The DVD/Blu-ray release of Sanctuary: Season Two on Tuesday (June 15) arrives hot on the heels of the show scooping up seven Leo Awards at the Westin Bayshore on June 4 and 5.
Creator, writer, and executive producer Damian Kindler said he was astounded at the slew of nominations they received this year.
“Last year, we were nominated for six. We jumped up and down and went, ”˜Oh, yay!’ and then with 17, it was kind of this numb shock of, ”˜What? Really?’" he said on the red carpet at the Leo Awards. "I mean, we think we’re worth it, but”¦we’re like the Truman Show of shows—we don’t believe anyone knows us beyond our parents, or our wives. And so to be recognized is a bit stunning, and we’re thrilled. Beyond thrilled. And kind of gushy and kind of nauseatingly so.”
The sci-fi/fantasy TV series, about an organization that tracks down creatures and humanoids, known as Abnormals, began as a Web series before getting picked up for TV, and is shot primarily on green screen. In season two, the specialist team, led by Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) has since expanded to visiting international locales, such as India and Japan.
“I think shows, once their premise is established and working, have to continually evolve, or the audience smells a rat,” Kindler explained.
Part of that evolution included the introduction of a new character, Kate Freelander, played by Agam Darshi.
“To play Kate Freelander is really cool because she’s so tough, and she plays with guns and beats up boys, and I don’t do that,” Darshi said of her con-artist character. “It’s such a challenge. It’s so different from who I am in real life.”
Darshi received a Leo nomination for best supporting actress for Excited, and is also launching the first annual Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, which she cofounded with Smallville’s Patricia Isaac, on June 26 at Vancity Theatre. The festival aims to bring South Asian content to mainstream audiences, and will include a panel featuring Partition director Vic Sarin and Defying Gravity’s Zahf Paroo.
Robin Dunne, who won the Leo award for best male lead in a dramatic series, chatted about how his forensic psychiatrist character has also developed.
“In season one, my character, Will Zimmerman, was a guy who was sort of the eyes and ears of the audience. We were introduced to the Sanctuary through my character," he explained. "So it was great to play a character that was going through the same experiences that the audience were in discovering this whole new world. Since then, he’s become a guy who’s gone from being very sort of at a loss on how to deal with all this stuff to really being in charge or second-in-command under Amanda’s character, Magnus. So he’s really grown up a lot in this world, and I think that’s continued definitely through to season three. We’ve started to see the darker side of the character and that’s just going to keep coming out as season three progresses.”
As for Zimmerman’s relationship with Freelander, Dunne spoke of potential without giving away any specifics. “We had an episode last season that took place in the possible future," he said. "Magnus got an image of the future, of what could happen in the future. In that scenario, Will and Kate had a child. So that is out there in the future as a possibility”¦. Right now, it’s just that they’re two people who work together, they’re coworkers in the Sanctuary, and they sometimes get on each other’s nerves, but ultimately are pretty close, and getting closer as every episode progresses.”
Darshi gave some insight into what audiences can expect in season 3, which is currently being shot. “I really feel like the scripts are very challenging this year. It’s kinda taking things into a different direction," she said. "We have this huge discovery in the first two episodes that basically propels us throughout the entire season. I think the discovery is going to be pretty huge for the fans, and also for our characters as well”¦. This year, there are such big arcs that are so important. And this one storyline is really going to propel everyone. And everything.”