Fans all over the world were devastated to learn of Global TV’s decision not to renew the critically-acclaimed Canadian historical drama, Bomb Girls, for a third season. It’s no secret that we here at the Mind Reels have been in love with this show from the very beginning, and our love has only grown stronger over the past two seasons in tandem with the wonderful relationships we’ve developed with the cast, creators, crew, and other fans (now forever known as Bombshells).
It didn’t take long, however, for certain Bombshells to turn their broken hearts into something more creative, and thus the passionate SAVE BOMB GIRLS campaign was born! Now, fans all over the world aren joining the fight and trying to let Global know that we need these stories, and we need these women to continue letting us join them on their journey.
There are several ways to get involved, and all of them are fun, in addition to being helpful! A website has been created to pull everything together into one place, and make it easier to share all of the facets of the campaign, and exchange ideas for more!
The main things happening right now are petitions, sending Bomb Girls-themed postcards to Global, creating and printing your own Victory Munitions badges to send to Global, and the most recent (yet already very successful) Victory Bandanas campaign! One thing is for certain – Bombshells are not about to let their girls go quietly! We intend to put up a fight!
For more information, please check out the campaign press release, and the individual links above, to see how you, too, can leap into battle, and SAVE BOMB GIRLS!!!
I’d like to say that I didn’t post my Bomb Girls review yesterday because I was still wrecked by the episode, but life got in the way, and I didn’t have a chance to post it until now. That being said, it’s an incredibly strong episode to leave us begging for more as there’s now a break until the end of March.
Michael MacLennan pens the mid-season finale from a story by Debi Drennan and Maureen Jennings, and this time around, it seems that everyone is reaching a breaking point. As such, it’s an incredible powerful episode, as those characters we hold dear to our hearts struggle on the home front to survive the Second World War.
Set against the backdrop of a bond drive and radio broadcast from Victory Munitions, this episode needed a warning beforehand that tissues would be required.
There’s Betty (Ali Liebert), oh how I adore you.
She has a tough time of it this week, as she and Kate (Charlotte Hegele) argue about Kate’s blossoming romance with Ivan (Michael Seater) as well as Betty’s feelings for her. It’s tough watching Kate deny her own feelings for Betty. It pushes Kate to her breaking point, and she walks away from Betty, and it looks like an end to their friendship, not to mention anything else. Leon (Jim Codrington) counsels Kate, suggesting that perhaps if she can’t love Betty as she wants, love her as she can.
Betty meets an officer, Theresa (Rachel Wilson), who is working the bond drive, and there’s something to their relationship right from the off, so much so that Ali brings Theresa home from the Jewel Box. They have a wonderfully tender scene, as Theresa convinces Betty she’s waited long enough. They spend a night together, and we learn that it’s Betty’s first time, at least the first time that it was caring, and loving and made her feel safe. Poor Betty. Pushed away from the woman she loves, she deserves some happiness as well as tenderness, and it brought me to tears seeing that she finally gets it.
As the folks at Vic Mu plan their bond drive, Mr. Aikens (Richard Fitzpatrick) asks Vera (Anastasia Phillips) to come up with something spectacular for the night. Vera in turn goes to Marco (Antonion Cupo) for aid. He procures some fireworks, for the evening, and it seems as the night progresses, that there may be something there. They happily come through the episode relatively unscathed.
Lorna Corbett (Meg Tilly), Bob (Peter Outerbridge), Gladys (Jodi Balfour) and Eugene (Brett Dier) break the remaining pieces of our hearts, as Eugene begins to fall apart. He is suffering from visions, blows up at Lorna when he learns she is so worried about him that she’s gone to his superiors about the possibility of having him discharged. In a wonderful pair of moments, as Bob and Lorna talk at the news stand (which seems to be doing alright), there’s a tenderness returning to their relationship, and it’s good to see. Lorna asks Bob to talk to Gene, to try to connect, not only as father and son, but as fellow soldiers.
When Eugene arrives, Bob shakes his hand, but as they sit, he doesn’t let it go, he holds it as he shares one of his most horrific memories of the Great War. He tries to get Eugene to open up and share the experiences that seem to be ruining him.
Eugene denies it, proclaiming him an ace and a war hero, and walk away.
Gladys, regretting the assignation she had with him, but still caring for him, attempts to talk to him as well, when he comes to see her at the hotel.
It seems though, that Gladys’ father (James McGowan) has been footing the bill for her room, and not her fiancée James (Sebastian Pigott), and he’s stopped paying. As she packs to leave, Eugene shows up, she denies him, but still tries to help him.
Their story comes to its climax at the factory during the fireworks display. Eugene find his way to the roof, the fireworks blurring in his mind to become flak rising up to hit his plane.
It’s up to Lorna to talk him down, and in the end, despite the fact that she knows, and we know, that it’s not the best thing for him to do, she agrees that he can go back, because that’s what he thinks he needs.
She’s losing her son whether she wants to or not. The choice is taken away from her. Both she and Eugene have reached their breaking points…
Lorna comes to visit Gladys, as she’s working with some eggs in her new place, the girls’ home, to thank her for her help with Eugene, and much more troubling… to deliver a telegram from the War Office.
She can’t read it.
We don’t want her to read it.
We don’t want her to hear it.
We don’t want to hear it.
