Al­li­son Tol­man charts new path on Emer­gence.

Al­li­son Tol­man charts eerie new path on Emer­gence

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - Mark DANIELL

Al­li­son Tol­man didn’t have to think twice be­fore agree­ing to star in ABC’S new sci-fi drama Emer­gence.

“I got the script and it was re­ally strong,” Tol­man says. “But what I re­ally like is this genre. I like slightly spooky sci-fi TV shows with a bit of mys­tery. So the cherry on top of get­ting this pitch was it’s the type of show I’d want to watch any­way.”

Tol­man, who was nom­i­nated for an Emmy for her por­trayal of Molly Solver­son on the first sea­son of FX’S Fargo, stars in the new se­ries as Jo Evans, a sher­iff liv­ing with her ex-fire­fighter fa­ther (Clancy

Brown) and her teenage daugh­ter (Ash­ley Aufder­heide), while try­ing to nav­i­gate post-di­vorce life with her ex (Don­ald Fai­son).

Evans’ life is thrown into tur­moil af­ter a plane crashes on a beach near her home and she finds a lone sur­vivor (Alexa Swin­ton) who can’t re­mem­ber her name. In short or­der, elec­tri­cal dis­tur­bances start to hap­pen in the town, and while phony gov­ern­ment agents try to ap­pre­hend the girl, Evans finds her­self drawn into a larger con­spir­acy.

Soon af­ter her fam­ily — and her ex — have to band to­gether to shield the mys­te­ri­ous crash sur­vivor, whom Evans nick­names Piper, from a dan­ger­ous group try­ing to keep her silent.

In Toronto to pro­mote Emer­gence along­side Tol­man, Fai­son says he too finds that the se­ries per­fectly suits his taste.

“I got into act­ing be­cause of a sci-fi fan­tasy movie and this is some­thing I’ve wanted to do for the long­est time,” the for­mer Scrubs star says. “I’ve been do­ing com­edy for a long time, but I fell into that. Com­edy wasn’t my first choice.”

With Emer­gence re­turn­ing for its third episode tonight on ABC and CTV, Tol­man spoke about this sea­son’s must-see TV thriller.

Emer­gence isn’t a sim­ple show. It hints at a lot of deeper con­spir­a­cies and there’s a huge ros­ter of sec­ondary char­ac­ters. How far down the rab­bit hole is this show go­ing to go?

It gets pretty deep. The twist that I thought was go­ing to be the end-of-sea­son twist comes a lot ear­lier. So it goes deep into the con­spir­a­cies and this world that is far be­yond what we see in the pi­lot.

To me, there’s a Lost kind of a vibe to Emer­gence. How was this pitched to you?

When I had my first meet­ing with our head writ­ers, they asked me: ‘How much do you want to know about where this is go­ing?’ And it was ba­si­cally every­thing. So they walked me through where we’re headed for all of Sea­son 1 and then 2 and 3, ac­tu­ally. That’s how deep it’s go­ing to go. I don’t know how we’re go­ing to get there. I guess I’ll find out. I was hooked with that. It’s the idea of do­ing this show that ev­ery­one is wait­ing with baited breath to watch on Tues­days that it’s such an ex­cit­ing thing. We hope that it catches on and be­comes some­thing that ev­ery­one is talk­ing about. It’s fun to be a part of some­thing where every week it’s an­other cliffhange­r and an­other mys­tery of what’s go­ing to hap­pen next.

Al­right, you’re on Tues­days. Make your date-night pitch to a cou­ple home from work, ex­hausted and look­ing to es­cape. Why choose Emer­gence?

It’s the per­fect date night show be­cause even though it’s sci-fi, it’s about fam­ily, so there’s a sweet­ness. It’s not straight sci-fi. I know it sounds cheesy, but there’s some­thing for every­body. And be­cause it’s about a fam­ily, it’s a cozy-un­der-the­blan­ket kind of show.

You men­tioned there’s an un­ex­pected plot turn mid­way through the sea­son. I’m won­der­ing how many twists can peo­ple ex­pect to un­fold over the course of Sea­son 1 of Emer­gence?

I think every episode ends leav­ing you want­ing more. There are big shifts where every­thing is re-framed in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent light. But I do think every episode ends with a lit­tle bit of a twist.

It’s not straight sci-fi. I know it sounds cheesy, but there’s some­thing for every­body. And be­cause it’s about a fam­ily, it’s a cozyun­der-the-blan­ket kind of show. Al­li­son Tol­man on what makes Emer­gence a per­fect date-night show.

Al­li­son Tol­man stars as a po­lice chief who takes in a young child (Alexa Swin­ton, in­set) she finds near the site of a mys­te­ri­ous ac­ci­dent in the sci-fi thriller, Emer­gence.

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