CTV’s ‘Saving Hope’ returns with second half of season 2
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:05:00 CST
TORONTO – The Canadian supernatural medical drama “Saving Hope” returns Thursday after going under the knife.
CTV cut season 2 in half, airing the first nine episodes in the summer and saving the remaining nine for a winter run that begins on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT — in the cushy timeslot previously occupied by “Grey’s Anatomy.”
“It’s transitioned from a summer series for two summers to now a winter, and when I do my third season it’ll be the fall schedule,” star Erica Durance said in a recent telephone interview.
The scheduling changes are “just part of the blessing and the curse” of being a word-of-mouth series, she added.
“I always like to think of our show as like the little engine that could. It’s just the kind of nice little story — you can’t explain the magic of why people love it, because it doesn’t have the recipe of all the big kind of sci-fi this and the massive $10 million pilot.
“It’s like a little wave and people are starting to like it and watch it, and then more people are talking about it and then they go back. I’m getting lots of tweets and fan mail that says, ‘I hadn’t seen it and then I watched the first season and I love it.'”
For those unfamiliar, Durance stars as Dr. Alex Reid, chief surgical resident at Hope Zion Hospital in Toronto. Her fiance, Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks), started seeing and communicating with spirits in the hospital when he awoke from a coma.
In the first half of season 2, Charlie was just getting used to his supernatural abilities, while Alex was still unaware of them. Meanwhile, Alex’s former boyfriend, Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies), was dating an increasingly jealous Sonja (guest star Erin Karpluk of “Being Erica” fame).
When the season returns, those issues will come to a head as Alex’s brother Luke — a paramedic and recovering addict played by Tyler Hynes — is admitted to Hope Zion in critical condition.
“We come back in something that is very, very difficult for her and heart-wrenching, and we just pick up that ball and keep rolling with it for the rest of the season,” said Durance. “But it’s definitely a place where there’s a big turn for her.”
As Alex and Charlie struggle to connect with each other again, she’ll reach a point where she’s unable to suppress her emotions, added the Canadian Screen Award nominee from Three Hills, Alberta.
“You start to see there is a slight unravelling of her ability to keep move forward and soldiering on and she has to face some of these things, and so you see her making some kind of crazier, more unwise decisions as a doctor.”
Balancing the drama are the more comical and steamier moments between the medical staff. In Thursday’s episode, for instance, Eric Johnson guest stars as a handsome obstetrician/gynecologist who causes ripples between Dr. Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor Ross) and Dr. Gavin Murphy (Kristopher Turner).
“He’s an interesting character that comes in and he’s involved with Maggie quite a bit,” said Durance, who played Lois Lane in the series “Smallville.”
Viewers can delve even deeper into the storylines with the digital companion series “Last Call,” which sees the doctors dishing on their lives over drinks. It’s available on CTV.ca/SavingHopeLastCall and the CTV GO App.
Durance said her research for her role has included spending time with medical consultants and watching real surgeries in hospitals.
“I say to people, ‘I can cut people open, I can push their organs around and sound like something is really wrong, but I could never put them back together.'”
She does sometimes understand the medical lingo she hears on television, though.
“I’ll be watching some kind of Discovery Channel thing or something will come out and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I know what that drug is,'” said Durance. “I’m a big know-it-all in my house and my husband just laughs and is very patient.
“He’ll be like, ‘So are you being a doctor tonight?’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, yes.'”
Durance said she knows “very little” about what the writers have planned for season 3, which was recently ordered by CTV.
But the thought that anybody could be killed off — as often happens in the medical drama world — is never far from her mind.
“I think it goes through everybody’s minds. Some of us want it, some of us don’t,” she said with a laugh. “Maybe that’s a good thing for actors. It keeps everybody on-point so they don’t have these assumptions that they have job security.
“Because you just never know if you’re going to get hit by a car and end up in a coma.”