It’s time for a role reversal on Saving Hope as Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) prepares to go under the knife. The medical drama will wrap up its fourth season on Sunday night, February 14, with back to back episodes starting at 8 p.m. on CTV. While Alex (Erica Durance) and Charlie’s relationship has been solid all season long, it’s no question that his ability to see ghosts has caused a fair bit of strain at times. However, that could all be a non-issue after the surgery, as removing the tumor may cause him to lose his ghost-seeing abilities.
After a shocking end to Season 3, that saw the death of Daniel Gillies’ Joel, the show has shifted focus a bit this season–leaning away from a love triangle, and focusing more on how Charlie’s abilities affect his relationship with Alex. Others, like Dr. Zach Miller (Benjamin Ayres), have felt the repercussions of Joel’s death, but have turned things around as the season has worn on. Saving Hope showrunner Adam Pettle spoke exclusively with The TV Junkies about the show’s new focus, the threat to Charlie’s abilities and why now is the perfect time for a certain pair.
The TV Junkies: The show no longer has the central love triangle from the first few seasons. Was being free of that something that you and the writers really enjoyed?
Adam Pettle: Yes, it really was. It was so huge, not only because of the love triangle, but also because Joel and Charlie were both orthopedic surgeons. So it bound us medically, just trying to come up with two bone stories a week. Daniel is a wonderful actor, but not having him in the show has allowed there to be more room and breath and space for it to be more of an ensemble. People like Michelle Nolden (Dawn), Huse (Madhavji, Shahir) and Ben Ayres–these are all great characters that we love and who have had more screen time this year because Joel is not there.
TTVJ: There was a bit of a new triangle that developed though between Alex, Charlie and the ghost world. Why is that such an obstacle to their relationship?
AP: It’s something that he has that he doesn’t share with her. It makes him incredibly unique, but with that there’s half truths, such as not telling the whole truth about a ghost that may not have been such a pleasant experience. I often look at it like an addiction–not that it has the same negative connotation–but it has the same kind of hold on him and something he’s compelled to do. I often think of it as a thing that you don’t fully share with your partner and the inherent tension in that.
TTVJ: Some ghosts this season have been a bit hostile, which is a change from previous seasons. Why did you decide to explore that?
AP: Everyone really loves the ghost element of the show, but after four seasons and as the show has evolved, it has felt like the “ghost of the week.” We all love that idea of Charlie helping someone, but we felt like in order for there to be any tension, and for those stories to not become predictable, we needed to explore a more malevolent, darker side. It’s a blessing but it’s also a curse, and what is the dark side of this gift he has? It gives us more of an opportunity as writers to have Charlie be destabilized by the ghost world and to tell different kinds of stories.
TTVJ: Why was now the right time to pair up Dawn and Zach? What makes them so good for one another?
AP: They were both on an arc this season of post-trauma and being broken and cracked open a bit, and they found solace in each other. Zach was there when Joel died and felt partially responsible, and Dawn’s sexual assault with Lane means that they are both people with walls up. They deal with their vulnerability in different, deflecting ways, but in each other they found an ability to make themselves vulnerable, and in each other’s woundedness they have come together. Because they both aren’t open books and wear their hearts on their sleeves, that’s what makes it so satisfying for them to be together and have each other. Because it’s not easy for either of them.
Are you excited for the season finale of Saving Hope? Do you have any predictions for what will happen? Let us hear them in the comments below! Check back after the two episodes air for more from our chat with Pettle.
Saving Hope’s back-to-back Season 4 finale airs Sunday, February 14 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.