Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flashpoint Fan Panel at Polaris

Polaris was this past weekend, this year hosted in Richmond Hill, Ontario (just north of Toronto). I attended the con and, since I announced the We Got the Solution blog at the Flashpoint panel, I'm providing a summary for those of you who couldn't make it.

For those that did make it, welcome to our blog! It was great chatting with some of you in person.

Here's the panel description from the program:

Flashpoint, where Toronto is itself

Description: If you haven't caught an episode of it yet, drop by and learn a bit about the characters in the series as well as the inspirations behind this Toronto-made police drama.
Panelists*: Deanna Toxopeus, Robin Marwick
*Unfortunately, programming is missing the name of one of the panelists. If anyone can supply her name, please list it in the comments and I'll add it.

Discussing the Primary Characters and the Show

This included snippets about the primary cast, some secondary characters, and some temporary characters. The fact that Donna (Jessica Steen) was made likable and felt like she could easily become a permanent addition to the cast was noted. As fans, we appreciate that even temporary characters are made to be likable and memorable.

In discussing elements that make the show unique, the focus was on the way that good versus evil is not black and white. We're often given reason to sympathize with or understand the motivations behind the supposed villain(s).

Everyone wanted to see more of Spike (Sergio Di Zio) and Lewis (Mark Taylor), so that we can learn more about their characters. We also discussed how the members of the SRU are normal people, not superheroes. This was made very clear when Greg's mentor, Sergeant Daniel Rangford, appeared in "Haunting the Barn."

The "I got the solution" catchphrase was mentioned as being more open to interpretation than saying outright that they have a kill shot, when the solution could be something else (or they could be using non-lethal ammo). There was speculation about whether or not Toronto's Emergency Task Force actually says something similar.

There was mention of Colantoni's former role as Keith Mars on Veronica Mars (If you're a fan of his character on Flashpoint, I definitely recommend checking out Veronica Mars). One of the panelists mentioned that Colantoni was initially unsure of taking the role of Sergeant Greg Parker when he heard about it, but was convinced by his brother to accept. Colantoni's character is very likable on the show and the panelists remarked that they really liked his gentle approach for negotiating as well as the technique to realistically relate to the subject to help calm them down.

Mentioning Amy Jo Johnson's previous role as the Pink Ranger was inevitable. An audience member said he thought it would be funny if they slipped and called her "Kimberly" in Flashpoint once, instead of Jules. The panelists found it refreshing that the character of Jules set the boundaries for her relationship with Sam, refusing to leave her position on the team.

The panelists also mentioned that Hugh Dillon has been pretty busy recently, working on Durham County and a new music album.

Filming in Toronto

The panelists and audience were in agreement that it's nice to see a show filmed as well as set in Toronto. Comments were made about recognizable locations as well as some edits made to directions in some of the on-the-road shots. Also, the amusement park in "The Perfect Family" was noted in the panel as being Canada's Wonderland.

Some comments were made about movies and series that are filmed in Toronto but supposedly set elsewhere. There were some chuckles about the CN tower appearing in the skyline of some "filmed in Toronto but set in a U.S. city" films.

Quite a few people indicated that they'd be interested in a set tour of some of the filming locations for Flashpoint, and it was suggested that perhaps next year a tour be organized of various film and television sets for shows filmed in Toronto. I'm sure a comparison of the sets for Flashpoint and Murdoch Mysteries would be interesting!

Auction Items

A set of Flashpoint items was a part of the charity auction at Polaris, with the proceeds going to Gilda's Club. The Flashpoint items up for auction included a copy of the pilot script signed by the cast and writers, a Flashpoint promotional poster signed by the four main cast members, and two Strategic Response Unit hats.

I've heard that the auction set went for $200 to the SRU cosplayer who attended the Flashpoint panel, but this is unconfirmed. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the cosplayer, but he had a great costume.


  1. It did go to the Flashpoint Costumer for 200$, and thank you for the compliment on the Costume, it's not as perfect as I'd like it to be, but it's good enough to make the point get trough.

  2. It was a very enjoyable panel and the caps from that auction bundle will be put to good costuming use :)

  3. Seb! Do you have any pictures of your costume? We'd love to feature it on the site!