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Marina Antunes [Cathode Ray Mission 02.06.17] Canada mystery

If the latest batch of winter TV releases is any indication, Canadian TV producers seem to be moving towards the British approach to TV production: shorter seasons, further spread apart. This certainly has its downside but there are so many advantages to this style of production that it's a bit surprising it hasn't become the norm for Canadian television sooner.

This season has seen the release of two of these miniseries which I assume are only the beginning for both of these shows if they're well received. One is Tara Armstrong's "Mary Kills People," a six-part drama starring Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Mary Harris, an ER doctor who moonlights as an angle of death, helping terminally ill patients end their lives.

The second, and my favorite of the two, is "Cardinal." Based on Giles Blunt's series of mystery novels, the show stars Billy Campbell ("Helix," "The Killing") as John Cardinal, a hardened police detective working in the Algonquin Bay Police Department, a remote town north of Toronto. With his newly assigned partner Lisa Delorme (Karine Vanasse), the pair is working to solve the murder of a young woman who may be the victim of a serial killer.

"Cardinal" is reminiscent of "The Killing" in both tone and style. The winter setting allows for some beautiful scenery and French-Canadian director Daniel Grou (7 Days, 10 ½) captures the starkness and isolation perfectly. Mix in great performances, a fascinating mystery and some great writing from "Orphan Black" co-producer Aubrey Nealon (who also created the show) and you've got yourself must-see TV.

Toted as a mini-series, "Cardinal" is based on the first book in Blunt's series which bodes well for future installments if the first is well received. With two of the six episodes already aired, I'm already wondering when a second season will be announced.

"Cardinal" is currently airing on CTV in Canada. No news yet on if and when it will be available outside Canada.

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