Shooting a bank heist on ‘The Listener’ just as intense off-screen as on
Even though Toby swore off his telepathic powers on the last season of “The Listener” to preserve his health, on the Season 3 premiere his mind-reading skills are the only thing that will save his life and the lives of others.
“He has secretly, behind Oz and the rest of his friends’ backs, and against their best advice, been trying to hone and practice this ability,” Craig Olejnik, who plays Toby, tells CTV.ca.
When the episode begins, on a break between paramedic calls, Oz (Ennis Esmer) goes to get a hot dog from a local vendor, while Toby goes into the bank to get some money and finds himself in the middle of a robbery.
A dramatic hostage situation ensues where Toby has to risk his own life in order to save the other hostages.
But Olejnik says things didn’t just get intense on-screen.
“It was amped up … There was one scene where the bank robber (played by Ian Tracey) is kicking me around a bit ... I was on my knees and he (accidentally) stomped on my leg and it really hurt,” he says.
Esmer says he had just as many reasons to be upset.
“I had the same sort of reaction when the hot dog guy didn’t have corn relish … I was so pissed,” he jokes.
By the time Oz comes back from getting his snack, things have reached a whole new level.
“Suddenly his partner and best friend is stuck in a hostage taking and he’s forced with no other recourse to contact Michelle McCluskey in IIB and get them down there,” says Esmer.
Joining Sgt. McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith) is Cpl. Dev Clark (Rainbow Sun Francks) and their boss Alvin Klein (Peter Stebbings), who doesn’t know Toby is a telepath.
“(Alvin Klein) played more of a peripheral role in the second season but he definitely takes charge, demands answers, demands to know why Toby is so important, certain things he obviously doesn’t know that Michelle and Dev know,” says Esmer.
And things just continue to intensify from there.
“At one point a security guard is shot and Oz is sent in so he and Toby have a moment to try and communicate. It’s actually a pretty great way to use telepathy. He’s forced to figure out how to use the hostage takers to play them off each other and he does so kind of brilliantly,” says Esmer.
Shot on location in Hamilton, Ont., the episode, which also features guest stars Kristin Lehman and Rossif Sutherland, is just a taste of what’s to come for an intense season on “The Listener,” says Olejnik.
“(The whole season is) high octane.”
“The Listener” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV. Full episodes are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!