Roughly every seven years Halloween falls on a Sunday and as you know, that's what's happening in 3 days time. So a decision had to be made: do we run the terrific new episode 406 (which is totally awesome, by the way) or... do we hold off on the new episode until next week to allow everyone who wants to go trick or treating this Sunday dressed like a ghost or a zombie or Amy or Caleb (!) to be able to enjoy themselves, without freaking out that they are missing a new episode of Heartland?
So: Halloween won out, and this week CBC will be broadcasting the popular spooky episode from last year, "The Haunting of Hanley Barn." Click though to the blog post for a video message from Amber Marshall, and some stuff about the episode you never knew!
This was a fun one, as those of us who saw it last year will attest to and, as Amber points out (whilst sitting beside her wonder dog Remi) Mark Haroun, who wrote the episode, has been nominated for a Gemini Award in the category of Best Writing in a Dramatic Series!
The Gemini Award, which is the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy, will be handed out on November 3 and I know you'll be wishing Mark good luck along with everyone at Heartland! Go Mark!!!!
But back to the episode. I spoke with Mark recently, and he told me some interesting stuff that I'd like to share with you:
First, the barn set was an actual set from a movie starring Christophe Cain and Jon Voight entitled "September Dawn." Coincidentally, Shaun Johnston - who we all know and love as Jack - had a big role in that film!
The barn was constructed on a plot of land and then was never torn down when filming on the 2006 movie was completed. When the need for a spooky barn came up, Heartland's locations and production design departments remembered the old abandoned set. Without too much fixing up (as you can no doubt tell!) it became the Hanley Barn set.
This brings us to the great character actor who played Mr. Levon Hanley - Julian Richings.
No stranger to creepy films, Mr. Richings has appeared in such films as "Saw IV," "Shoot 'Em Up," "The Salem Witch Trials," "Urban Legend," "Wrong Turn" and "Skinwalkers."
Mark Haroun had Richings in mind when he created the role of Hanley. Julian has a distinct look and he is such an amazing actor it was natural, Mark said, to write a role based on his abilities.
And another bit of trivia for you - those who have seen the episode will remember Caleb going "Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" That's taken from a creepy moment seen in Stanley Kubrick's horror classic,"The Shining." Take my advice: don't watch it alone.
So if you haven't seen "The Haunting of Hanley Barn," be sure to watch it, either on Sunday night or online. And if you have seen it, it'll be fun to see it again!
Have a fun, safe Sunday - either celebrating Halloween or watching Heartland, and remember - next week the CBC will have a brand new episode for you to enjoy.
I'll leave you with the story of a girl who deliberately caught a cold a few days before Halloween so she would have a raspy voice and could hardly speak. A friend asked her what costume she was going to wear when she went trick or treating and she, of course, said, "I don't need one - I'm a little hoarse!"
Get it? Hoarse? Horse? HILARIOUS!!! Sometimes I crack myself up.
Ahem, okay... Until next week...