I’ve yelled long and loud for as long as I’ve been here at The Televixen (13 years and counting) that my ride or die Canadian series that started it all for me is DaVinci’s Inquest. I have immense love and joy for that series and its people and its distinct take on the textbook procedural. There have been several Canadian procedurals to follow it, and last month, I was super intrigued to see the news that Canada is getting its very own Law & Order franchise. Dun DUN, indeed.
Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is a co-production of Lark Productions (Family Law) and Cameron Pictures (Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue, Pretty Hard Cases) in association with Citytv, where it’s slated to arrive in the spring of 2024. According to the press release,“Based on the classic series created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent will showcase original Canadian stories written and produced by, and starring, Canadians. As a psychological thriller wrapped in a criminal investigation, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent follows an elite squad of detectives who investigate high-profile crime and corruption in metro Toronto.”
I love everything about this, most especially because Law & Order is the long game – these shows run for a long, long time. So, if this one follows suit, it will be an extraordinary showcase for homegrown Canadian talent and the city of Toronto starring as itself. And because y’all know how I am, I have some thoughts on who I’d love to see fill out the roster. So, without further ado, in alphabetical order because they’re all groovy, here’s my wish list of the Canadian folks I would love to get a chance to shoot their shot. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the folks who’ve been rattling around my brain since the series was announced.
Why you know him: Forever and always, he’s our Preelicious bar owner from Killloys. He was also a mystic/charlatan/conman on Slasher. And he directed the staging of Rent running now at Stratfest.
Why he’d be great: Why wouldn’t he? I don’t pretend to understand the vagaries of TV land and proprietary characters, but I know rationally that you can’t just transplant Allison’s Coroner character from that show’s version of the Toronto medical examiner’s office into the L&Oiverse, but stranger things have happened. Eli was a great character, deserving of headlining a show, so if not there, then why not here, as a sassy, determined, take no bullshit coroner? Allison would be an asset in any capacity.
Why you know her: Equally adept at comedy and drama and genre, Ancheril most recently appeared in Star Trek: Discovery and Nurses and has Earper cred from a stint on Wynonna Earp.
Why she’d be great: Already a significant Cameron Pictures alumni, Ancheril broke us in the final season of Mary Kills People (and appeared in two seasons of Rookie Blue), and she was supremely funny in the final season of Killjoys, so she’s got range for days. She’d be amazing as a detective, an attorney for the crown, a master criminal, or a doctor. Just get her in the door.
Why you know him: He’s so Fancy! As the sometimes foe, sometimes frenemy on Killjoys, Baek gave Fancy so many layers. He was equally a warrior, a whiner, an ally, and then out of nowhere, just as silly as everyone else.
Why he’d be great: Baek has had a two-decade career playing every kind of role andI want him back on my TV in a regular capacity because he’s so, so good. As with the other folks here, he has great range. He played a criminal in Blood and Water, a tribunal member in Utopia Falls, and a contract killer in Vicious Fun. I’d love to have him on the team.
Why you know him: Byers has been a TV staple for more than two decades, most recently returning to Slasher for its fifth season to play a second generation pastor – after playing the titular serial killer in the show’s freshman season.
Why he’d be great: He can play, and has played, every kind of character convincingly and well. We’ve seen him as the aforementioned serial killer and pastor, a 17th century archduke, a romcom lead, a police officer, a hockey player, a mythical warrior, a Nephilim, a combat veteran, an Amish farmer (in both a comedy and a drama), and on and on. He can do funny, he can do sweet, he can do heartfelt, he can do action, he can do terrifying. A hugely adaptable utility player, he can be dropped into any role and kill it. Make it so.
Why you know him: He’s been working steadily since his first role in Aliens, so I couldn’t begin to tell you where you’ve seen him, but I promise you, you know his face. This spring, he lost his damn mind as the coked out police superintendent on Slasher.
Why he’d be great: See above about done it all and played it all. He’s been a doctor, he’s been a military man, he’s been law enforcement, he’s been a criminal, a zealot, a professor, and more. Just find a spot for him already.
Why you know her: The fiercely fantastic LeBlanc has most recently appeared in Fire Country, Ginny & Georgia, and The Accused.
Why she’d be great: No stranger to law enforcement roles, she played a special agent in Departure, a hostage negotiator in Ransom, and a detective on Motive, so she’s got that down, and she’d be equally awesome in any capacity. She also has a history with Cameron Pictures, appearing in Mary Kills People. I really want to see her interrogate somebody as only she can.
Brandon Jay McLaren
Why you know him: Pick something. McLaren has been a TV staple long enough that you’ve seen him somewhere. For the last couple of years, he’s appeared on Everything’s Trash, Snowfall, and The Rookie
Why he’d be great: He’s played criminals and cops, lovers and haters, and he’s always so damn good. If TPTB wanted to be really sweet, they’d pair McLaren with Byers as partners or foes and it would be fire, as the kids like to say. The duo went toe to toe in Slasher, but back in the Twitter heyday, getting to watch them bounce Tweets off each other was a singular pleasure. Let’s do that for ten episodes a year for the next five years (at least).
Why you know him: If you have to ask…
Why he’d be great: An alumni of the OG Davinci’s Inquest, where he was a detective for its entire run, its spinoff, Davinci’s City Hall, where his character became the coroner; and later Chris Haddock series Intelligence and Romeo Section, Tracey has done it all, playing both sides of the law. This spring, we saw him in the just-renewed School Spirits. If you want to put an unquestionable Canadian stamp on your show, Tracey’s your guy.
Who would y’all like to see in the show? Hit us up in the comments.
Photos courtesy of CBC, CBS, Global TV, and Shudder.