Yesterday, I was lucky enough to chat with Republic of Doyle star, executive producer and creator Allan Hawco about everything that’s happened in Season 3 of the series, which ends with an action-packed finale tonight. We also talked about a potential fourth season of the PI series, which is still up in the air. Here’s the first part of our conversation, and I’ll have the second part for you later this evening!
Congratulations on such an exciting season! I can’t believe it’s already the season finale. It feels like just yesterday that we were at the Season 3 Premiere party in Toronto. I’d have to say that this season, the theme of family was more prominent than ever, and it went beyond just Jake and Malachy. Did you enjoy exploring that theme this season?
I think that family’s at the core of the show. The basis of this show is the father and son and the extended family around these two. It’s definitely a theme and for me, it’s something that any viewer, any writer, any actor, anyone can relate to it. It’s something we all have whether we like it or not. And that, for me, is something that’s a lot of fun to explore and help define relationships.
The relationships and dynamics between these characters really seemed to be on point throughout this season. How was writing this season different from the first two seasons?
The great thing about having a few years to develop these kinds of things, this kind of show and these characters, in the first season, you really don’t get the opportunity to delve into the heart of these characters. We only had 12 hours in our first season, in the second season we had 13 episodes and got to explore it a little bit more. But once you get to a third year, you have a following, a group of people who hopefully like the show and you really get an opportunity to reward the viewers and reward the characters and let them be fleshed out deeper and deeper. That’s kind of what we’re moving towards, especially as we get to the end of Season 3.
I thought the introduction of Kathleen Doyle this season was fantastic. When did you decide that you were going to bring her into the storyline?
We had planned to have Kathleen arrive around when she did from the very beginning. She was a character in our initial building of this show and building what the arc of these characters would be. She was a prominent force from the very beginning, in the bible of this series. You have to be careful about when you drop certain things in because you don’t want to overload too much information at the wrong time. So we sort of planned out about the time we would get to know Kathleen and really excited about where that character is going. It’s just great to see the whole family together and hopefully we’ll get to see more of that.
I know that many viewers would like to see Des and Tinny end up together – myself included. Do you have any plans to bring the two of them together, considering their friendship was really tested in Season 3?
There’s a definite possibility. They certainly have a strong connection and a great chemistry between the two of them, as do Mark and Marthe, the actors. There’s a plan. Perry [Chafe] and I had a very clear 5 year plan and over the past 3 years we’ve sort of borrowed, begged and stolen from that plan, and the plan has sort of grown into a different beast and extended beyond that 5 years, we’ve got a bigger plan now just in case.
Most American series get 23 episodes a season and often times those shows don’t often find their own voice until their third or fourth year. We’re in our third year at about 13 episodes a season, so I feel like we’re just really starting to hit our stride now and I think that the more we keep going and the more we dig and the more we try to make the show better and better, it becomes a lot more relevant. So these characters and these relationships, the master plan I had going into it, has changed slightly, but I do believe we will stay true to what that plan is, and it’s exciting. By the end of this season, this last episode … I think people are going to have a very interesting time [tonight].
Jake and Leslie have been put through their paces this season, and Leslie has still been processing how Jake nearly destroyed her life and her career. She’s been guided by her head and really hasn’t been listening to her heart. Is there a chance we’ll see her begin to trust Jake again, and perhaps give in to her heart a bit?
I would say most definitely. It’s important to remember that Jake completely screwed up her life, almost ruined her life, and I think that regardless of your feelings for someone, when something that aggressive happens, it’s pretty easy to fall out of love with someone if you think what they were doing was purely selfish and reckless. It took her a long time to get over that. I think she’s well over it now, but I think it will always kind of be there somewhere because that’s not just about what Jake’s actions were. In episode 2.12, those instincts are connected very much to the core of who Jake is and whether or not that’s the right thing for Leslie.
I think that they’re right for each other. I believe that the basis of this whole series is in a lot of ways based on the fact that they should be together. But I don’t know if they feel that way or if it’s true. And if I don’t know that, seeing as how I’m the head writer on the show and co-creator of the series, if I’m not sure what the answer is, I certainly don’t think our characters do yet. We have a plan, like I said, where they go, and I won’t say what that is because it takes the fun away, but every day, those characters are speaking to us.
When I watch these episodes, I edit every episode, I’m in the edit room with the editors for every cut, I deliver the cuts to the network, I spend the most time with these shows and I tell you, every time i watch it, I learn something else about who these people are, and it sort of transforms itself from what we thought, what we created, and what we put in the script, so it’s going to be a rocky road to see where those two end up, but I definitely promise you this – it’ll be an exciting one. And what we’re writing right now for a dream Season 4, it’s very, very exciting, and how [Season 3] ends, it’s like nothing we’ve ever done before.
Tune in later for the second half of my chat with Allan, and be sure to watch the Season 3 finale of Republic of Doyle at 9pm on CBC!
Photo Courtesy of CBC