Watching it settle on Gladys, Jodi does an amazing piece of work here, she’s not denying it, but she tries to find something else to occupy her mind with, to keep it at arm’s length while she tries to process it, but it’s too much, Gladys breaks, and Lorna holds her as she falls apart.
What a brilliant piece of mid-season work. We’re left to try to nurse our broken and bleeding hearts for the next few weeks until the series resumes on March 25 on Global.
Enough time to patch up my heart before they come back? I guess we’ll see…
One of the best shows on television continues to call it like it is, refusing to pull their punches, making sure that the characters that inhabit this recreation of 1940s Toronto are suitable reflections of real-life. There is no good guy or bad guy, they are all painted in shades of grey, and we learn things this week which allow us to see some characters in new ways…
If last week’s episode was about sacrifice, then this one reveals secrets and truths…
There are two catalysts for this episode, Eugene Corbett’s (Brett Dier) return, seen at the end of last week’s episode, and the news of an escape of Nazi P.O.W.s escaping from a camp in Bowmanville (something else I didn’t know about!), known as Camp 30.
Lorna (Meg Tilly) is going all-out for a celebratory dinner for Eugene, she sees it as a chance to show him off to friends and neighbors, and her boss Harold Aikens (Richard Fitzpatrick). Bob (Peter Outerbridge) is a little unsure of the idea, and is also unhappy how he is being shifted aside, displaced as the ‘man-of-the-house’ by his own son.
Sheila Corbett (Natasha Greenblatt) has a secret of her own when she brings a dinner date, Dr. Patel (Gabe Grey), the same doctor who saw over Lorna during the miscarriage. But it seems Lorna carries a little prejudice herself…
Eugene, I think, may be a little shell-shocked from the things he’s seen and done, but hides it behind the spoiled and stubborn boy he’s always been, at least that’s how Bob has always seen him and finally, Lorna.
Eugene ditches the dinner party, the one his mother has worked so hard to perfect, in the middle of an air raid black-out. And goes to the girl’s house, where he’s been invited by Kate (Charlotte Hegele), who did her best to be flirty with him, when Lorna arranged for him to come and talk at one of the Life Skills talks at the factory.
Neither Gladys (Jodi Balfour) or Betty (Ali Liebert) seem to care too much for him, not liking his drinking, nor his cavalier attitude towards war (which as mentioned, I think is a bit of a shield he’s made for himself to distance and protect himself).
Gladys learns that she can’t stay in touch with James (Sebastian Pigott) who’s on assignment in London, and is never to be found, “sowing his wild oats.” Despite Eugene’s blatant attempts to flirt with her and get her alone all night, much to Kate’s consternation, Gladys won’t betray her trust of James.
Vera (Anastasia Phillips) gets an evening of putting together ditty-bags with some high-society ladies. She comments that it’s not very organized, and lays out a proper assembly line, and while some of the gals take shots at her, some respect what she’s done and says that everything she’s done, and her scar, should be seen as a badge of honour. It’s a great moment for Vera when she sees that not all people look down her, and actually admire what she’s doing.
Kate tries flirting with Eugene, and then when he wants her to join in on a song he’s singing we realize she’s not lying about not being able to sing since her father’s passing. A talk and an invitation from Leon (Jim Codrington) to meet at the church slowly helps Kate find her way back, until she can start to find herself again in song by singing with the church choir.
Betty’s secrets are the biggest reveal of the night, and definitely puts her into a new light, as we now learn that she’s hiding more than her sexuality, she’s hiding her origins, long claiming to be of Scottish descent, we learn the truth when one of the escaped P.O.W.s surfaces in the girls’ home’s basement.
Not only that, we also see her turn around and betray the escaped German prisoner, calling for help as soon as he flees, and then she has to pull Eugene off of him when the Canadian starts leaning into the German and punching him repeatedly. One could argue that she’s showing her loyalty to her country, but part, I think is about protecting herself, possibly denying that part of herself. I don’t blame her, if she revealed it, she’d up in a camp just like Marco’s dad.
It’s another secret she has to keep.
I continue to love this show. It’s amazing, the stories it tells, the characters we love, and the dimensions added to both each week. The show will prove to be a landmark of Canadian television, earning places not only in the hearts of its home nation, but all around the world as it shows us this sadly little known chapter of World War II, and those who fought it on a completely different front. The Girls of Victory Munitions fight on!
Bomb Girls airs Wednesday nights at 8 on Global.
This was a tough episode. Not that it was hard to watch, or anything of that sort, I mean emotionally tough. It could very well have been called Sacrifices, because we see that each of our characters, and even our nation made sacrifices to get through the war.
Losing none of the momentum that the season has already built up, those wonderful folks behind the scenes and in front of the cameras put us through the ringer again this week, and leave us with things to think about.
I was left wondering, as the Leafs won the Stanley Cup, how other people were locked up in internment camps at Petawawa, all because they spoke another language, and had immigrated here to a country where they thought they could be free. I was aware of the Japanese internment camps in the States (because George Takei, Star Trek’s Sulu, spent time in one during the second World War). I had thoughts like, how could that happen here? And sadly, I could see both sides of the argument, I hate to think that means I’m growing up.
Everyone sacrifices in this episode.
