Even the cool air of the Arctic can go stale, but Pascale Hutton vows that won't happen on Arctic Air.
“I've really admired how, at the end of every season, our writing team has a great, collective discussion about the season prior,” said Hutton, whose character Krista Ivarson is back for the third season of Arctic Air, starting Tuesday, Jan. 7 on CBC. “They go over what worked and what didn't work. And they ask, 'How do we evolve?'
“Season one, I think, we definitely still were trying to find our legs. What is this show? And I think in season two we went really hardcore into the action and adventure component. Then the writers were like, 'Okay, maybe we went a little too far in that, so let's try to swing the pendulum.'
“So now for the new season there's still the action and adventure, but it's more character-driven. The action and adventure comes out of a character's personal journey, and it pushes that personal journey further, rather than it just being 'adventure of the week.' I give complete credit to our writers for that. They haven't let it become stagnant.”
Seasons should feel different, right? That actually is a pet peeve of mine. There's nothing worse than watching an episode of a long-running show and not being able to tell if it's from, say, season three or season eight.
“It gets mundane if you keep serving up the same thing,” Hutton agreed. “I think I saw that with The Good Wife (which currently is in its fifth season). I'm a big fan of that show. But I felt that in season three they had fallen into this slump of serving it up, the same thing over and over again.
“But then midway through season four, they kind of regenerated themselves. That's important. The same with Mad Men. Each season feels completely different.”
As the third season of Arctic Air begins, Hutton's Krista returns to the Canadian North after three months travelling in Southeast Asia. Krista has been affected profoundly by the experience, and she is determined to make fundamental changes in her life. Her decisions will have important consequences for those around her, including her former lover Bobby Martin, played by Adam Beach.
“I really feel like we're still just scratching the surface with our show,” Hutton said. “And for me personally, there's still so much to discover about my character in particular. There's still so much there.
“Simply setting the show in the North becomes less novel, right? The big question is whether you've set it up so that element defines your show or informs your show. I feel that with our show they've really utilized the North, and the environment in the North, to inform interesting story lines, but not be a storyline in and of itself, as an end. I don't think we've ever aimed to do that.
“The North is just so extreme, there are lots of stories that can spring up.”
I guess that's what we'd call Arctic Air-ing it out.