Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Erica Durance Returns In Saving Hope

Erica Durance says there was a split second when she wondered if she could move to Toronto to star in the new CTV medical drama Saving Hope.
"My son's in Grade 8 and I couldn't move him. So the family stayed put and I move for the seven months it takes to film a season. It was a tough decision. But I'm back in Vancouver as often as possible."
The other day one web site voted Durance "the best ever" Lois Lane by virtue of her outstanding job on seven seasons of TV's  Smallville.
"I'll take that compliment and run with it," she jokes. "But it's nice to be recognized that way."
Tuesday night on CTV Durance returns in the second season opener of Saving Hope which finds her character  Dr. Alex Reid and her surgeon beau Dr.  Charlie  Harris (Michael Shanks) caught in a shootout at a transit-subway station platform.
Talk about unlucky!
Last season found Charlie in a prolonged coma after sustaining major injuries in a car wreck.
He also began experiencing an out of body experience where he would chat up fellow patients with life threatening injuries.
To this observer  the appearance of such "ghosts" was a really radical way to make Saving Hope a different type of drama and Durance says viewers are divided on the issue.
And in the first new episode Charlie continues to see these apparitions --he must confront the spirit of a father-to-be who is slipping away after being caught in the crossfire of the airport shooting.
Durance says she's hearing conflicting testimony from fans of the show.
Her advice? "Just go with it. It's there but not always a big part of every story."
Durance's character Alex also has her own issues. Early on in the new season she viciously slaps a young girl who keeps insisting she wants to die.
Alex has learned the hard way how precious life really is.
As a vote of confidence CTV is upping the number of episodes of Saving Hope this year from 13 to 18 new hours.
Although the first season thrived on CTV the numbers on NBC were not strong enough to warrant an order for another season.
"It's a cultural thing, I'm sure," Durance says. NBC is a network that favors male oriented shows while Saving Hope is definitely in the category of attracting younger female viewers.
"I think with 18 hours we can explore relationships much deeper. And we're not fixated on making that American sale. I'm sure it will happen --there are many more options out there these days."
I noticed at the top of the first hour which I've previewed that Wendy Crewson's name has disappeared from the credits --she played chief surgeon Dr. Dana Kinney.
In fact in the last episode of the first season Kinney was told by hunky doctor Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) that he was taking over her job.
Reports Durance: "Wendy is back in Season 2 and we feel lucky to have her be part of the show. Her character will pop up several times --I'm just doing an episode with her this week.
And in other casting news Erin Karpluk of Being Erica will have a recurring role as a single mom who survives a tricky operation (a bullet is lodged near her heart).
At 35 Durance has already survived seven seasons on Smallville. She says "For whatever reason there just isn't that much production in B.C. right now."
She's also onboard as a producer for Season Two, a job that lets her sit in on editing and script meetings --it's a move that should make for a more rounded career in the future.
CTV also has a companion weblet series called Last Call finding the doctors chattering on about personal issues. Check it all out at CTV.ca/SavingHope.
MY RATING: ***1/2.

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