Marco (Antonio Cupo) has a terrible run this week. He tries to enlist, but is turned down, because he speaks Italian and is of Italian descent. With Gladys’ (Jodi Balfour) help, he and his mother journey to Petawawa to see his father, who is being held there, without trial, or the possibility of release, simply because he belonged to a group that had alleged fascist ties in support of Mussolini. He is held himself, and interrogated, and beaten, until a phone call is receive that clears him.
Marco and his mother have to sacrifice the hope of seeing their family reunited before the war’s end.
Bob (Peter Outerbridge) has his own issues with pride this episode, he’s unable to make lead toys anymore, because the material is being used for more necessary items, and he decides to turn to finding other work, but because of his condition, and the fact that all the women are taking the factory positions, he can’t get a job… Until Lorna (Meg Tilly) tells him about a News Stand that he can have a stake in.
Lorna gets shown up by Vera (Anastasia Phillips) when both of them teach life skills courses in the canteen (I can’t see that set now without grinning, Sue and I spent so much time there, I think we know every inch of it!). Lorna tries to teach about making sacrifices in the kitchen to make things last, and perhaps making meals that may not sound like they appeal, but would be healthy and filling. Vera on the other hand, teaches things about make-up, and making the best of what they have, to a roaring success.
But Vera, later, has her own problems, when the soldier she’s dating this week reveals that he has no intention of going overseas. She thinks he’s a coward, and he implies she’s no better than a prostitute.
The biggest sacrifices happen with those two girls who have my heart each week, Betty (Ali Liebert) who is still rocking that cap, and it looks amazing on her!! Betty is sacrificing who she is, to fit in with what everyone thinks is normal, going so far to finally sleep with Ivan (Michael Seater). It was a heartbreaking moment, because she really was trying, trying to become someone she’s not, and it hurts, when you see a character you know and love being someone they aren’t. You won’t them to be true to themselves (a message we too often ignore in ourselves). She realizes it though, after she takes Kate (Charlotte Hegele) to Leon’s (Jim Codrington) church.
Leon invited Kate and Betty, because he knows Kate is going through problems and is losing her way.
Kate, oh, Kate.
She’s drinking, she’s lost her faith, she’s sacrificing all she is to the bottle in an effort to forget what she and Betty have done. There’s a moment when she and Betty are talking, and she says she wants a normal life, she wants what Betty has with Ivan, and for a moment, there’s such a look of hurt on Betty’s face when she says that.
Yet, sometimes there is hope, and we got a brilliant moment at the end of the episode, when Eugene Corbett (Brett Dier). But with so many sacrifices made in this episode, will the Corbetts be required to sacrifice their son as well?
The writing on this show continues to be top-notch, and in this episode they shone the light on the internment camps we had within our borders, and did so without flinching.
I love this show, and I love the girls of Victory Munitions!
Bomb Girls airs Wednesdays on Global.
Last week’s episode brought our best gals back to Victory Munitions, and reintroduced new viewers to the world of Bomb Girls. This week, as our characters are finding their ways back to who they are, and where they are supposed to be, we realize that even as things are coming together, and we’re seeing them as they are, they, and we by extension, are about to take on a very tough road.
Kate (Charlotte Hegele) is having nightmares and waking visions of her father (John Ralston), and she confers with Betty (Ali Liebert) about her need to be sure of his fate. See… rocketing towards trouble!
Gladys (Jodi Balfour) is missing James (Sebastian Pigott), so as it is Valentine’s Day, she is spreading cheer to make cheer by handing out cards to all her friends, and trying to throw together plans for the evening.
Ivan (Michael Seater) still trying to court Betty, urges her to join him at The Jewel Box, when she mentions Kate, he tells her they’ll make it a double date, and says he’ll bring along a friend. This is going to be a problem…
Marco (Antonio Cupo) gets thrown for a loop when Lorna (Meg Tilly) reveals that she’s still pregnant, and is planning on leaving when it’s time to give birth, and then return when it’s all taken care of. Marco offers to take the child in himself, but Lorna denies him, having made her decision. She goes to see Akins (Richard Fitzpatrick) about being transferred off the line, down to the kitchen, at a lower rate of pay, but out of sight from the girls on the line. But she still hasn’t revealed it all to Bob yet… trouble??
Things take a turn for the better though, when James shows up to surprise Gladys before he ships out to Europe.
The gals night out at The Jewel Box is ruined for all parties, when Kate thinks she sees her father, which frightens her, as she and Betty returned to the scene of their crime only to find the body gone. Is he alive is he dead? Kate is shaken, and it’s obvious that Betty would rather be with her than Ivan, though he seems blissfully ignorant of that for the moment.
Lorna and Bob (Peter Outerbridge) have a huge blow-up about Lorna’s fling and her pregnancy, infuriating Bob so much that he throws her out of the house. Seems our gals can’t get a break this week, but that’s what makes them human, none of the characters are black or white, they exist in shades of grey, just like you and I, and perhaps that’s why we relate to them so well.
Gladys’ night gets thrown for a loop, when in a drunken moment, James reveals that he’s afraid that we won’t be able to kill the enemy, and that he will get all of his men killed. When it’s a paper target he does fine, but when it’s a human shape, he can’t do it. He thinks that makes him less than a hero, and after hearing about the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, Gladys reevaluates what it means to be a perfect soldier and works to console James, and by extension herself.
