Toby gets in ‘way over his head’ on Season 3 premiere of ‘The Listener,’ says Craig Olejnik
When we last saw paramedic Toby Logan on “The Listener,” he was forced to swear off using his telepathic powers, or face the deadly consequences.
Season 2’s explosive finale had the paramedic experiencing extreme headaches as he pushed his brain to the limit trying to help the Integrated Investigative Bureau (IIB) solve extremely difficult cases.
When Toby’s ex-girlfriend and medical consultant, Dr. Olivia Fawcett, or Liv, (Mylène Dinh-Robic), told him continuing to use his telepathy would eventually kill him, he reluctantly decided to pull back.
But in the Season 3 premiere, airing Wednesday May 30 at 10 pm ET/PT on CTV, Toby must use his powers to save himself and others who have been taken hostage in a bank heist.
“Out the gate, he’s not involved with the IIB, he’s doing his thing but (his powers) come back to him and whether he likes it or not he’s got to use it and he’s involved,” says Craig Olejnik, the actor who plays Toby.
“He gets in way over his head in episode one.”
And it looks like Toby isn’t going to ease up on using his telepathy anytime soon as he decides to join the IIB full-time as part of an elite special ops unit, alongside Sgt. Michelle McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith) and Dev Clark (Rainbow Sun Francks).
“It’s like being able to fly,” explains Olejnik. “Would you stop flying if someone said you shouldn’t be flying?”
Toby isn’t the only one who has to adjust to the pace of being an IIB member – Olejnik has as well.
“It’s a lot more physical. Our stunt man was around a lot more and I have a lot more bruises and bumps. I’ve been hit and punched and kicked accidentally already. It’s already full on,” he says.
But not everyone is happy Toby is putting the needs of others ahead of his own by joining the IIB, in particular Liv.
“He’s absolutely being a stubborn guy,” says Dinh-Robic. “But I love him just the way he is. I’m just trying to protect him because obviously he doesn’t have any perspective on his own health.”
Also concerned about Toby is his EMS partner and friend, Oz (Ennis Esmer). But even though the two won’t be spending as much time together on the job, the two friends will still get to see plenty of each other.
“My place gets flooded and in a series of sort of epiphany moments Oz starts realizing he wants to be more of a grownup and live less like a child so Toby actually helps him find a place and he ends up living across the hall from him . . . a lot of our (scenes) now are in his apartment, as opposed to being in the ambulance.”
“I’m basically like Kramer now,” adds Esmer with a laugh, in reference to Jerry’s ever-present, eccentric neighbour on “Seinfeld.”
Also coming up for Season 3 are a “Flashpoint” crossover with the SRU’s ‘Spike’ Scarlatti (Sergio Di Zio), guest stars who include Fefe Dobson and Canadian rapper Wes Williams, and the death of a major character.
With this shocking revelation and everything being shaken up in Toby’s world this season, Olejnik is excited about diving in.
“It’s so nice to be able to come back into Season 3. It feels like old hat now in a good way. We’re always still discovering what’s happening next but it allows us to mature the relationships and really open them up.”
“The Listener” has also been picked up for distribution in the U.S. (ION Television has acquired the first two seasons for broadcast with the option for future seasons) and the show has gained a solid fan base here in Canada.
“Four years ago, I did the pilot and would’ve never imagined we’d end up where we are now. It’s this little engine that could . . . the audience is connecting with something and I think the show now will have the biggest audience it has ever had,” says Olejnik.
“I’m more excited about this season than any of the others, mainly because of the momentum.”
Season 3 of “The Listener” will premiere Wednesday May 30 at 10 pm ET/PT on CTV. Can’t wait for your “Listener” fix? Catch up with full episodes of Seasons 1 and 2 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!