Stitchers Gets Third Season

Emma Ishta

After a very long wait, Freeform has given the greenlight for fan favorite procedural drama series, Stitchers. This means the show will have a third season and executive VP of Programming and Development Karey Burke made the announcement on October 6.

This makes it official and all the fans who complained about the amount of time it took Freeform to renew their favorite series can now smile.

Stitchers has a very vocal and passionate fanbase, Burke said. She also revealed that the show has been proven hit.  The series has performed strongly and Burke revealed that the network was very proud of the Stitchers focussing on #smartgirls “everywhere.”

In the Adults 18 – 49 demographic, Stitchers comes in as the firm number two new series of the past two seasons. The show came in closely behind Shadowhunters.

Only Pretty Little Liars and Shadowhunters came ahead of Stitchers making the sci-fi, drama show the number three original series across digital platforms.

The lead character, Kirsten Clark is uber smart and intelligent. Add to that  a stubborn resistance to giving up and you have one formidable young lady hacking into the memories of the recently murdered victims.  The Stitchers program is part of the NSA and thus far the team have no real idea what the hacking technology is really going to be used for.

Neuroscientist Cameron, a brilliant and dedicated teammate who has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture works along side Kirsten. They also have a “connection” that tantalizes fans enormously. Camille, an expert computer graduate and hacker extraordinaire  works with Clark and she is romantically entangled with…

Linus who is  another pop culture aficionado and the team engineer and comms expert.  Maggie runs the show and she also looks out for the younger members of her team.  Detective Fisher is a new yet important part of the team.

The season two finale saw another cliffhanger and fans are desperate to learn more about “Camsten” and the mystery behind Kirsten’s father and what really happened to her mother.

Stitchers is executive produced by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, who is also the show’s creator. Jeff is also well know for Overruled.  Jonathan Baruch and Rob Woken also executive produce the series.

Freeform have not explained why they took so long to renew the series. Fans, who were impatient to learn their favorite show’s fate,  created petitions for a third season. Social media platforms were used to query  why there was no immediate renewal of the show.

Regardless of the reasons, Stitchers is now going to return and fans will hopefully learn more about the characters and where they are headed next.

There is still so much for Kirsten to learn about her father and what his true intentions are/were. Many questions still need to be answered and more layers peeled back to reveal secrets that have been hidden throughout the first two seasons.

Many fans want to see Cameron and Kirsten get together as a couple and it will be investing to see what Jeff and the writers come up with this season.

Congratulations to all the cast and crew for finally getting the greenlight for season three. Suffice to say, we cannot wait.

The Cast:

 

 

 

Stitchers: Season Three Still Not Confirmed by Freeform

Stitchers Logo

Stitchers started two seasons ago on ABC Family. The network,  in an effort to sound more hip and relevant to the younger demographic it  wanted to appeal to, changed its name to Freeform.  Regardless of the name change Stitchers has stayed the same. An entertaining procedural crime show set in a high tech world of science fiction.  As fans wait anxiously, Freeform has yet to confirm a third season for this excellent show.

The reason for Freeform dragging their feet on a decision could be blamed on live viewership dropping  in the second season. This could have been down to the fact that the network changed the slot for the show. Marketing also shifted. A lead-in show finished and it seems that Freeform was, and still is, more interested in its summer replacements.

(For the record these are the London based “Amanda Knox” style murder mystery Guilt starring Daisy Head, Emily Tremaine and Billy Zane – Anthony Head, Daisy’s dad,  also has a role in the show. The second  is Freeform’s answer to MTVs Scream; “Dead of Summer.”)

Thus far neither show has performed overly well in live views. In the opinion of this reviewer “Guilt” never will garner a huge audience for a number of reasons and unless the body count and humor increases in the Friday the 13th homage, neither will “Dead of  Summer.”

Regardless of whether the network is hedging its bets with the two new shows or not, fans of Stitchers have busily started petitions to get the show brought back for a third season.  There are two petitions online right now.

The first was started by Alyssa Lemke on Petitionbuss.com (click on this link and sign the petition if you have not already) and the second is on Change.org. The latter petition was started by Stitchers fan Tyler Parker. (Head over and sign this one if you have not already.)  Both fans have managed, between the two of them, to garner over 9,500 signatures.