Lorna wanders the streets in the snow, looking in shop windows, which have displays devoted to woman power in the factories and in the home. There’s a poignant moment as she looks at the store’s dummies , a child one looking out from behind mother’s skirts. You can see her worrying and wondering, contemplating not only how she got there, but what her future will be. She spends the night asleep in the factory’s change room, sleeping on a bench.
In an attempt to stay afloat, Kate goes back to her father’s caravan to gather some things and money her father has hidden away but runs into Detective Brody (Ron Lea) who brings her news of her father’s death, and asks her to identify the body. While she does, the two begin a dance that we know will have repercussions through the course of the season, lies, half-truths, and all of it is bound to come back and bite Kate on the butt. More trouble…
Kate plans to leave to protect Betty, and as they discuss it in the change room, as Betty draws closer and closer to admitting how strongly she feels for her, Gladys races in with a desperately ill Lorna,
Lorna collapsed during the news of the fall of Singapore, and it’s obvious that something is desperately wrong with the baby.
It is in this moment, that we see the four of them come together, keeping Lorna’s secret by spiriting her out of the factory and getting her quietly to the hospital. Kate cleans up at the factory, while the others roll Lorna into the hospital right into her daughter’s (Natasha Greenblatt) care, who learns that her mother is miscarrying.
But even while all these things are going on, Vera (Anastasia Phillips) has a wonderful time in this episode, after an initial fumble with her plans with Gladys falling apart, she meets a young soldier, and they have a great night together, with the valuable gift of silk stockings as a reminder.
Ivan is witness to Kate’s return to the boarding house, and the viewers are treated to a nice moment, as Betty and Kate embrace (seeing these two characters together makes me happy). But you know there’s gonna be a problem with Ivan…
Bob arrives at the hospital, and things take a turn for the worse when Marco shows up. Bob just knows that this is the guy, and no sooner has he sat down, than Bob pops him one, warning him to stay away from Lorna.
There’s a nice moment, when Lorna wakes in her bed, to have her daughter tending over her, and her husband sitting by the bed, at that moment, there is no judgment, there is only the family, and Lorna extends her hand to Bob, and he takes it. Yes they have troubles, but they are in it together.
Much like our gals.
They’re all back! With the second episode though, you can see things being set up for the course of the season, and that it’s not going to be an easy time for not only the country as the war drags on, but for the lives of those involved in it.
I have the feeling that there may be a lot of tears through the course of Season 2. That speaks highly of all those involved in the series, they have created characters and storylines that involve the viewers and the show continues to entertain, educate, and heartbreak.
Bomb Girls airs on Global Wednesday nights at 8.
Bomb Girls is back, and seeing it after having spent time on the set just makes me smile all the more, and despite the fact that I know that they were sets, the series somehow seems increasingly real to me now, perhaps because I have walked through those places we see in this episode.
At the season opener’s center, this episode finds all of our girls being something they’re not, forcing themselves, or being forced into shapes and people that they are not at their hearts. Gladys (Jodi Balfour) is being photographed for her family’s canned good line, and while she’s in her coveralls she’s not who she is, but a glamorized version of herself, which she no longer identifies with.
Lorna (Meg Tilly) is struggling with her developing pregnancy, and is lying to everyone that she’s not in a family way, she’s just gained some weight, lying to both her husband Bob (Peter Outerbridge) and the baby’s father Marco (Antonio Cupo).
Kate (Charlotte Hegele), when we see her, breaks my heart, because, thanks to her father and his beliefs, she is trying to follow his dogma.
Vera (Anastasia Phillips) is working in the office, but that’s not who she is either, she’s a floor girl, and that is something she goes to see Lorna about.
The season opener was penned by Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell, and they make an effort to spend time with each and every character, reintroducing us to those wonderful ladies, and welcoming us back to Victory Munitions.
Gladys is doing the Witham photo campaign, and Betty makes her first big denial… to Lorna, who has a letter accusing her of deviant behavior and improper advances on another woman. We don’t need to know who wrote the letter to know in our hearts who sent it.
But Lorna accepts Betty’s denial, and lets her and Gladys guide a delegation of Chinese and American representatives around the factory floor, giving them a run down on the operation. It also serves as an exposition to bring new comers up to speed on the series. Amongst the reps is Ki Lo (Terry Chen - Battlestar Galactica, Continuum), who forms a fast and easy friendship with Gladys.
As the tour continues, the tension is immediately ratcheted up to show us the reality of the dangers of war, even here on the home front, as the air raid siren goes off, forcing the factory floor to clear, and take cover in the tunnels. This provides us with our first look at new series regular, Michael Seater as Ivan, who throws a protective arm around Betty. An arm that gives Betty an opportunity to hide herself in plain sight, by staking a public claim on him.
Gladys, Betty and Ivan go to The Jewel Box, the gorgeous art deco club. Betty and Ivan are there on a date, and he learns that she’s a hard drinker, and that she’s a hockey fan as they discuss the Leafs chances for the Cup. While they are there, the two ladies, decide to try to raise money for the Red Cross to help the P.O.W.s. Gladys also learns during a dance with Lo, that the Japanese were exceptionally brutal in their treatment of the Chinese, whom they have already been at war with for 10 years already. This reinforces Gladys desire, her NEED to do something, to do her part, anything she can do to end the war that much quicker.
