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?
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.
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!]
You both come from sci fi/fantasy backgrounds, does that help you on this series?
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.
Are you filming in an actual hospital?
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 Episode 2 “Contact” airs June 14, 2012.
NBC’s website for the series can be found here