Why do the shows fans care so much?

It could be down to the personal chemistry of the show’s stars: Emma Ishta (Kirsten), Kyle Harris (Cameron) ,Ritesh Rajan (Linus), Allison Scagliotti (Camille) ,Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Maggie) or Damon Dayoub (Quincy Fisher).  

It could also be down to the ongoing storyline of Kirsten Clark…Or the brilliant writing, or the characters or the  pop culture references that make the show so much fun.

Having interviewed the show’s creator and executive producer Jeff Schechter on more than one occasion as well as the cast, on-set it is easy to say that Mike’s Film Talk can be counted as a huge fan of the show. (After finishing this article we will be heading over to sign the petition as well.)

In our humble opinion the show’s fans love much more than the romantic possibilities of “Camsten.”  Stitchers has so much more to offer. Strong female characters and men who appreciate them for starters.  A running mystery that begs to be solved and of course the question of the real reason  behind developing the “Stitch” program.

The show tells of Kirsten Clarks ability to be “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased. The lab and the program are part of the NSA and no one has revealed just what the agency really means to use this technology for.

It is inconceivable that Freeform have not yet given a third season the greenlight. Surely the + 7 figures have come in by now and shown that the live views are inconsequential.  The way the world watches television has changed.  DVR, VoD, Hulu, and Internet streaming are all avenues that viewers can use to watch their favorite programs.

Other networks have realized the fallacy of this old fashioned ratings system.  Freeform should step out smartly and do the same.  Bring back Stitchers for another season. So many things need answers and the fans are crying out for the show’s return.

So come on Freeform, it is time to get off the metaphorical pot and make your move.

We were going to post a survey on this article about what you, the fans, want to have happen if the show comes back. Instead we urge everyone who loves the show to head over to either  (or both) the petitions and leave a signature. Let Freeform know how you feel. So many of you already have but more can never hurt.

Follow those links and sign. Help to bring “Camsten” and Stitchers back.

Stitchers: Hack Me If You Can – A Hacking Ninja (Recap/Review)

Kirsten and the team are still adjusting to her new-found emotions in Stitchers: Hack Me If You Can. Camille makes a move to learn self-defense, Fisher is back on form and Cameron is undergoing a second childhood/midlife crisis thing since his return from the dead. The team get their first “proper” stitch since Goodkin’s death defying stunt.

SALLI RICHARDSON-WHITFIELD, KYLE HARRIS, EMMA ISHTA, ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI, RITESH RAJAN

Kirsten and the team are still adjusting to her new-found emotions in Stitchers: Hack Me If You Can. Camille makes a move to learn self-defense, Fisher is back on form and Cameron is undergoing a second childhood/midlife crisis thing since his return from the dead.  The team get their first “proper” stitch since Goodkin’s death defying stunt.

A man, who was blackmailing a “cheating website” is murdered by someone hacking into his  insulin pump  causing him to pass out in front of a moving  car.

Linus has moved out of his parent’s house and into his own “high tech” place. Cameron wants a Harley and Kirsten is mulling over what Stinger (her father) meant about moving the asset.  Cameron urges her to give it a rest  and  the two go through a bit of calling each other by  “love” names for the saleslady at the motorcycle shop.

Getting a call from the lab, Cameron asks the sales clerk to put the bike on hold. Back at the NSA facility  the team, sans Camille and Fisher, learn about the death and Les Turner’s boss who wants to meet  with Maggie.

Linus and Cameron have their bro-thing going again as evidenced with their little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” gag.  The team want to meet the new big boss, Mitchell Blair (John Billingsley),  but Maggie says no.  

Fisher offers teach Camille how to take care of herself although he questions why. She points out that he was shot and Turner is dead. Camille then goes out to hack their first suspect in the insulin murder and she is surprisingly effective in the field.

Blair turns up and Maggie pulls a gun on him and Turner’s boss congratulates her on being promoted into the vacancy left by Les’ death. She asks Mitchell about Stinger killing Turner and Blair evades the question.

