn’t work for Rhodes.

After a series of twists, turns and a pants-less Des, Jake had located Clarke’s cell phone, an item which contained not only recordings of agreements the Chevalier gang would run St. John’s but at least one dirty cop who was in on it: Pickard. Leslie discovered the same information, though it was done face-to-face while she spoke to Pickard, leading to a short, bullet-filled foot chase that left him dead and her badly injured and the fate of the baby up in the air.

Rhodes’ final showdown with Jake and Malachy on a gravel road was interrupted by the cops, led by … Alisha. Turns out Vick Saul’s right-hand woman was a federal marshal all along and was more than happy to not only take out Rhodes but help Jake locate a backup flash drive proving his innocence.

Those hoping for a happy ending weren’t disappointed, though Doyle‘s writers came up with a sweet twist. Picking up two years later, Jake and Leslie were already married, had twins with a third on the way. The nuptials everyone had gathered to celebrate were for Tinny and Des. (Who else was glad to see the beloved GTO in the background, festooned with ribbon?) Midway through Wednesday’s finale, Jake mentioned that St. John’s is called The City of Legends. Jake Doyle is certainly that.

Notes and quotes

  • “It’s ironic. All the crap I’ve done over the years and I’m going to be sent to prison for a crime I didn’t even commit.”–Jake
  • “I need to get some air. For my lungs, which may or may not be punctured from a broken heart.”–Des
  • “You’re a good man. And a great son.”–Malachy
  • It was hoot to see Rick Mercer playing the new mayor of St. John’s, though I half expected him to launch into a rant
  • “It would suck to find out you were shagging some biker missus.”–Leslie
  • “What are you doing with my head? You know I can’t handle more than one layer of subtext at a time.”–Des

What did you think of the series finale of Republic of Doyle? Let me know at greg@tv-eh.com, post a comment below to head to @tv_eh on Twitter.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail