Laura Vandervoort (Elena Michaels) is Mila Dubov (sister of Danika Dubov, played by Kimberly Sue Murray) in V-WARS, a ten-episode series loosely based on the comics written by Jonathan Mayberry. Vandervoort has played a vampire in the past (in The Dresden Files) but the V-Wars Wiki indicates that Mila and Daniika are human. In V-Wars, the melting of very old arctic ice releases an ancient virus that spreads rapidly across the globe. The virus activates long-dormant genes that turn people into vampires, and the world quickly becomes split into warring camps of vampires and humans. Ian Sommerhalder stars as Dr. Luther Swann, who is looking for a cure. V-WARS will be available on Netflix on 5 December. A trailer is available on YouTube. Continue reading →
KILLJOYS – Season 3 Episode 2 – SPOILERS
Zeph (Kelly McCormack) refuses to follow D’Avin’s orders. “Fake fire doesn’t burn,” she says, ignoring the countdown to disaster. The room dissolves in flames, and she wakes up in Lucy’s cargo hold. Zephyr had figured out that the mission was a VR simulation. Spock did the same sort of thing at the Melkotian simulation of the OK Corral: “Physical reality,” Spock said, “is consistent with universal laws. Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality. All of this is unreal. I know the bullets are unreal, therefore they cannot harm me.” (Star Trek TOS, Episode 3.6)
Indications are that Zeph will be around for a few more episodes. McCormack described the character to Dean Amond of Find Your Inner Geek: “Zeph is a dream role. She’s a weirdo tomboy farm girl turned science nerd who has zero filter or interpersonal skills, and is obsessed with the biological science and dresses like a female Link from Zelda!…The role was challenging because I was spitting so much science and every scene – and I mean this – every single scene, there was a new fancy space science contraption I had to look like a natural using. But being the awkward tomboy nerd comes naturally to me and it was a pleasure playing a character who has such an unwavering passion for science.”
In John’s absence, Turin, Dutch, and D’Avin audition three RAC lab techs to provide Johnny-like insights into the tech of the Hullen. Zeph is one of those techs. Luc Trottier and Erik Knudsen play the other two. Turin hires the two guys (Trottier’s character is named Benji. Knudsen’s character is never referred to by name.) and sends Zeph home, but Dutch rectifies the error and hires Zeph herself. Johnny’s adventures on what Turin calls an “emo walkabout” are chronicled in parallel with the virtual adventures of the RAC techs.
Johnny’s walkabout happens in Rat City, where he finds out that it’s not the Hullen that’s skinning and re-skinning people, it’s a cosmetics company run by a hackmod named Niko (Victoria Modesta). She skins hackmod owners, then uses their epidermes to provide new identities for fugitive hackmods in the hope of resettling them on a planet at the far end of The J. The puzzling thing is that she keeps the skinless victims fresh by spraying them continuously with green goo. (Olli discovers this in the course of her investigations and brings Johnny back three severed hands from the unfortunate victims, which is how he discovers what is going on.) Had she simply disposed of the bodies, her activities might not have been discovered.
Olli (Tommie-Amber Pirie), who is actually a re-skinned version of Clara, is uninjured. There were no hackmod casualties in the episode except for Ruby (Ewa Placzynska), who had an allergic reaction to the re-skinning and was summarily stabbed through the heart with Niko’s prosthesis. (We don’t know what happened to Niko in the end. Hackmod leader Havigan was non-committal on that point.)
Johnny returns home. Asked if she missed him, Lucy says: “if ships could cry, I would’ve rusted”, even though it is unlikely that any of Lucy’s components are susceptible to rust. John brings with him added information on the locations of Hullen in The J. From John’s holographic map, it appears that The J is a globular star cluster. (One might think from the name that it would be a J-shaped open cluster.)
The scene that ends the episode is extraordinary. Delle Seyah Kendry wakes up in the sick bay (?) of Aneela’s ship. Apparently fully recovered from her gunshot wound, she is escorted to a place where Dutch’s double is preparing to bathe in a pool of green goo. Aneela bathing in green goo brought to mind Countess Bathory bathing in the blood of virgins. Delle Seyah doesn’t know where she is, but quickly figures it out. She knows Dutch would never wear that lipstick. “Welcome to my ship,” Aneela says to her. “Now come, tell me everything.”
Karen LeBlanc (Banyon Grey) will be Amy in the TV series INSOMNIA, in which strangers are forced to play a life-threatening game. Set against the backdrop of Moscow, twenty contestants must kill or be killed, with all contestants having been injected with a poison that will kill them if they fall asleep. The series is intended to be a multi-season program where in each season the game will be played in a different city with different characters. The entire first season was filmed in Moscow. (The scenes set in the US and Cambodia were shot on sets.) Few restrictions were placed on where the series could film, so there are scenes involving Red Square, the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, and the US Embassy. A trailer is available on YouTube. INSOMNIA’s eight episode first season will premiere on Starz later this year.
Hannah John-Kamen is the recurring character Rosa Persaud in the second season of THE TUNNEL: SABOTAGE. The UK series, based on the Swedish series THE BRIDGE (Bron|Broen), centers on detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann, who are called upon to investigate the death of a French politician. When an unexpected discovery is made at the crime scene, the pair is forced into a partnership as they attempt to locate a politically-motivated serial killer who tries to draw them into his own personal agenda. The series is set mainly in Folkestone and Calais (the two ends of the Channel Tunnel). A trailer is available on YouTube. Season two is now airing on PBS in the US. Airtimes will vary depending on the local station.
