York Memorial’s finest are back in action.
Transplant season three kicks off with a bang, and we’ve got an exclusive first look for you. Joseph Kay, the showrunner of the hit Canadian Drama series, spoke with us about the fallout of season two, and what we can expect for season three. Read below:
Q: Season two ended with quite a roller coaster ride, from Bishop and Wendy’s departures to Novak sticking around; we’ve got a relationship starting and Theo’s life hanging in the balance. So what can you tell us about all these shake-ups at the end of season two and what can you tease about season three?
JK: Yeah. We have all those you listed and lean into them as of season three. We’re not the kind of show where something happens and then we forget it ever happened. So in terms of the big things that bring us into season three, I would say, you know, is bringing a new character, a new chief into the hospital who comes with new and different energy and destabilizes things for Bash and everybody else on the show. And that’s Dr. Devi played by Rekha Sharma.
And then, of course, the helicopter crash was a very big, kind of seismic event for Theo’s character and he survived. But we take our deliberate time standing how that affected him over the course of season three and trying to provide another window on this trauma, which is a story that we tell a lot on the show.
And then the Bash and Mags of it all is probably the maybe in a way, the most all-encompassing one, because we end season two with those sort of cliffhanger between the two of them where he goes to her place and then and I would say that in season three. Yeah, we don’t shy away from it and eventually make it known that they’re together. And we like, see them live as a couple and see what they’d actually be like when you get beyond the furtive chemistry they had in the first two seasons.
Q: So, touching on Bash’s current struggle. The writers certainly have not shied away from the fact that he has PTSD, and there’s been kind of this narrative that Bash has had where he’s embodied this charade of “I’m fine and it’s in the past.” But it’s, it’s not and we’ve clearly seen that. How are you looping that into season three and really touching base on his growth and recovery?
JK: Yeah, it’s like it’s a slow and constant process of trying to engage one way. It was characterized for us by one of the doctors that we talked to that the trauma is there on his periphery and that he can see it, but if he turns to look at it, it goes over there, you know, but you have to sort of find a way to bring it forward.
So that’s what we’re trying to do with him slowly over time, you know like it starts with memories that fight off and then eventually becomes memories that he can handle. He almost goes looking for it which isn’t where we are when season three starts. And it’s why, You know, in season two, by the end of season two. Like so many people, he’s firing his psychiatrists because he finds it all too hard and painful.
It’s a kind of a false start trying to deal with it. But one thing we do in season three is the memories we trigger in him before the war, you know, back home. And a time when a major change hadn’t disrupted him and he had a sort of future mapped out before him, that was pretty rose-coloured in a way.
So, we start to tell that story, very deliberately in season three to have him look at a different side of his past and it brings him to a place eventually where he’s ready to try, therapy again but when he comes back to it, he’s come back to it. You know, from a different place from a more open place. And that remains a story that we tell slowly and deliberately over the life of the show.
Q: Very true! And so, we’ve got “the core four” as I like to call them. They’ve been this team, as you’ve seen them in the doctor’s lounge, at the end of the shift and they’re talking and hashing out everything from the day. They’re very strong-willed and together. The trend I’m seeing is that much of each person’s past is coming to the forefront. How is that going to affect their bond? Will it be stronger, will it be stronger amongst a few, or is it going to follow apart?
JK: First of all, I think that’s put so well, what you said that the past comes up and that’s really what the show is about. For all of the characters is how the past comes up and how you make sense of the past. And so that’s what’s going on with all of them and I think we’re lucky that the “core four”, as you say have great chemistry. You feel their relationship whether you’re seeing it or not.
We try not to repeat ourselves in terms of you know, like, sort of like building out false conflicts and things like that. So we try not to go in the same cycles but in terms of exploring the dynamics, I think that this season and season three people wind up on, for example, Theo, almost on a solo journey.
He’s not super connected to his friends right now because of what he’s going through and they can see him going through it, and there are touch points and arguments, but he’s a bit out there. I would say over the life of the show, one of the things that we are really proud of and excited by is the way that June and Mags become friends because if people remember the pilot, they were competitive and didn’t really know each other.
But they were so different as people and they slowly became, as the life of the show carried on, closer and closer and that’s something that’s happening a little bit in season three. And of course, the Bash and Mags of it all. So yeah, I mean their lives are their lives, and kind of spread out and bouncing off each other in different ways than they were in season two.
Q: That’s great. And so just when you’re thinking about, you know, all of these characters who come from all of these different backgrounds, it’s really interesting because diversity is a key player in this show. So what is it like consulting and building these stories that are so authentic and true and finding a way to bridge these different characters? Bridging them in a way that they flow with each other and from each other. How does that process work when it comes to like story mapping and, you know, working that in a season?
JK: I mean, we’re very, I mean, obviously we have a whole range of contributors who are generous and gracious and excited, and open to bringing their own stories to us, and then being given the space and taking the time to do our best to tell them honestly.
So we invest in that process from the writing with a team, we take our time with it and then we try to like to ask all the right questions and constantly challenge ourselves and then put the material up to be challenged. I think it’s just like listening and talking and taking the space to do it and then that’s the guiding principle. And I mean, having contributors, writers, thinkers, consultants, at every stage who are there to challenge us, to ask us to point out when we’re not quite doing it right?
Or asking the right questions and to engage in a conversation where two people with the same lived experience, have different views of it because that happens all the time. Then try to feel our way through it as honestly as possible. So it’s a big thoughtful group effort where we’re diversifying because that does define the show, as you say, we’re just constantly doing our best to get it right.
Q: Thank you so much for answering all of these questions and taking the time to chat with us today. I really appreciate it. To kind of like wrap up, and I know it’s a bit of a difficult question, but what is one word you would use to describe season three?
JK: I would say it’s- I mean this might sound a little cheesy but it is a season of change. Definitely.
Need a refresher before the premiere? Check out our season two finale review, which discusses where we leave our characters and relationships ahead of season three.
Check out an exclusive sneak peek of Transplant season three, below: