Of all the places you’d expect to possibly find a series that possesses overtones of David Lynch’s work, one of the last would probably be Ion. You may remember it as PAX TV, but that was a long time ago. These days, it’s home to a great number of series that definitely go against what you used to see on the network during the early part of the decade. Gone are the “Touched By An Angel” and “Highway to Heaven” marathons, replaced by reruns of “NCIS” and “Criminal Minds.” Tonight, they’re bringing a Canadian series to their airwaves for its Stateside debut…and, yes, “Durham County” is just as dark as the Lynch reference suggests. Unless, of course, you see anything light about a series focusing on a homicide detective who moves his family to the suburbs to start over after his partner is killed and his wife is diagnosed with breast cancer, only to discover that his new neighbor (and former childhood nemesis) may be a serial killer. We had a chance to speak with star Hugh Dillon – who you may also recognize from his work on another Canadian import, CBS’s “Flashpoint” – about his work on both of his current series, his role as Joe Dick in “Hard Core Logo,” and his life as a real-life rock ‘n’ roll star while fronting the Headstones.
…I do have a teaser for my upcoming interview with Bill Pullman about his new film, “Surveillance,” which has a “Harper’s Island” connection.
I don’t think many people outside of the TV critic community are aware of this, but Harry Hamlin wasn’t the first actor to play the part of Uncle Marty in “Harper’s Island.” Several months before the series premiered, CBS offered up to critics what’s best described as the pitch reel for the show, giving an idea of how it would kick off and approximately what we could expect as far as the feel of the series. By the time the show actually premiered, however, some of the actors remained the same and some didn’t…and the most notable actor who didn’t make the transition was the first man to fill the shoes of Uncle Marty: Bill Pullman.
Back in January, series producer Jon Turteltaub referred to Pullman’s appearance in the pitch reel as “a ‘While You Were Sleeping’ favor,” referring to the 1995 Sandra Bullock film in which Pullman was directed by Turteltaub.
“He’s a great guy to work with,” Pullman told me. “I don’t know whether he had somebody else or what it was, but it was kind of at the last minute. Or maybe it’s because that’s the way those things happen. Maybe the money only came together at the last minute, TV being what it is. But he knew he wanted to get somebody, and he said, ‘Listen, there is no obligation to do anything with the series afterwards, but I just need something for now. If you do it, fine, if you don’t do it, fine, too.’ But I loved the chance to go up there, and, you know, it was kind of a whacked character. I had a good time, and the actors who were there were good. I really liked Elaine Cassidy.”
So there you go: a “Harper’s Island” factoid you may not have known before. Hopefully, that’ll hold you ’til Wednesday! And as a bonus, here’s the trailer for Pullman’s film, “Surveillance,” which is pretty creepy in its own right: