Published February 17, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome
I have been mildly chastised for my lack of Canadian content in this feature. Fortunately I found the about-to-launch Canadian drama series Endgame filming its season finale last week outside the Westin Bayshore Hotel and caught a rare glimpse of Newfoundland native Shawn Doyle as the brilliant chess-master-turned-detective Arkady Balagan.
How rare? Well, Balagan is a bare-footed, Howard-Hughes-esque wreck who spends virtually the entire season holed up in his luxury Vancouver hotel wearing his bathrobe after the traumatic murder of his fiancé. He uses a rag tag group of hotel staffers and chess fans to help him solve crimes. One surely memorable who-done-it? episode features a rock star and his pet polar bear (Endgame cast an actual polar bear for the scenes, one-upping Lost’s fake one).
I can’t say anything about how or why Balagan ends up outside the hotel in the season finale except to say I noticed Shawn Doyle’s lack of footwear in this exterior scene (brrrr) and his shock of rusty blonde hair. Two days before arriving in Vancouver late last summer, the brown-haired actor reportedly decided to dye his hair for the role, rendering him unrecognizable to me as the same actor from the Canadian newsmagazine drama The Eleventh Hour and from extended parts on American shows like 24, Desperate Housewives and Big Love. Doyle also adopted a Russian accent of sorts for the brainiac sleuth.
Endgame began filming its 13-episode season late last summer and although some spotted EG production signs around town it didn’t have a big profile except among Bayshore hotel guests, who sometimes caught sight of the strangely-garbed Doyle with a film crew following. It’s not the first time an eccentric, unkempt genius has made the Bayshore his home. American millionaire Howard Hughes’s extended stay in 1972 is part of Vancouver lore, but producers didn’t make the connection when they chose the Bayshore as Balagan’s fictional Huxley Hotel.
I arrived in time last week to see Endgame filming a near-miss hit-and-run of Pippa Ventura, Read More »BIG READ: Bayshore Hotel Plays Host to ENDGAME’s Recluse Sleuth