She turns to her parents and persuades them to hold a fundraiser for the Red Cross.
Betty’s heart isn’t in it, according to Gladys, but Betty takes Ivan back to the boarding house, and after a few stiff drinks, tries to bed him. Ivan slows her down, and tells her that they should wait and make it special.
While Gladys is trying to get her fundraiser off the ground, Lorna hears rumors of a house on Chestnut Street, in a less than desirable part of town, that can help take care of unwanted pregnancies. With Vera in tow, they go to the house, and Vera begins to suspect that it’s Lorna who is the pregnant one, not some faceless girl on the line.
In the scene that was obviously designed to break my heart, Betty comes across Kate singing in the snow. All well and good, until Kate starts preaching about sin, and darkness, urged on by her father, who upon seeing Betty threatens her, and summons the police. Betty runs at Kate’s insistence, and we’re left wondering exactly how does Kate feel now…
Betty races to ask Gladys for help, but she’s in the middle of the fundraiser, which her parents are perverting and using as an opportunity to launch their new ad campaign, featuring photos of their daughter on the product, as well as trying to get a contract from the Red Cross.
Gladys uses her moment in the spotlight to hang her family on the hook for a $3000 donation, it’s also a moment that helps to define who she is, and begins to decide which world she wants to be a part of, her parents’ or her co-workers.
Lorna returns to Chestnut Street and gets the mixture for her tea, but stops to see Marco on the way home, and as the Jill Barber track, One More Time swells, the two fall into a kiss and embrace. Neither of which will help Lorna with her decision…
Betty races back to save Kate, and a confrontation ensues with Kate’s father, who has been keeping secrets from her. A chase, a scuffle, and something terrible happens, causing Kate and Betty to flee back to the rooming house.
As the episode closes, we see the four leads begin to take on their personas, trying to fit back into who they actually are… Lorna stares at the tea mixture on the table top as she feels the baby kick for the first time, and our trio are sprawled on Betty’s bed, staring at the ceiling and sharing a cigarette.
Welcome back Girls, we’ve missed you…
Bomb Girls airs Wednesdays on Global!
I was going to try and come up with a clever title or gimmick for this, like Sue’s Top 12 of 2012, or something. But I didn’t want to restrict myself with a number, and the fact is, one of the reasons we started the Mind Reels was because we felt that things we loved just weren’t being talked about enough, and we decided to rectify that issue ourselves.
I love TV. I really do. I spend a lot of time actively watching television, and get caught up emotionally in the lives of the fictional characters that grace my screen. I often just turn it on for company, to have on in the background, while I go about other tasks around my apartment. And then there are all of the reality shows I enjoy watching, as well, which allow me to judge others on a regular basis – all from the comfort of my own living room. I find that I am easily distracted these days – especially when I am doing more than one thing at once – so while I love seeing movies in the theatre for the sheer lack of distraction, if a TV show captures and holds my attention while it’s in front of me week to week, for me, that speaks volumes about my level of enjoyment where that show is concerned.
It’s also no secret that there are legions of shows I watch and love that – apparently – no one else was watching while they were on, and so they have fallen from our screens forever. And, there are some new ones coming that I am looking forward to checking out once they premiere. I’m not going to talk about any of those ones right now, however. For this post, I want to talk about the current series that have my heart – the ones that I record faithfully on my PVR and usually watch more than once between airings, because I’d rather re-watch an episode of something I love than sit through something I am lukewarm on just because it happens to come on while I am in front of the TV.
In 2012, these are the main shows that routinely accomplished that feat, and which appear to all be returning in the new year.
Haven – Haven and I were pretty much destined to become BFF’s right out of the gate. First, it combines two things I love – Stephen King, and storylines worthy of the X-Files. Second, it has Eric Balfour. Hot. Anyway, I tuned in to this quiet little show, set in a quaint fictional town in (of course) Maine, and fell pretty much instantly in love. The scenery is gorgeous (shot in Nova Scotia, so naturally it’s beautiful to look at), and the characters are all people I wish I could hang out with in real life. The stunningly gorgeous Emily Rose plays FBI Agent Audrey Parker, sent to Haven in pursuit of an escaped con. When she gets there, however, she finds far more than she’d bargained for. The little town is plagued by what many refer to as The Troubles – a curse which befalls certain citizens, usually when they have suffered some trauma in their lives. The Troubles manifest themselves differently in each person they afflict, and Audrey quickly realizes that she is quite adept at figuring out what’s going on each time a Trouble rears its ugly head. As well, she is very good at helping those who are afflicted to overcome their Troubles – or at least learn to live with them. In addition, Audrey is the only person in town who is completely immune to the Troubles, often making her the only person who realizes when something “Haven-y” is actually going on. Partnered with local cop-turned-police chief, Nathan Wuornos (delightful Mind Reels guest Lucas Bryant), Audrey works to uncover Haven’s secrets, as well as the majority of her own forgotten past. The pair team up with their friends and fellow Havenites, Duke Crocker (the aforementioned Eric Balfour), Dwight Hendrickson (uber-handsome Adam Copeland aka WWE Superstar Edge), and newspaper-owning/haven-secret-keeping brothers, Vince and Dave Teagues (Richard Donat and John Dunsworth) and together (usually) they attempt to keep the citizens of Haven safe and happy, one Trouble at a time. This season also saw the introduction of two of my now-favourite characters, therapist Claire Callahan (Bree Williamson) and member of the mysterious Guard, Jordan McKee (another delightful Mind Reels guest, Kate Kelton). I love love love the friendship/working relationship between Claire and Audrey, and it has been my true delight to watch the two of them play off one another all season, but I fear we will be losing Claire before the end of the season (2 more episodes), and that feeling hit me in the gut with the same intensity I felt at the end of 24′s first season with Nina and Teri. If there is ANY way to bring back Claire for season 4, I would be all over it. But not at the risk of ruining the show’s integrity, because really, it’s not worth it for one character. Even though I love her. Jordan, on the other hand, has been kind of a double-edged sword this season. One the one hand, her Trouble is kind of horrifying, and she still manages to kick ass while retaining the softer qualities that make her so painfully human. One the other hand, though, get away from Nathan! Hahaha I actually don’t want to see Audrey in a romantic relationship with anyone, because I think that ruins the dynamics between the characters, and all of the places they could go in their many and varied non-romantic relationships. But that doesn’t mean I want to see Duke or Nathan hooking up with anyone else, either. Or Dwight. Good grief, that man is good looking! Where was I? RIGHT! Haven is easily one of my favourite shows on television right now, and likely for all time. I am thrilled to know that they are coming back for a 4th season, and I really wish that conventions in Canada would start bringing Haven guests in, because they all seem to be a crazy, goofy, beautiful bunch of fun, down-to-earth folks, and I can’t get enough of them, on TV or otherwise.
