The Prairie Dog Lodge. It's a funny place.
I hope you all liked last week's episode, "Let Prairie Dogs Lie." I always love it when our characters get to stretch their legs a little, and get out of the usual locations. (Hamoudi Living Room, you know I love you. I really do. But after three years together, I think I need to see other rooms.)
This was a great episode for getting out into the world of Mercy and beyond. We got to see the expansive vistas that Saskatchewan has to offer. When Sarah and Rayyan are abandoned by the tow-truck, and must walk down the long, dusty road; these are the scenes that really leap off the screen. Plus, they remind the "money people" why we bother to uproot our entire production team and move it all the way from Ontario to Saskatchewan. "No, I don't think that Etobicoke can double for the bald prairie." (That being said, we actually did film most of the dialogue in those driving scenes in the very non-prairie Toronto suburb of Etobicoke. And then we got a matching car in Saskatchewan three months later and filmed the exteriors! Oh, God of Television Magic, how I worship thee.)
A simple conversation in a car is never as simple as that.
Not only did we get those majestic exteriors, we got some spectacular interiors as well. The Prairie Dog Lodge itself was a magnificent creation. The lodge was such a delightfully rich world unto itself that the crew actually smiled when they saw it. That might not sound like laudatory praise, but film crews are a tough bunch to please. Full kudos go to the production designer Brendan Smith, set decorator Mary Kirkland, and their crack teams.
The lodge's Paul of Fame
We had a set visitor on the day we were filming at the lodge, and it was a delight to see her jaw drop when, after touring her around the set, I revealed that it would be torn down after a single day of actual filming. While it might seem difficult to design, build, and destroy a massively complicated set for just one day, someone had to imagine the damn thing in the first place. And for that I give full credit to the writer of the episode, Miles Smith. Your towering creativity, sir, is a logistical nightmare for the rest of us!
Honorary Prairie Dogs: Rob Sheridan, Brendan Smith & Miles G. Smith