Category Archives: Endgame
The yet-to-be-cast 13-episode CTV series Motive, about a “feisty female Vancouver detective” solving murders, is the latest TV drama series to let Vancouver play itself. We’ve gone from zero to four in a very short time– possibly five if Endgame is resurrected.
Why now? Some credit the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games for making our city “cool” and recognizable the world over.
While CBC’s hit adventure series Arctic Air mainly films its Yellowknife interiors on permanent sets in Aldergrove and its exteriors in Yellowknife, when the action is in our city, as it was in the wonderfully-titled episode Vancouver is Such a Screwed-Up City, then Vancouver plays itself.
And Showcase’s out-of-the-box hit Continuum features not one but two Vancouvers. In the part sci-fi, part procedural Continuum, a future police officer travels back in time from Vancouver in the year 2077 to Vancouver in the year 2012, swept up in an escape by a group of terrorists — Liber8 – who plan to change the future from the past by targeting the corporations that will come to rule the world. Here’s Rachel Nichols’s officer-from-the-future at the Vancouver Public Library.
Over at SPACE’s upcoming sci-fi and procedural series Primeval: New World, we can look forward to seeing apartment-building-sized dinosaurs and other primeval creatures rampaging through our neighbourhoods like Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and the Olympic Village.
Published May 31, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
Live-tweets turned out to be the best thing about last weekend’s Leo Awards celebrating the best of B.C.-made film and television. Tweets from @LeoAwards gave an award-by-award account plus details of all the hijinks in between at both the Celebration and Gala Awards: hijinks that ranged from Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott mock-fighting over their award to Gala co-hosts Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne calling each other evil twin and English MILF to Nancy Robertson and Ryan Robbins pitching a new comedy series to Emilie Ullerup re-enacting Angelina Jolie’s notorious one-leg Oscars pose to acting legend Gabrille Rose swearing on stage while presenting the final award to Sisters & Brothers for Best Feature Film.
It was a great way to let the public share in this celebration of artistic talent after a tough week, which had started with the official cancellation of homegrown sci-fi series Sanctuary, the most-recognized B.C. production by far with 18 Leo nominations going in. Sanctuary ended up winning four Leos for its fourth and final season, but only one on the night of the gala for a guest performance by Arctic Air’s Pascale Hutton, who sang beautifully and turned her head right around in the Glee-meets-The-Exorcist episode Fuge.
I’d hoped for a repeat of last year’s wild times on the red carpet outside the Hotel Vancouver on West Georgia Street, but organizers moved the red carpet inside the hotel this year to the conference floor and restricted access. Most of the nominees kept the party going after the red carpet to take a turn at the new Media Wall by the bar where I had a spot, but it was so dimly-lit I had to jack some light from the pro-photographers’ flashes. Here’s The Express’s Johanna Ward interviewing nominee and eventual winner Johannah Newmarch on the red carpet about her supporting performance in mockumentary Sunflower Hour. Ward later dropped by the Media Wall to wrangle nominees Ali Liebert from Bomb Girls and Emilie Ullerup from Arctic Air as a backdrop to her standup.
You can see the start of Emilie Ullerup’s one-leg Angelina homage and how the popular Cassini brothers photo-bombed the arrangement. That’s Frank on the left and John on the right. Frank Cassini later won a roar from the crowd and a Leo for his supporting performance on
TV rules at B.C.’s Leo Awards, which is the opposite of most American award ceremonies where the hierarchy goes film, then television. So it’s fitting that this year’s hosts on May 26th at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will be Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne, the stars of homegrown sci fi series Sanctuary, which earned a whopping 18 nominations, including lead performance nominations for both Tapping and Dunne.
If you follow either of them on Twitter or tracked their progress at Comic-Con last year you’ll know that Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne are a madcap comedy duo off screen.
The other big TV series represented at this year’s Leos is CBC’s northern adventure series Arctic Air with nine nominations. Adam Beach wasn’t nominated for his lead performance but he’s probably not considered a B.C. actor. I was surprised though not to see Pascale Hutton or Kevin McNulty’s names on the list for Arctic Air, but pleased by the supporting performance nominations for Stephen Lobo and Emilie Ullerup plus a writing nomination for the one episode that was actually set here, the wonderfully-titled Vancouver is Such a Screwed Up City (Tim Webber and Carmen Moore got supporting performance nominations for the episode CTVAK).
The thing that made me happiest though is reborn-on-Hulu but cancelled-on-Showcase Endgame getting a dramatic series nomination for its production filmed mainly in the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver. Various B.C. actors Warren Christie (Alphas), Laura Mennell (Alphas), Erin Karpluk (Being Erica) and Meg Tilly (Bomb Girls) also got lead performance nominations for their productions filmed in Toronto, while Carmen Moore (Blackstone) got a lead performance nomination for her production filmed in Calgary. And there were other nominations for B.C. crew and actors on American productions filmed here, such as a guest performance nomination for Keegan Conner Trcy as the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior on Once Upon a Time and a supporting performance nomination for Brandon Jay McLaren for his role as Rosie’s teacher and suspect in her death on The Killing.
And in the youth or children’s drama category, The Haunting Hour is squaring off against multi-camera sitcom Mr. Young. I’m thrilled to see the talented Gig Morton and Milo Shandel get nominated
Published February 17, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
I have been mildly chastised for my lack of Canadian content in this feature. Fortunately I found the about-to-launch Canadian drama series Endgame filming its season finale last week outside the Westin Bayshore Hotel and caught a rare glimpse of Newfoundland native Shawn Doyle as the brilliant chess-master-turned-detective Arkady Balagan.
How rare? Well, Balagan is a bare-footed, Howard-Hughes-esque wreck who spends virtually the entire season holed up in his luxury Vancouver hotel wearing his bathrobe after the traumatic murder of his fiancé. He uses a rag tag group of hotel staffers and chess fans to help him solve crimes. One surely memorable who-done-it? episode features a rock star and his pet polar bear (Endgame cast an actual polar bear for the scenes, one-upping Lost’s fake one).
I can’t say anything about how or why Balagan ends up outside the hotel in the season finale except to say I noticed Shawn Doyle’s lack of footwear in this exterior scene (brrrr) and his shock of rusty blonde hair. Two days before arriving in Vancouver late last summer, the brown-haired actor reportedly decided to dye his hair for the role, rendering him unrecognizable to me as the same actor from the Canadian newsmagazine drama The Eleventh Hour and from extended parts on American shows like 24, Desperate Housewives and Big Love. Doyle also adopted a Russian accent of sorts for the brainiac sleuth.
Endgame began filming its 13-episode season late last summer and although some spotted EG production signs around town it didn’t have a big profile except among Bayshore hotel guests, who sometimes caught sight of the strangely-garbed Doyle with a film crew following. It’s not the first time an eccentric, unkempt genius has made the Bayshore his home. American millionaire Howard Hughes’s extended stay in 1972 is part of Vancouver lore, but producers didn’t make the connection when they chose the Bayshore as Balagan’s fictional Huxley Hotel.
I arrived in time last week to see Endgame filming a near-miss hit-and-run of Pippa Ventura,