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Detective Murdoch tracks a Doyle to The Rock

- November 19th, 2013

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It appears Jake Doyle merely is sticking to his mischievous and irascible roots.

At least, that’s what is suggested in a new episode of Murdoch Mysteries, airing Monday, Nov. 25 on CBC.

Private investigator Jake Doyle, played by Allan Hawco, is the lead character on another CBC series, Republic of Doyle, which is set in modern-day Newfoundland. Murdoch Mysteries, of course, is set in Toronto in the early 1900s.

But lo and behold, in this special episode of Murdoch Mysteries – which is titled Republic of Murdoch – there’s someone on the run from the law who looks an awful lot like Jake Doyle. It is, in fact, Jacob Doyle, one of Jake’s ancestors, played by Hawco in a guest-starring role.

So how many generations separate Jacob and Jake? Er … um … when I became a TV critic they told me there wouldn’t be any math. About 110 years worth, whatever that works out to be, keeping in mind that people tended to become parents at younger ages in the olden days.

Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris) wind up following Jacob Doyle to the “Colony of Newfoundland,” which was not yet part of Canada. My God, how well-staffed was the Toronto police back then that they could afford such a foray, in terms of both money and manpower? Anyway, it turns out Jacob Doyle’s reputation already is well established.

The head of the local Newfoundland police grants Murdoch “limited” powers to arrest, since Murdoch is from “another country.” But Murdoch is told he is free to arrest Jacob Doyle “as many times as you please.”

The modern-day Jake Doyle actually is more misunderstood than menacing, more greedy than grimy. Without revealing too much, let’s just say his ancestor Jacob might travel those rocky paths, too.

So Jake Doyle can’t help the way he is. It’s in his genes, dammit. He should use that the next time the cops hassle him.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 

Love on The Rock, Republic of Doyle-style, for Allan Hawco and Krystin Pellerin

- October 16th, 2013

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Krystin Pellerin is rendered speechless. Literally speechless.

The question I’m asking is, “How come your character, police sergeant Leslie Bennett on Republic of Doyle, keeps helping Allan Hawco‘s character, private investigator Jake Doyle? He causes her trouble every single time. By now she should run away whenever she sees him coming, shouldn’t she?”

Pellerin laughs. She starts to answer a couple of times, but stops herself. Perhaps the fact that Hawco is sitting right beside Pellerin isn’t helping.

“It’s true,” interjects Hawco, star and co-creator of Newfoundland-set Republic of Doyle, which currently is airing its fifth season, Wednesday nights on CBC. “Even when I’m doing the third cut of an episode that I wrote, I’ll watch a moment where Leslie will allow herself to help Jake, because of whatever reason. Well, two reasons. Number one, she’s in love with him, I think. And number two, he’s a really good investigator and she respects him.

“But that said, there are moments where even I’m like, ‘Oh, for God’s sake, Leslie, why?’ ”

Of course, that’s part of the fun on Republic of Doyle. Resilience is Jake’s dominant quality. People help him even as they’re rolling their eyes. But despite that constant, the show has changed through the years.

“It feels different every season,” agrees Pellerin, breaking her self-imposed silence. “It’s great to be able to come back home in one way (both Pellerin and Hawco are from Newfoundland). You get to feel familiar enough to not be afraid to take chances.

“It’s like fast-tracking, because you’re not getting to know the show for the first time every year. It’s a great process. The characters are growing and we’re growing with them.”

But if the characters are growing every year, shouldn’t Leslie be wise to Jake by now?

Well, Maybe Hawco’s onto something, and love is as blind on The Rock as it is anywhere else.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

“Newfoundland Newhart” Shaun Majumder minds his “manors” in new series on W

- December 11th, 2012

Cover - Shelby Fenner and Shaun Majumder

Shaun Majumder wants to be the Newfoundland Newhart.

“Yeah, kinda,” Majumder said with a laugh, thinking of his new series, Majumder Manor.

“(Bob Newhart) had that beautiful old inn (in the 1980s series Newhart). Ours is a little more modern.

“But no, I actually have no desire to be Newhart. I want to be Fawlty Towers. That’s really where it’s at.”

Of course, Newhart and Fawlty Towers were scripted sitcoms. Majumder Manor – which debuts Jan. 7 on W – actually is hard to pigeon-hole when it comes to genre.

It’s part documentary, but it certainly isn’t boring and, in fact, is quite funny.

It’s also part reality series, but as Majumder puts it, “It’s real, it’s more real than reality. It’s too real to be reality TV.”

Majumder is a well-known Canadian comedian most widely recognized as a cast member on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 minutes, as well as for his dramatic roles on series such as 24, The Firm and Detroit 1-8-7.

But part of Majumder never left his home town of Burlington, Nfld. Population: “A couple of two-fours shy of 400.”

With rural Newfoundland towns struggling economically, it long has been Majumder’s dream to build a five-star, eco-friendly inn in Burlington. The idea is to provide lodging and restaurant options for tourists attracted to the area because of its intense beauty, and to revitalize – or as Majumder says, “vitalize, is that a word?” – the community.

Majumder Manor chronicles his efforts in this regard, as he interacts with the home-town people he has known his entire life. And fortuitously, Majumder’s fiancee Shelby Fenner, a true California girl, is on hand to provide built-in cultural comparisons.

During a recent interview with Majumder and Fenner, the former turned to the latter and said, “Shelby, how would you describe the food when you first went there (to Burlington)? Honestly, no filter.”

“Salt,” Fenner replied flatly, prompting laughter from both Majumder and yours truly.

“They had to salt everything historically to preserve it. But they need to evolve beyond that, with things like a greenhouse so we can have fresh vegetables all year.”

Majumder added, “So the greenhouse she’s talking about is an evolution of the project, it’s one of the pieces of infrastructure that we’re putting there to kind of foster community support.

“We don’t want to turn Burlington into Las Vegas. It’s not Shaun Majumder coming back from afar, building a nice lodge, doing a TV show and then walking away.”

That was the initial reaction from some Burlington townsfolk, as seen in the first episode of Majumder Manor.

“This always has been a project with a 20-year plan in many ways,” Majumder said. “The TV show just happens to be catching the very beginning of it.”

So Shaun Majumder hopes Majumder Manor is here to stay, emotionally, creatively and physically.

But just a head’s up, if Majumder ever does decide to go the Newhart route, he won’t have to look far for real-life Larry, Darryl and Darryls.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Inside - Shaun Majumder and Shelby Fenner