The team work out that the murdered man’s insulin pump was hacked by an expert via cellular connection.   As the investigation continues, it boils down to Kirsten versus the killer;  a woman in the dead man’s life.

Ellie (Cassidy Freeman) is the murdered man’s ex-wife who takes the whole team on. She depletes Cameron’s bank accounts and credit cards, sends the police to Kirsten’s to arrest her for prostitution and almost kills Linus in his new app controlled apartment. 

Kirsten calls Ellie a hacking ninja and she  enters  into the dead man’s memories again and learns that he cheated on his wife, who reacted badly.

This episode, which had  an impressive  number of comic/amusing moments features a villain whose life was ruined by her husband’s infidelity. Ellie has an accident which leaves her partially paralyzed and alone.

At the end of the episode Kirsten asks Ellie how to find her father and, just like the earlier Star Trek reference Ellie makes, both women have  indeed developed a grudging respect for one another.

Pop Culture references:

Cameron calls Kirsten “easy rider” after the Harley scene and before the first stitch, referencing the cult film of the same name.

He also  references the  I Love Lucy show, and Desi Arnaz  with his “Lucy’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

Ellie references the old Star Trek episode Balance of Terror (1966), where Kirk and a Romulan commander battle each other and develop a grudging respect for one another at the end of the episode,   to Kirsten who states that she has no idea what the woman is on about. Cameron, listening in on the conversation nods his head and says, “I do.”

Cameron outside the elevator tells Camille to “Release the Kraken.” which is from Clash of the Titans (1981) and Norse mythology.

Comic moments:

Cameron tackles Linus in his new apartment (Ellie has turned on the gas so the whole place would explode when he accessed his app tablet) and he asks Linus:

Cameron: “Do you smell gas?”

Linus: “Well you startled me.”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Linus and Cameron’s reaction to Kirsten’s “ideas in the shower” question and Camille’s reaction to them.

The Harley buying scene.

The whole NSA secret facility gag along with the windowless van reference…Twice.

Honorable Mentions:

Linus’ parents and the apartment tour.

Camille brushing Linus aside, muttering “get out of the way” as she goes to hug his mother.

Camille, again, hacking the owner of the cheating website via his phone.

Linus having to explain that he owns stock in the cheating  website.

Final thoughts:

The writing on this episode was tight and offered a “baddie” with depth and a sadness that was touching. Stitchers this season is slowly allowing us the chance to get used to Kirsten’s new emotions and the “new” Cameron.

All the humor from season one is there and, as mentioned in interviews with the cast and show creator Jeff Schechter, a darker feel is also there. Camille wanting to learn self-defense after the violence and death of season one is a perfect example of that.

Clearly there is no love lost between Maggie (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and Blair.  Also, while Maggie is in charge officially over the whole Stitchers program, Kirsten still  pushes hard against authority when she feels it necessary. 

Thus far season two is offering the same sort of top notch performances from the first season and the writing is tighter than ever. We have the cases themselves to focus upon but there is also the whole “Stinger” issue and an interesting new “big bad” in the organization, aka Mitchell Blair.

Stitchers airs Tuesdays on Freeform.

Stitchers Interviews: Emma Ishta, Allison Scagliotti, Salli Richardson-Whitfield

This is the first of the Stitchers Interviews. As in all things chivalrous it will be ladies first, blame my mother, followed by the fellas and then capped off with the creator/executive producer.

SALLI RICHARDSON-WHITFIELD
This is the first of the Stitchers Interviews. As in all things chivalrous it will be ladies first, blame my mother, followed by the fellas and then capped off with the creator/executive producer.  Certainly the world is, overall, consumed with all things Oscars at the moment. Leonardo finally getting  a little golden guy, Mad Max taking six for the Aussie contingent and Brie Larson winning, quite deservedly, for her film, Room.

Still, Stitchers fans must be curious as to what transpired “on the day” so here is the first of three. These busy people took time from shooting the second season finale (Do not ask;  I saw very little and can only tell you that John Billingsley is awesome in terms of energy, focus and professionalism, as are the rest of the cast.) to speak with Mike’s Film Talk and they were all informative and fun.

