TORONTO – The last time “Saving Hope” fans saw Dr. Alex Reid, her heart had stopped beating during emergency surgery after being stabbed in the chest.
So it’s no surprise to star Erica Durance that viewers are waiting with bated breath for the season 3 premiere, which is airing in two parts on Sept. 22 and 25 on CTV.
“Well, you know that she’s back because I’m back filming,” said Durance during a summer phone interview from the show’s Toronto set. “We do know that she’s not gone forever.”
In last season’s dramatic finale, Alex was stabbed with a pair of scissors by a sleepwalking patient. Just after she flatlined during surgery, she appeared as a spirit standing behind Charlie (Michael Shanks) — her former fiance and a doctor with the unique ability to see ghosts.
Durance wouldn’t say whether Alex remains a spirit for long, but she said she does start the season in a “transition place.”
“What’s happened is that they’ve allowed my character to have a new exploration and a new viewpoint of Charlie and what he experiences and sees, kind of a little bit through his perspective,” she said.
She added that Alex’s journey back from this traumatic experience “completely and irrevocably” changes her personality.
“More is revealed about her past and what’s made her who she is. And some of the devastating things that have happened to her in her past,” said Durance.
“They’re playing with that a little bit, which creates a completely different dynamic for season 3, which has been fun. It’s something quite different. It shakes up the relationships.”
And even more drama is ahead for Alex’s explosive love triangle with Charlie and Joel (Daniel Gillies), another of her former lovers who also works at Hope Zion Hospital.
“Her love life becomes a little more tumultuous and unexpected. She makes some interesting decisions. It’ll be great for all the Team Joel versus Team Charlie people. They’ll get to really get out there and start cheering for their side,” she said.
“You’re allowed to see a little bit more about Joel’s character that is incredibly lovable and honourable, and a little window into what their life would have been like before all of the baggage.”
Asked whether she’s on Team Charlie or Team Joel, Durance replied with a laugh, “I’m on my team!”
She added: “What I like about those two relationships she has is the example that you can love a lot of people in your life just as passionately. It’s just a different type of love. At the end of the day, you choose the love that’s good for you.”
Durance, 36, lives in Vancouver and flies to Toronto to film the series. She said when she first read the “Saving Hope” pilot a few years ago, she knew there was something special about the romantic medical drama.
“I couldn’t quite necessarily put my finger on it, but I believe it is the overall human theme that goes through each episode — the idea that we’re all connected by the same desires. We’re all connected by experiencing tragedy and triumph and joy and wanting to maintain a sense of hope,” she said.
“That has been what has brought people together because it’s such a universal thing. So I think it’s the heart of that which has allowed people to gravitate to it and fall in love with the characters.”
She’s looking forward to watching season 3 with her husband and 15-year-old son — who she said don’t hold back when they have criticism of her performance.
“(My son) thinks it’s a lot of fun. He’s my best critic. Him and my husband, I always get the best from them. So it’s been great,” she said. “It’s very grounding, actually. They’ll tell you what’s what.”
— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.