[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Coroner wraps up its excellent Season 2 Monday night with a bookend to the season premiere that finally, mostly, resolves the lingering questions about Kelly, the fire, and Jenny’s sleepwalking. [Update: The finale airs in the US at 9pm Wednesday, December 2nd, on The CW.] Read on for a spoiler-light preview and thoughts from executive producers Morwyn Brebner and Adrienne Mitchell, who write and direct the finale, about the second season.
We pick up with the family back home after Gordon’s hospitalisation and things are a bit frantic because Kelly is AWOL and Liam is actively spiraling. As Jenny starts to ask questions about Robbie’s death, Donovan seeks the truth from Noor about her relationship to Kelly. Soon, all roads lead back to the fire.
It’s an emotional, and emotionally satisfying, season ender that puts the larger mysteries to bed while still teasing new ones should we get another season (which I firmly think we will). And there’s a sense of peace as our characters comes out the other side a bit wearier, and maybe a little more settled. I spoke to Brebner and Mitchell Friday about the season so far, and about the finale. We’ll have that latter section after the east coast airing Monday night.
First up, Mitchell and Brebner were thrilled with the five Canadian Screen Award nominations last week for Coroner‘s first season. “It’s great because everyone can take a bow and be proud of that best drama series nomination. That recognizes everyone’s amazing artistry,” they share.
“And then to have Serinda [Swan], Roger [Cross], Tom [Third], and Traci [Loader] and Dorota [Mitoraj] for makeup, which is a huge honor for our show with all of the prosthetics and making everything look real. If it doesn’t look real, then we have problems. We have a lot of complicated scenarios there, so they definitely should be acknowledged.”
The characters of Kelly and Noor have been throughlines this season and for the characters to lend such multilayered gravitas to the action, casting was incredibly important.
Nicola Correia-Damude came to their attention through their casting director, Lisa Parasyn, and Mitchell says she knew immediately there was nobody else who could play Kelly. “Lisa is an incredible casting director, and always brings us really exciting, unique choices. To be honest, [Nicola] was the one. We had all these auditions and then she popped up and were just like, ‘Holy Christ. There she is.’ It was pretty instantaneous,” Mitchell points out.
“I didn’t even know that Nicola was on Burden of Truth. It’s like, ‘Who is this woman?’ I’d not seen her before. We were looking for somebody who could be authentic in all the different psychological spaces Kelly occupies … someone who actually believes in themselves at all times.”
“Even when they’re being sociopathic, they believe that [what they’re doing] is good. That they deserve good things and this just has to happen for [my] survival. There is a genuine belief in herself that gave her an unsettling authenticity. And we said, ‘Okay, this is the gal.’ She’s amazing.”
Olunike Adeliyi, who plays Noor, was recommended by Motion, who wrote episode two, where Noor is introduced.
“She brought her to our attention. She was very impressed with her work on a feature that she co-wrote with Charles [Officer], one of our directors this season],” explains Mitchell. We had her audition and we were blown away with the quiet ferocity that she exuded behind a controlled strength.”
“In episode 8, we learn what her story is and we see an emotional range from Olunike that is arresting. The camera loves this actor and she always brings such a compelling presence that is impossible to turn away from.”
Another throughline this season was the show within a show that Gordon watched, and whose character came to life in Jenny’s sleep study. I assumed he was a nod to Nicholas Campbell‘s Da Vinci’s Inquest, and Brebner says yes and no.
“[There] was actually a real Dr. John Fernandes, who was a consultant on our show who died suddenly And so we wanted to do something to honour John and it came from there,” says Brebner.
“We were thinking, ‘How could we honor this wonderful man?’ He’s a very, very beautiful, good man. He really brought a lot, not just to the show, but he was one of these people who, when you met him, you were like, ‘I’m glad I met this man.’ And we were very lucky to have met him,” shares Brebner.
“Fernandes came about because of that. It was a little bit of a wink [to Da Vinci] with Nicholas, for sure, eventually, but it was really to honour John Fernandes and we wanted to do it in a surprising way where we could build it into the show in a way where you wouldn’t necessarily see what was coming with it.”
Coroner airs Mondays 9pm (9:30NT). [Update: Season 2 airs at 9pm Wednesdays on The CW and streams online the next day.] You can catch Season 1 now, and Season 2’s episodes so far, on CBC Gem. in case you missed anything, our series coverage is here. Check back after the finale for the rest of our conversation.
Photos and Videos Courtesy of CBC and The CW