In this edition of “Take 5”, we chat with The Listener‘s Executive Producer Peter Mohan about what’s in store for Season 4, which kicks off this evening … and from the sound of it, we’re in for a real treat!
– Timewise, Season 4 picks up about six months following the conclusion of Season 3. Mohan explained, “It’s time that Toby (Craig Olejnik) has spent working on his policing skills as he makes his move to becoming more of a part of the unit and wanting to move beyond being the ‘special consultant’ and the outsider that he was last season to becoming a more integral part of the group. And so he’s worked on his skills and his training. That’s actually the thrust of Season 4. He starts to make some moves onto the other side of the blue line. He starts to have to make some hard decisions, and has to go undercover in some very frightening situations that he wouldn’t have been prepped for before.”
We also saw Toby have some doubts about his move from being an EMT to becoming a consultant in Season 3. At this point, he’s embraced his new role, and we’ll see in his further commitment to it; however, Mohan did share this: “[Toby]’s always going to be a fish out of water because at his core, he’s an empathic person and a healer, and there are certain things that a police officer has to do that are more in the world of black and white decisions, and Toby will see things more in greys.” He added that it’s Toby’s buddy OZ that keeps Toby in check when he doesn’t see eye to eye with the people in his unit.
– The series has always done a commendable job of keeping its characters very realistic and relatable even though the protagonist has special abilities, and Mohan addressed this in our conversation. “One of the things about doing a series like this … part of selling this from week-to-week as a police procedural and to buy [Toby]’s gift, you really have to ground it. We try to make it feel real, with [Toby]’s twisting of his gift, and give the [viewers] the feeling of what it would really be like to have that gift. It wouldn’t necessarily be all a gift. It’s partially a curse, and [Toby] can’t always trust it. It’s not a magic bullet that makes your life great and fixes everything. Often it’s just complicated, especially as you’ve seen, and as you will see, in the world of his relationships. It’s a boon to him. It often screws everything up more.”
– Change isn’t only on the horizon for Toby. As we saw in the Season 3 finale, Oz had a major career move coming into play. “It’s a stepping up for everyone this season,” said Mohan. “Oz is now in this new job. At first he’s not sure if he wants to be doing it and wonders what he got himself into. He’s in a suit and it’s quite a bit of fun seeing him adjusting to this new world and working with his girlfriend, Sandy. He’s working with these young paramedics who are out there doing what he was doing six months ago. He’s railing on them, and like Toby, he’s wondering ‘What have I come to?’ As you can imagine, Ennis [Esmer] just goes to town.”
– I was curious to know if Michelle’s past is going to continue to resurface despite her best efforts to keep them at bay. She obviously strives to be the best at what she does yet has these issues despite it all. Mohan’s response? “We’re going to see a lot of that this season. [Lauren Lee Smith] is such a wonderful actor and we think we’ve got some really exciting stuff happening in Michelle’s life. She’s stayed with Adam (Kris Holden-Ried) since last season and their relationship has mended, and now the question is are they taking it further in terms of commitments and tying themselves to one another. There are a lot more complications for her and a lot more growth and interesting situations.”
– Some of the best guest casting happens on The Listener, and Mohan teased a couple of the faces we’ll be seeing early on. “We’ve got Justin Chatwin (Shameless) and Jewel Staite in the opening episode. It starts with the band Walk Off the Earth performing and it’s pretty exciting.” One of my Canadian small screen faves, Republic of Doyle‘s Krystin Pellerin, is also in the Season 4 premiere, which takes Toby and Michelle to Vancouver.
Canada, are you ready to welcome back The Listener? Be sure you’re tuned in to CTV tonight at 10pm!
Photo Courtesy of CTV