The very nature of the beast had the regulars, and Billingsley, shooting the same scene repeatedly, for angle changes, reactions shots, et al. All the while each performer, and the dedicated crew, took breaks from the action and either, like Allison texted someone and watched the set mechanics from the viewing room, or spoke with Mike’s Film Talk, aka, moi, or disappeared to one of the nooks and crannies to either rehearse or shoot the breeze.

In the all purpose conference room, where the interviews took place, the order of actors actually had Kyle Harris as first in the queue.  However, since it is ladies first, Salli Richardson-Whitfield followed on the heels of Harris so she gets to go first.

MFT: “Hello I’m Michael Knox-Smith, nice to meet you.”

Salli: “Hi, nice to meet you!”

MFT: “I’ll start by telling you what I’ve told all the other cast members I’ve met so far, you look exactly the same off screen as on.

Salli: “Why thank you, although a lot of times people are disappointed. Plus you didn’t see what we looked like when we got here, before hair and  makeup!”

MFT:  “Just to let you know, I’ve been a fan since episode two and I have to tell you; I distrusted your character through the entire first season!”

Salli: (laughing) “Good then.  Good.”

MFT: “Before we carry on. Did I see your husband out there?”

Salli: Just now? Oh no, he’s not here now, but…my husband does guest-star this season on one of the episodes. I’m not sure I can say what he does, but he will be on the show. We try to appear on one another’s shows where and when we can. (For the record, Salli’s husband is Dondré Whitfield who will be playing a character called Sam Lewis in season two.)

MFT: Most of the season you could be seen as a bit of a baddy in the group but then, things began to change. Your character has access to a lot of secrets so  I’ll ask pointblank, is Kristen’s mother still alive?

Salli: “We think she may be.” 

MFT: “Okay…Obviously, your character was very  connected  with not only Kirsten’s father,  stepfather and her mother. Rather than being the “bad guy” of the piece your character is  more of a protector. Is that right?

Salli: I think that’s who Maggie is. I think that what you saw in the first, and more in the second season, is that things are never cut and dried, good or bad. Like getting a new president sometimes things are dirty. Sometimes you have to do things that are contrary to what are as a person or how you do your job. So there are times when you mistrust Maggie because of the things that she has to do.  She is an agent, but…Maggie, on the whole has the lab and the kids that she loves and she wants to protect them, while trying to keep her job. 

MFT: “That definitely came across towards the end of the first season.  How much has Maggie changed this season? Is she still on the same track?”

Salli: I believe she is. Although Maggie’s been given  more power this season and I’ve given out more power to them so they can do the things they need to do. So  I think we’re all just growing in the roles we fill in the show. 

MFT: So what do we see this season, more of the “big bad?”

Salli: Let me see, it’s all starting to become a blur. Well, we do learn more secrets this season.  For example we see some people who “should” be right, not be right. There are also some definite twists that we have to figure out.  And it looks so much better. The show looks great; darker, edgier and more interesting as well as more “filmy.” 

MFT: “Brilliant! Leaving Maggie and Stitchers aside for the moment, do you guys, as in the cast, get to “schmooze” around much away from the set?”

Salli: “Not a lot because, you know, I have children. I think they hang out a lot more than I’m able to. I have two under 12s but we all had dinner the other day and had a great time getting to hang out. We all like each other which is great. I’m sure you heard, on the set, when we’re stuck in the “stitch” area, it’s a long day. It’s better if we can get along. 

MFT: “I was amazed at how small it actually is compared to what it looks like on television.”

Salli: “It can make for a long day. I know I never seem to have a lot of dialogue in the stitch thing and  suddenly there is like two pages and it’s like ‘what did she say?’ (laughs) So it gets a little silly and you should have fun.” 

MFT: “Everyone was having a laugh as we came in this morning and that’s always a good sign. I’ve been on sets before where no one was laughing.

Salli: “Yes that is generally a sign that something’s wrong, luckily we all get along.”

MFT: How long did it take you to work out where you needed to be as your character? Did it take awhile, or did you step into Maggie’s shoes pretty much knowing where you wanted to go?

