Transplant arrived on the scene with a bang in last week’s premiere episode. Or should we say crashed onto the scene? Regardless, the new CTV drama wasted no time in jumping full speed ahead on the action, as Bash (Hamza Haq) found his medical training taking over as he worked to save victims of a tragic accident, including York Memorial Chief of Emergency Medicine, Dr. John Bishop (John Hannah). In this week’s episode, “Tell Me Who You Are,” Bash works together with Mags (Laurence Leboeuf) on a tricky diagnosis, while Dr. Bishop fields concerns from head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) about why he’s already working following the accident.
Haq and Hannah recently spoke to The TV Junkies about what it was like filming those intense crash scenes in the pilot episode. They also previewed why the accident may offer a second chance for both Bash and Bishop moving forward.
The TV Junkies: : A really big part of the pilot episode is this car crash into the restaurant where Bash saves Bishop. What was it like shooting that sequence?
John Hannah: Cold! [laughs]
Hamza Haq: It was a blast, pun intended. It was so much fun, though. There was a moment, I think it was Hour 14 of the day where everyone is exhausted and we’re freezing, and I remember everyone freaking out that we were going to lose the nighttime and had to quickly film it. At one point I got really emotional, and started laughing, thinking, ‘I’m in Montreal, filming this dope scene with all these awesome special effects and John Hannah.’ It was an amazing experience. As a boy growing up dreaming of being in movies, you want to be in awesome action sequences.
JH: That was very early on in shooting and in some ways, it gave us a huge boost. As Hamza said, you want to be in movies with big set pieces and big ideas, but if you’re doing a TV show, one restraint can be time and budget. That was a real litmus test of the show, and the boost we got from seeing how it was handled and edited felt like we had something really special. Everyone then believed we had something really good.
TTVJ: It was all shot beautifully by director Holly Dale.
HH: We were really well taken care of by Holly. She had a real specific vision and a great deal of experience filming these action sequences. We were very fortunate to have her there and lead the charge.
TTVJ: One of the show’s themes is second chances. How does that accident and fire change each of your character’s outlook on life?
HH: As far as Bash is concerned, he gets the opportunity to practice medicine again. He doesn’t have anything to prove, but he gets to just be himself again. A lot of times, in these stories of displacement, people spend a lot of time readjusting and acclimate to a life they aren’t used to. Though that still holds true for a lot of the series, at least something he trained for the vast majority of his life he gets to continue and provide for his family. If you want to call it baptism by fire you can, but it is that rebirth and second chance that all of us are looking for and hopefully both of these characters make the most of it.
JH: From my point of view, other characters keep telling me that I’ve been given a second chance, but the expression about old dogs and new tricks comes to mind. Bishop struggles with that and with changing the habits of a lifetime. We’ll find out what the consequences of not taking those opportunities are.
TTVJ: Bishop sees something special in Bash and brings him to the hospital. What’s the relationship between the two of them like?
JH: There’s an obvious paternal thing happening, given Bishop’s character. He’s somewhat estranged from his own son, and seeing what Bash has come through in order to get here, express himself, and contribute to society is something Bishop recognizes. He wants to help, but there’s still standards that have to be tested to work in this life and death scenario.
HH: There’s definitely that father/son thing going on. From a young man’s perspective, there’s a petulance that comes with it and an expectation of special treatment. The boundaries between a personal and professional relationship are tested. Bash is very aware he’s getting some sort of preferential treatment because they went through this thing together.
JH: It feels like a very real relationship.
HH: It’s not just a mentor/mentee relationship. It goes a little deeper than that. It’s real life and messy. I can’t speak to any relationship I’ve had that doesn’t fit that category.
What did you think of the Transplant premiere? Looking forward to more? Sound off below.
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.