Saving Hope, 1.03 "Blindness" - Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) ©2012 NBCUniversal Media. Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg
The three stars of NBC’s new medical drama Saving Hope, Michael Shanks (Stargate Atlantis), Erica Durance (Smallville) and Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries), all come from sci-fi/fantasy shows, which for this project is very appropriate.
The film spotlights Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Shanks) at Hope-Zion Hospital, who ends up in a coma, leaving his fiancée and fellow surgeon Alex Reid (Durance) in a state of shock. She, with newly arrived surgeon, Joel Goran (Gillies), continues to try to save Harris’ life, alone with the other patients at the hospital, as Charlie explores the hospital halls in ‘spirit’ form.

Erica Durance and Daniel Gillies spoke with us about their new supernatural series Saving Hope.

Joining Saving Hope

What went into your decision to do this show?

Episode 1.03 “Blindness” – Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Charles Harris (Michael Shanks) ©2012 NBCUniversal Media

Erica: I love TV, and I love a good script. I had been given a bunch of different choices, and I kept coming back to this one, because of the heart that’s in it and because of the love story.

It has a medical side of it, and I think that there’s something in me that loves that side and all the angst and drama that can happen within that, but really at the core of it, and it’s in the title, it’s about holding on to hope or [finding] hope within yourself.

Episode 1.02 “Contact” – Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies) ©2012 NBCUniversal Media

Daniel, when were you offered this role, and have you completely left The Vampire Diaries?

Daniel: Well, I wasn’t offered the role, I had to audition for it. It was last year around April. I have not entirely left The Vampire Diaries. Fortunately, we film at different times of the years so I’m deeply indebted to that show for what it’s given me.

But this show takes precedence at this moment in time. However, I love Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson (writer/producers of The Vampire Diaries), and I would do anything with them in a heartbeat. But I can’t really speak to further adventures of Elijah on that show, because I’ll probably get fired [from this one!]

Sci-Fi background

You both come from sci fi/fantasy backgrounds, does that help you on this series?

Erica Durance and Daniel Gillies at the NBCUniversal Summer Press Day 2012 ©2012 NBCUniversal Media

Daniel: Yeah, it helps because of the enchanted quality of the show, Charlie’s paradigm.

Erica: We’re all practiced in talking to things that aren’t there and not seeing something that is there.

What percentage of the show is focusing on the everybody’s relationships, the medical drama and the ghostly influence?

Daniel: We deal with those three things admirably. It’s always well-balanced, and they’re not mutually exclusive to one another either.

Hospital filming

Are you filming in an actual hospital?

Episode 1.02 “Contact” – Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and patient ©2012 NBCUniversal Media

Erica: The pilot was filmed in an actual hospital and then given how difficult it was to be in a hospital, you don’t want to be in the way, they ended up setting up a whole studio for us that is a hospital.

Because they have machines in there, I’m constantly taking my own blood pressure to see how I’m feeling. We’re all becoming hypochondriacs.

Saving Hope, 1.03 “Blindness” – Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and Victor Reis (Salvatore Antonio) ©2012 NBCUniversal Media. Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg

Saving Hope Episode 2 “Contact” airs June 14, 2012.

NBC’s website for the series can be found here

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.