Coroner gets to work in T.O.

Creator Morwyn Brebner and director/producer Adrienne Mitchell discuss how the new Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films drama reflects Toronto today.

Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films will begin production in Toronto this summer on Coroner, a new eight-part series for CBC.

Based on the book series by M.R. Hall, the hour-long drama follows a recently widowed coroner who investigates suspicious deaths in Toronto, while also taking care of her son and dealing with her own clinical anxiety. Serinda Swan (Inhumans) is set to star as coroner Jenny Cooper in the series, which will premiere on CBC in winter 2019.

Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), is creator, exec producer and showrunner. Back Alley’s Adrienne Mitchell (Bellevue) is lead director and exec producer, while Jonas Prupas exec produces for Muse. 

For Brebner, who created supernatural medical show Saving Hope and cop drama Rookie Blue, she said Coroner was a perfect mix. In an interview during CBC’s Upfront presentation in May, Brebner told Playback Daily that after reading the books, which are set in the U.K., she had an “immediate impulse” to adapt it for a local audience and dramatize Canadian cases that are “ripped from the headlines.”

Mitchell added that, in addition to presenting a complex character who is living and functioning with anxiety, as a director she was excited to visually represent the stresses of life in Toronto today.

“We’re developing beyond our means. We find ourselves in situations where people are homeless, it’s very difficult to buy homes, rent homes. We’re getting squeezed out and we’re trying to live that way. So what does that look like?” said Michell.

“What are the preoccupations of our time? What is the anxiety of our time? What is the energy in the city? What is the energy in our minds? We’re trying to reflect that,” added Brebner.