Lost Girl – I was at Fan Expo the summer before Lost Girl premiered, and I remember being intrigued by the commercials for this mysterious new show. I’d wanted to go over and talk to the two cast members who were there (some stupidly hot girl named Anna Silk and equally hot dude named Kris Holden-Reid…you know…whoever they are), but anyone who’s been to Fan Expo knows that it can be a chaotic circus of nerdy delights, so the closest I came to checking out their table that year was a quick glimpse of Anna passing by me on her way back from a break. I made sure to watch the show’s premiere, though, and from the moment I fell down that rabbit hole, I was happily ensconced in a whole new world. One that looked a lot like Toronto, but which had a lot more cool factor in its supernaturally seedy underbelly (I’m looking at you, Vex). I think one of the things that first drew me into this show was the fact that it wasn’t dumbed down to audiences, but it allowed us to get to know this new world through the eyes of the succubus lead, Bo (Anna Silk) and her new sister-pal, Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). They didn’t know any more about the Fae than I did, so I got to learn with them. The main thing about the show that has kept me coming back for more has been the characters themselves, and the relationships that form between them. You’ve got Bo, who not only learns that she is a succubus, but that she may be one of the most powerful Fae ever – even as she still struggles to find her own place in a world that is completely new to her. You’ve got Kenzi, the human with a heart of freaking solid gold – she may be tiny, but I defy anyone to cross her or her bestie, ever. Then you have the love triangle formed between Bo and her love interests, Light Fae shifter/detective, Dyson (Kris Holden-Reid) and the sexy human doctor on the Ash’s payroll, Lauren (Zoie Palmer). Bo goes from lost to found, in large part due to her friendship with Kenzi, but also because of her ability to trust and love these two very different people. And where she grew up feeling like she only wrought horrible deadly things on those who were naïve enough to love her, I think Bo draws an emotional strength from the fact that both of these people can not only love her back without being destroyed by her, but also in that they are made all the stronger from her love of them. Rounding out the group is Dyson’s partner, Hale (KC Collins), a siren who is just beginning to embrace his royal background and step into the role of leader that he’s been running from for most of his life. And then there is Trick (Rick Howland). If the Ash is the official leader of the Light Fae, then the unequivocal head of this ragtag bunch – and Blood King – is Trick. He’s the unassuming bartender who actually does have (most of) the answers, and it’s to him that everyone turns when they need advice, or even just companionship. Trick is that guy. The end of the second season saw the unaligned Bo leading her Light Fae friends into battle with the Garuda, and managing to bring along some Dark Fae power to help them out, in the form of Vex (Paul Amos). Will this temporary alliance hold once the threat that brought them together has been eradicated? Or will the lines between Light and Dark be re-drawn, leaving Bo lost in the middle once again? Wait to find out, I can not.