Salli: “I’d like to tell you that it took me a really long time to get there but, I do this kind of role a lot.  For instance, my last series was “Eureka” and that was, pretty much, the same kind of role. Although in that show you knew pretty much where I was coming from, I was a good heart. In “Stitchers”  I’m a bit more stern and you don’t necessarily know where I’m coming from.  But it’s still; agent, spy, head of government scientific kind of thing so it’s a role I fall into pretty easily.

MFT: “Do you like playing roles in this type of genre, Sci-fi/fantasy?”

Salli: Well it seems to like me. I enjoy it although I don’t like the dialogue sometimes. It can be very hard for me so I have to work a little harder. But I do like the genre, I am a sci-fi kinda girl and a Marvel girl, I like those kind of shows. So it works well for me. 

MFT: “It’s the season finale you’re all working on today. I guess the big question is whether or not we learn even more about where your character stands in the verse in terms of good or bad?

Salli: “Oh definitely. I believe that by the time this season ends you’ll have a very clear idea of who I’m working with and my intentions with the kids. This is a good one for surprises, like ‘uh-oh sh*t! What’s happening now?’ I’m really happy with it as it is a very well written season finale. 

At the end of the interview, we talked about the pop culture references. I mentioned that I had congratulated Kyle Harris on who well he delivered these.  I was very impressed at the Buckeroo Banzai reference. (Kyle admitted that he had to look up the vast majority of these in his interview.) Salli explained that many of the “kids’ had to do the same.

Salli: For instance, one set of references were from The Archie Digest and I was “wow that was my cartoon book! Most of the kids know a few but Kyle doesn’t know a lot of the most significant ones, (that you should know as an actor) so we’ve made a list of films that he needs to watch!

After remarking about the attractiveness of the cast, which many critics took umbrage to at the start of season one, Salli graciously allowed me to take a “selfie” with her and thus endeth her portion of the interview, but not before assuring her that her character did not look old enough to be playing “mum” to all those youngsters.

IMG_3822 SALLI RICHARDSON-WHITFIELD
Salli Richardson-Whitfield

‘Stitchers’ Season Two “on Set” Interviews

ABC Freeform approved Stitchers for a second season rather quickly after the season one finale aired. The series will premiere on March 22, 2016 and fans will be eagerly tuning in to see just how the first season’s cliffhanger turns out.

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Freeform approved Stitchers for a second season rather quickly after the season one finale aired. The series will premiere on March 22, 2016 and fans will be eagerly tuning in to see just how the first season’s cliffhanger turns out.

“Stitchers” is a show of many colours. It contains a touch of science fiction combined with mystery, as well as a little fantasy, a dash of action and a bit of romance…All of that diversity in just the genre department alone.

Add to this mix a cast of attractive and damned talented people who deliver great performances every week plus a creator with vision and a penchant for pop culture references and the end result is a show that entertains thoroughly.

It also has fascinating characters that are fleshed out well enough to make the events on-screen seem more plausible.

All of these elements combined to make the first season of Stitchers a hit with viewers and convinced the powers that be at  Freeform (then Family) to bring the show back for a second season.

After writing reviews for each episode throughout the first season, Mike’s Film Talk was approached by the show’s creator Jeff Schechter. Mr. Schechter left an open invitation to visit the set if the series was approved for a second season.

It was.

On January 28, 2016 this writer was allowed the privilege of visiting the main Stitchers set and also interviewed the  cast and the show’s creator Jeff Schechter. On that long day, the cast and crew were filming the second season finale and the actors graciously fit in long moments of time, out of their hectic schedule, to speak with Mike’s Film Talk.

(Throughout the following  articles Mike’s Film Talk will be shown as MFT during the Q&A sessions.)

The interviews will be broken into three different articles: One for the men of the show, one for the women and another for the creator.

All of those interviewed agreed that this season of Stitchers was going to be even better than the first. Two-point-oh (2.0) was the phrase used a lot, with the implication that all the characters have evolved along with the storyline of the verse.

