Residents of the remote Alaskan town of Port Moore believe they are being tortured with their own secrets by a plague of ghosts. The hauntings bring newfound popularity to the local priest, Father Dan Carpenter (Vincent D’Onofrio), as many townspeople turn to religion for their salvation. There is a pragmatic young physicist, Dr. Landis Barker (played by Kandyse McClure), who works for a company called Lambda and believes science holds the key to the mystery. And Port Moore’s one (reluctant) psychic, Roman Mercer (Avan Jogia), whom no one in town likes, suddenly finds a use for his ability to speak to spirits.
The four main characters each take a different philosophical approach to the unusual phenomena plaguing the town. Mercer is a believer in the paranormal, Father Carpenter comes at things from a conventionally religious point of view, and Dr. Barker attacks the problem scientifically. A fourth (somewhat ill-defined) perspective is provided by Doug Rennie (Meat Loaf), a handyman who is apparently not a very nice person, and who takes great delight in bullying Roman Mercer.
Dr. Barker has recently relocated to Port Moore where she hopes to rebuild her tarnished reputation. (What tarnished it is has yet to be revealed.) She is unhappy in her job at Lambda, but it pays well.
Four of the thirteen episodes are directed by women (two each by Kristin Lehman and Leslie Hope), and five episodes were written by women. The female writers working on GHOST WARS are Karen Lam, Sonja Bennett, Rachel Langer, and Gemma Holdway. Episode ten is apparently a collaboration between Bennett, Lam, and Holdway.
Kristen Lehman and Sonja Bennett also appear in the show. Bennett plays a character called Karla Kowalski-Jones, and Lehman’s character is named Marilyn. There are no details available on Karla or Marilyn as of yet. You may remember Sonja Bennett as Callie Curie, the dry cleaner who almost dated Sheriff Carter for a couple of episodes of EUREKA in 2007.
Executive Producer and writer Dennis Heaton described GHOST WARS to Jenny McGrath of Digital Trends as an anthology show that’s also serialized. “Ghost stories are very personal, very intimate events,” Heaton told McGrath. “Each episode has a very unique, individualized ghost story that gets traveled through and completed, and those events feed into that character’s attitude as they go forward.”
Heaton also indicated that GHOST WARS will specialize in ghosts. There will be no vampires, zombies, or other such supernatural beasties among the paranormal creatures of Port Moore. Only the dead will manifest. Not the undead.
Four actors who appeared in showrunner Simon Barry‘s previous show, CONTINUUM, are in the cast. Luvia Petersen (CONTINUUM’s Jasmine Garza) plays the recurring character Val McGrath-Dufresne. Zak Santiago will be someone called Rodney Doyle, and Tammy Gillis will be Jane (a recurring characer whose last name has not been revealed). Ryan Robbins is Edward Clarke in at least one episode.
And the show contains a bit of light-heartedness amid the blood, gore, and ghosts. Kandyse McClure, who plays Dr. Barker, told Shana Lieberman of Hidden Remote: “What developed over the course of shooting was the emergence of this place between horror and comedy, which is such a difficult line to walk. There are some interestingly comedic elements in this show that I think allow us a moment of lightness through all the suspense, pressure-building, and thrill of a lot of the things. There are these really human moments between family members, between lovers, between friends, and then these…I mean, there were laugh-out-loud moments for us.”