Bomb Girls – What can I say about this little gem of a show that hasn’t already been said? Probably nothing, but at the same time, one really can’t say enough about Bomb Girls, so it bears repeating, over and over. I remember saying to Tim that we should check it out, because it was a little miniseries devoted to telling the stories of what some Canadian women were doing during World War II – which had certainly not been overdone in anyone’s past, ever – and because Brittany Allen had a role in it, and we want to support her for being amongst our beloved Dead Before Dawn 3D peeps. So, I sat down on premiere night to watch the first episode by myself, and by the time the end credits rolled, I was texting Tim like a madwoman, insisting that he watch it ASAP so that we could talk about it. At first, it was just cool to see this bygone era come to life in my livingroom. I started making mental notes of who all of the characters were, and how they related to one another in the show, etc. You know, normal first episode stuff. Meg Tilly was an instantly profound presence, and I found I couldn’t take my eyes off of her whenever she was on-screen. I still can’t. The woman takes my breath away, every single moment. Then, as we approached the end of that first episode and I was feeling happily safe and complacent in my new TV world, something unthinkable and horrifying happened to the lovely Vera (Anastasia Phillips), and that was it for me. The show had taken hold of my soul, and it wasn’tgoing to let go. I fell in love with those girls – Lorna (Meg Tilly), Vera (Anastasia Phillips), Gladys (Jodi Balfour), Kate (Charlotte Hegele), and my new personal hero/symbol of beauty, strength and bravery, Betty McRae (Ali Liebert). I laughed with them, loved with them, cried with them, and spent more time than I care to admit re-watching each episode a few times, just so I could be with them again. Now, don’t get me wrong – the Bomb Boys are also amazing. Bob (Peter Outerbridge), Marco (Antonio Cupo), James (Sebastian Pigott), Harold (Richard Fitzpatrick) and Leon (Jim Codrington) bring a lot of head, heart and brawn to the show. But the girls are the soul. It’s about them, about who they are, and for once the guys are there more because of who they are to the ladies, rather than being the other way around. It’s the Bomb Girls’ stories that drive this series, and I can’t remember the last time I’d been so completely captivated by something that I was actually nauseous when we were growing closer to the end of the season and I didn’t know yet if it would be allowed to come back. Finding out that there would be a season two before I watched the finale maybe have been the greatest news ever, because it allowed me to enjoy the whole thing without having that lump of fear in my stomach. And now that we are mere days away from the premiere of season two, that lump has been replaced by a ball of excitement and anticipation. I’ll finally get to step back into that world again, and spend more time with the ladies of Victory Munitions – telling us the stories that make up our collective history, and doing it in such a way that our collective present feels all the more fulfilled.
We’d been invited for a visit to the Bomb Girls set, and Sue and I were over the moon!
Bomb Girls burst on the scene in January of this year, and with its six episode season, held us and the rest of Canada enraptured as it shone a loving light on part of our history that we should know better and treasure.
In a reflection of our own spirits the sun had painted the city with broad brushes of golden light, filled with the hopes and possibilities of the day…
What would we see? Who would we meet? What Season 2 secrets would we learn?
We found our way across the sprawling metropolis we call home, and prepared ourselves to step back in time, to see familiar faces and places, and see the art of creation that brought this world to life on our television screens.
We are met by the Unit Publicist, Bev Warren, an engaging and joyful soul, who, though she must be undeniably and constantly busy, made us feel perfectly at home, and made sure our needs were attended to.
We are led on a whirlwind tour through the world of Bomb Girls, the production offices and craft services lines where we get to say hi to familiar faces and names, Janis Lundman, Adrienne Mitchell, Michael MacLennan, and Harry the dog.
We move around a corner, and seemingly step out onto a street, lined with bits of trash, and find ourselves standing outside The Jewel Box, a lovely art-deco club, that I could have spent days in, and can’t wait to see come to life on the big screen. It’s lush, beautiful, and I could imagine myself wandering about it in spats, my tie knotted with a double windsor, and my fedora sitting jauntily on my head.
The level of detail is stunning, holding up to the closest examination, surely the camera wouldn’t see all of this, and that’s the moment I knew that the people behind the scenes truly love the show as much as the viewers and the fans. They want to make the world a complete reality, there are photographs in Marco’s mother’s apartment that we may never see on-screen, with little notations on them in Italian!
But nothing, nothing could prepare Sue and I for what came next, after we stepped around the walls of the ladies powder room in The Jewel Box, we passed through a door, and stopped, gob-smacked.
We were here.
The heart of the show…
Sue Maynard and Timothy D. Rideout were standing on the factory floor of Victory Munitions.
We both stood stunned with huge goofy grins on our faces.
We came to our senses, and our cameras came to life. We snapped pic after pic, once again marvelling at the details, examining the posters that warned about wasting time, and matches, and advised to do our part. Bev obliged us, by snapping pics of us on the line, positions B5 & 6 respectively.
We wouldn’t be drawn away, we wanted to see every corner, every detail, the foreman’s office hung over us, the bombs were laid out on racks and in boxes, blueprints were sprawled on tables, work tools… All of it looking like it could spring to life at any moment, just waiting for the next shift to show up.
At this point, I’m already willing to call the day a success. I could have gone home happy at that point, but there was more to come…
We stepped through the home of Marco’s mother, small, cozy, and oh, the detail…
But then, Bev stepped through a door, turned around and called out, “It’s Bob and Lorna’s house, come on in!” We were in the Corbett home, it’s fully furnished, it even has a backyard… It struck me once again, that all of the things we see on the screen as we watch this show… I honestly thought that some of the places were actual locations, but here they all were, steps away from one another… here was the ladies change room, Bob’s wheelchair, and if the factory is the heart of the show, then perhaps the next sets seen were the soul… here was Kate’s bedroom, and the rooming house.
There is a loud buzz, as rolling starts, and we hear snippets of dialogue as we stalk along the set, somewhere, close by, Ali Liebert is bringing Betty McRae to life. Cut is called, and as Sue and I waited at video village, where the director and his team watch the monitors, Bev speaks to one of the Production Assistants.