The location of the studios where Stitchers is filmed, except for location shooting, is Santa Clarita Studios (roughly 30 minutes north of Burbank and very near Magic Mountain) which is  scattered over an area that includes “gated” premises and other stages nestled amongst the buildings and industrial estate of Santa Clarita proper.

Entering the main gate, one immediately sees stages off to the right. To the left, and slightly behind the gate is the main complex, its front covered partially with ivy and glass. Immediately in front of the gate are a number of vans, trailers, and a caterer’s area.

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Caterers, the main complex and a left over bit of set dressing  from Vegas

Getting checked off the visitor list and texting the publicist Robin meant having a little time to look around and take in the surroundings. Seconds after texting  Ms. Finn, she  arrived and proper introductions were made. While waiting for her to park up, the first cast member to come wandering by  was Damon Dayoub (Detective Fisher).

MFT: “Hello. I’m going to be talking to you later.”

There was a shaking of hands as he commented on my being from Mike’s Film Talk.

Damon: “Nice to meet you, I’ll see you later.”

The very tall actor then moved past an unmarked trailer and within seconds “Linus,” aka Ritesh Rajan came walking from the same direction as Damon and once again a short conversation took place between cast member and Mike’s Film Talk.

After a very brief introduction, Ritesh revealed that he knew that interviewing would be taking place later and he then asked if I was Michael.

While answering in the affirmative, the publicist came back and Ritesh made his apologies and moved past the same trailer as Damon.  As the itinerary for the day was being laid out, Allison Scagliotti also wandered over from the same area that Dayoub and Rajan had come from earlier. “Camille” was simultaneously texting on her mobile phone and looking over what looked like a script.

She too headed toward the same nondescript trailer outside the soundstage. As a couple more publicists arrived, one transitioning and the other an intern, we all moved into the soundstage and headed back toward the interview area.

A conference room had been set aside, conveniently located right behind the “stitch-room” where Emma Ishta, as Kirsten, is stitched into the memories of the recently deceased by Cameron (Kyle Harris), Linus (Ritesh Rajan) and Camille (Allison Scagliotti) while being overseen by Stitchers head Maggi (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and assisted by various technicians such as Tim from engineering (Cameron Britton).

This is the same set where Cameron “killed himself” to allow Kirsten the chance to stitch  into  his memory in the season one finale…It is also where the series ended on a cliffhanger, as he was not responding to resuscitation attempts.

Amazingly, the entire lab area fits into one sound stage. The tank, where Kirsten is submerged for the stitch and the rest of the set  all fits easily into an area that shares space with a catering niche, the video viewing area (where the director works along with continuity, makeup, and the DP and assistant director and a plethora of other people, including, on this occasion, Ms. Scagliotti when she was not on camera.

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No this is NOT where the set is located, but it is a Santa Clarita soundstage…

As the second season finale was being filmed, it was all hands on deck with rehearsals taking place between shooting and interviews being squeezed in wherever possible. All of this frantic activity took place with the players and facilitators all being extremely pleasant and accommodating.

Sidenote: After working in television over a number of years, this was the first time, in America, that this writer stepped foot on a working soundstage, the last being in 1978, at Fox studios. Almost all work in the business took place on location shoots in England, with the exception of Anglia Studios in Norwich (1994) for ITV’s “The Chief” and a Tonka commercial in Amsterdam.

It also has to be said that the interviews themselves were great fun as each of the performer’s were not only very open about the upcoming season, but they also humored the interviewer by laughing at his abysmal attempts to be amusing.

Actor John Billingsley was working on this day and it was impressive and not a little overwhelming to see this performer’s consistent energy level as take after take (for different camera angles and so on) was filmed.  Sadly, the prolific character actor was not on my list to interview, but watching his performance was awe inspiring.

Each cast member spent a considerable amount of time chatting with Mike’s Film Talk and Jeff Schechter managed squeeze an impressive amount of interview time in the time allowed.   The total amount of time accrued speaking with these marvelous folks necessitates the three article breakdown.

Stitchers is going to hit televisions screens on March 22 and the interviews will be spaced out to allow fans of the Freeform series plenty of time to see what the performers have to say.  Mad props and a massive amount of gratitude goes to the publicist who ensured  that the Stitchers visit went well.