Laara Sadiq (Mother Sal in Episode 1.4) is the voice of Fattema in the animated feature THE BREADWINNER. It tells the story of Parvana, a 12-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan. When her father is arrested, Parvana dresses as a boy in order to work and provide for her family. Together with her best friend Shauzia, she risks discovery to try to find out if her father is still alive. Director Nora Twomey, who is from Cork in Southern Ireland, has not been to Afghanistan, but has worked closely with Afghani consultants on the film. “That really helps us with the authenticity,” Twomey told Jessica Hill of The National. “The beauty of animation is that it’s part artistic expression, part reality, so we’re trying to merge the two. It’s not an absolutely photographic representation of Kabul, but more of an artistic representation. I’ve tried very much to create the look of Kabul – the colour of people’s clothing versus the brownness of the houses up against the hills. It’s a very specific-looking place. I think we’ve managed it.” THE BREADWINNER is based on the award winning children’s novel by Deborah Ellis, and should be released later this year. A trailer is available on YouTube
KILLJOYS – Season 3 Episode 1 – SPOILERS
Westerley‘s trains don’t run on tracks, but sound like they do, and somewhere in The Quad it snows sometimes. Since the end of last season, 437 RAC agents from The Quad have gone AWOL, leaving behind 36 cloaked (and elegantly styled) spacecraft in that place in the Quad where it snows. It turns out that D’Avin’s immunity to the green goo enables him to make use of those very stylish spacecraft. He climbs into one and it disappears.
In Rat City, John meets Olli (Tommie-Amber Pirie) who turns up wearing Alice (Clara’s artificial arm). Olli says she blacked out one day and woke up wearing the arm at the same co-ordinates where Clara’s distress call sent John. Clearly, Clara meant for Olli, John, and Alice to get together.
It is interesting that Alice can be worn by more than one person. Olli has some difficulty operating the arm, but it seems to fit her quite well. Hackmod interfaces must be to some extent standardized, even for “special order” modifications. Olli is every bit as quippy as Dutch, and she and Johnny have excellent chemistry, but bad things happen to women who get romantically involved with Killjoys. Pawter died at the end of last season. Clara has likely been kidnapped. Sabine almost died after having sex with D’Avin and was later shot by Dutch.
A planned meeting set up by Hacksaw Bar proprietor Havigan (Prince Amponsah) turns into an ambush, and then Olli is attacked by someone who tells her “This is your only warning. Stop asking questions about Clara and get out of town.” Johnny rescues her, and in the process discovers that her assailant is wearing someone else’s face as a mask, and the second face is bonded to him with green goo. (Johnny uses his newly acquired laser finger to cut away the fellow’s disguise, and the process seems to make Olli faint, but when John can’t rouse her, it seems that something more serious is wrong. Her mods may somehow have been sabotaged. (Havigan had someone check them while Johnny was getting his laser finger.)
Meanwhile, back in The Quad, Pippin Foster (Atticus Mitchell) is recruited by Dutch for part of an operation designed to draw out the Hullen. (She kidnapped him from the Velluvian Steam Baths on Leith.) The operation is a success, and Dutch convinces Pippin to gather intel for the good guys.
Pippin makes the the third insect reference on KILLJOYS. When Dutch tells him that she intends to use a chemical beacon to draw out the folks they’re looking for, he asks: What are you attracting, fruit flies? One keeps track of these things because the only animal shown on KILLJOYS thus far was a (possibly alien, possibly genetically engineered) insect, the goo-filled mossipede from episode 2.3.
After meeting the Hullen, Pippin Foster utters the best line of the episode: “You know, it’s funny. I’ve spent my whole life scared of the stupidest shit, like rejection and crowds, and freakin’ clowns. And now I’ve seen something that should terrify me, and all I feel is numb.”
Pippin and Turin both have stomach ulcers.
Have Hullen taken over the hackmod factory? Have they forced Clara to join their ranks? Will Johnny get to keep his laser finger? Will D’Avin be able to control the cloaked Hullen ship, or will it control him?
Luke McFarlane (D’Avin) will return as Rick Lincoln in “Turbulence”, episode 4.5 of THE NIGHT SHIFT. In the episode, Rick’s flight home turns into a medical crisis at 35,000 feet when passengers fall ill one by one. Doctors Jordan, Paul, Shannon, Kenny, and Cain spend their day off at a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, and Scott (Scott Wolf) finds himself on a Tinder date he won’t soon forget. Meanwhile, TC puts his own life in danger to operate on a soldier. The episode will air on NBC on 20 July at 10/9c.
Atticus Mitchell (Pippin) will be Tom in the horror/thriller DARKER THAN NIGHT, a film about Sloan Carter (Bea Santos), a young girl who has recently been blinded. Her father (Paul Popowich) leaves for the weekend and her two best friends, returning home from University, keep her company. A protege of her father’s, passing through town, also spends the night. The peaceful weekend is interrupted by a mysterious threat and the safe country getaway turns into a fight for survival. Erik Knudsen is also in the cast. DARKER THAN NIGHT should be released in Canada later this year.
Sean Baek (Fancy Lee) will be Detective Jones in THE RIVER YOU STEP IN, a drama that follows the efforts of a maverick social worker, Stevie (played by Astrid Van Wieren), as she tries to mend some broken lives. A young First Nations client dies after being committed to police custody, making Stevie lose trust in the system. Opening her East End Toronto home as a safe haven for people ‘at risk’, Stevie tries to mend some broken lives, but she masks her own issues by burying herself in theirs. When she defends Mina against her abusive husband Karl, Stevie is confronted with the real dangers of crossing professional boundaries. Van Wieren said that one of the inspirations for the film was Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, adding that: “It’s our neighbourhood, and I’m proud to be part of a movie set here that explores the gritty, human inter-connectedness of us all. An urban story – the good and the bad, the strong and those longing to be so.” A trailer is available on Vimeo.