Moments later, Bev returned, with the stunning Ali Liebert in tow. With a big hello, she greeted us, thanking us for our articles, and was happy finally to put faces to voices, as we’d only chatted on the phone before. I can also say this without any bias at all, she is as stunning and amazing in real life as she appears to be on the screen. I can’t rave enough about her, she’s charming, gracious, and now has a larger part in our hearts. (Edit: Best. Handshake. Ever. – Sue)
We wander back the way we came, trading small talk, and laughing until we found ourselves on the canteen set…
A perfect place for an interview.
We settle in and chat for a bit (it’ll be posted in our podcast feed in due time, don’t worry), and Ali makes us feel right at home.
Eventually, of course, she has to return to set, and we watch her go, content, delighted, and wondering how this day could possibly get any better!
We wandered back to the craft services table, and dig in to lunch, there are tons to eat, and a lot of variety to choose from. We chat happily with Bev, telling her the story of how The Mind Reels came about, our early successes with Jeremy LaLonde and Lost Girl, which led us to our podcast interviews with the Bomb Girls team.
After lunch, we wander back towards video village, to watch the screens as Charlotte Hegele and Michael Seater share a scene as Kate and a new character this season Ivan. We’re sworn to secrecy about what happened, which we will happily keep, but the first thing I said as soon as cut was called was… “Kate, what did you do?!”
It’s a tough, emotionally wracked scene, so Sue and I agreed to wait until it was done before even attempting to chat with Charlotte or Michael, both of whom want to stay in the moment. It’s something both Sue and I understand, once you’re in that zone, whether it’s acting or writing, you hate being pulled out of it, and then trying to find your way back.
In the interim, Bev suggested we take a look at the exteriors, and see if there’s anything we recognize…
We head outside, and there are instantly half a dozen things we know intimately. There’s the ramp, tower, and entrance, there’s the smoking area, and there… there was the gate with the Victory Munitions sign hanging over it.
Once again, we are stunned. We were there.
Tucked away behind the building is what is referred to as Base Camp. Here are the trailers, where the cast can step away for a little privacy and relax. And would you believe it, there’s a craft services truck here, that when we stepped inside smelled so good, and we were welcomed with open arms again (everyone was so friendly!!).
We pause for a cuppa, and are joined by a guest cast member who is playing a police inspector in this episode (which is almost at the end of the season, and I’ve already said too much!). We chat about his work on Flashpoint, where Bev also worked, and then, Sue and I are left stunned again, as Charlotte Hegele, the only cast member we interviewed in person comes over to give us a brief hello, and big hugs.
Charlotte is a class act, and is so open and honest one can’t help but have your heart touched by her. I think Sue and I both have a special place in our hearts for her, because she was the one we’d met in the first round of interviews.
She slipped back inside, and we followed, after I had finished my cuppa, and took up position at Video Village again, Ali joins us, settling into a seat behind the director to watch her friends and cast mates go through this tough scene yet again.
As I watched the scene spring to life again, from another camera angle, I smiled as I came to a realization – I was watching a new episode of Bomb Girls.
The first one in ten months.
When I shared that with Sue, I think we were both incredibly giddy. We have a quick chat with Peter Webster, who wanders around with a giant toolbox, that when opened reveals threads, needles, thimbles, all the things he would need to fix a bra or make a quilt!
When they finish the scene, Bev leads us back towards the canteen set as shooting moves to Bettys bedroom. We see a scene being blocked out with Kate and Betty (sigh) and we’re led away before I can become too distracted.
Once settled back on the benches of the canteen set we are joined promptly by series newcomer Michael Seater.
Michael is a lot of fun, and seems completely at home in period costume, he laughs with us, as we run him through our usual rote of questions, putting him at his ease as he slowly realizes, we aren’t your usual interview, we’re all about having a chat.
After we finished up with that interview, Sue and I are left to our own devices for a little while on the canteen set, and we have a great time. We know that set now. I can’t wait to see it on the screen again, because we know it so well, we spent time behind the counter, at the piano, played with the cards and the checkers, examined all the posters, handled the props, leafed through the music sheets (all period by the way).
It’s not long after that, that Bev returns to the canteen, and brings Charlotte with her, who is outfitted in Kate’s jimjams.
She’s stolen time from her lunch to chat with us, something for which Sue and I were so grateful. Charlotte was feeling much better than when we chatted last time at a Starbucks, and there’s a lot of play and laughs as we chat.
When we finish up, we had back to the assembly area as the cast and crew are settling down to their lunches…
And it’s here that we see how close the cast and crew are… After hearing about it all day, Sue and I were present for the grand final of the Bomb Girls ping-pong tournament!
Everyone watched and cheered, and to be included in that little moment, a little look at the inside of the life behind the set was really special.
As they finish their lunches Ali, Charlotte and Michael all give us a quick farewell before heading back to the set, while extras are dressed in the background.
It was here that we had to return to our own world, with a round of thanks, and hugs, we bid goodbye to Bev, and prepared for our journey home.
It was dark when we left, and for a moment I honestly thought it was a dream, it had all seemed to amazing to be true.
We had such a fantastic day, and this has done nothing but build up our love for the show, as well our growing anticipation for its return… January 2nd at 8pm.
Thank you one and all to those amazing folks in front of and behind the camera, you welcomed us, made us feel at home, and for a day, made us part of your family.
It’s a gift that Sue and I will treasure for a long long time.