Nobody wants to hear screaming in a hospital. It's never a good sign and sitting in "Saving Hope"'s Hope Zion Hospital cafeteria set, the loud howls are coming in rapid, short bursts. The supernatural medical drama has seen pain, loss and sorrow, but not this time.
Down the hallway in the show's morgue, Dr. Charlie Harris [Michael Shanks] is helping his latest spirit case move on. Today's scene involves the skilled doctor persuading a teenage girl to recall some joyous memories and expressing some buried emotions by yelling. Rolling her eyes, she gives a half-hearted attempt before going another round and triumphantly belting out a cathartic scream. That's the breakthrough.
"Scream as loud as you can," encourages Charlie. "Let it all out."
At this point, Charlie lifts his arms and screams at the top of his lungs along with the girl. A few seconds later, she runs out of the room, so that with some masterful editing, it will appear she disappeared on camera. Once again, Charlie is alone. Then… Cut!
As the cast and crew reset for another take, leading lady Erica Durance, who plays Dr. Alex Reid, sat down with HuffPost TV to discuss "Saving Hope"'s third season, her character Alex's death and that kiss with Dr. Joel Goran [Daniel Gillies].
Huff Post Canada: In the jaw-dropping season-two finale, Alex was fatally stabbed by a patient, passed away and then shared a moment with Charlie in her ghostly state. What was your reaction when you received the script and the implications it could mean for Alex and the show?
Erica Durance: I was very excited. I remember it was like big fist pump. 'Yes!' For me, I knew anything could be a possibility now. To allow my character to be in jeopardy, it shifts the paradigm of the show. Then there's the revelation in season two, but it's so much more poignant when you’re the one in the experience of it. The fact that she's outside of her body looking at herself, and he sees her, is fantastic. It gave us a great launching point for this season, to come up with new surprises for the audience and a new direction to take the show in. The writers are constantly coming up with creative ideas. I'm really impressed by the writing think tank.
Do they tackle that development head-on in the season premiere? What does that mean for Alex and Charlie moving forward?
It allows Alex to be in a different place. It's kind of a painful experience for the two of them to go through. It keeps the theme of our show strong going forward, which is not only keeping your hope alive, but for this couple in love, is it going to see them through all these different things? It's done an interesting mirror image of each other between the first and third season. In the first season, it's Charlie dealing with the tragedy in the sense it's him that's going through it. In the second season, he gets to experience what really happens to somebody. Are you irrevocably changed? Now, this gives Alex the chance to experience that as well. What happens to you when you are victimized in that way? How and when do you recover? It will completely cause a ripple effect. It will create a lot of interest, and make some fans happy, or some fans sad. And it allows me to move and explore all my relationships.
Obviously, you aren't going to stay in a dead-state long. One point that needs addressing was that smooch between Joel and Alex last year. He still has strong feelings for her. What have you enjoyed about how the writers have handed that romantic tension because they could have just had Alex cheat on Charlie?
It's something that, we as a group, as an entity, decided that's not going to happen. It's not right for the situation. It's not right given where we started with our characters. It's been in the mix for a long time, but how to execute it is the trick. It's always interesting to showcase the different faces and sides of love.
You can love both people passionately because it brings out something different in you. There are different ways that you click. We got a little bit of that in the second season. In the third, what's interesting is because of all the things that happened, because of what she's been through, you see another side to Joel. It's the Joel she would have fallen in love with, instead of the Joel that has all the baggage attached. He was originally introduced as this ex-boyfriend that broke her heart, which is fine, but this allows another window into their relationship. We get to explore that a little bit more this year. I think we're going to end up having people with different t-shirts that say "team this" or "team that." Is one wrong or not? Who knows. It’s just where you end up.
Besides the personal turmoil, there's the professional side of her life. How is Alex going to be tested this year?