It's been a couple of years since Dominic Da Vinci has appeared weekly on our television screens, and over a year since the follow up TV movie was completed, waiting for an air date. Now, Da Vinci's Inquest and Da Vinci's City Hall fans will finally get a return visit from the coroner-turned-mayor in that movie, The Quality of Life, airing Saturday, June 14 on CBC at 9 p.m.
"The world's moved on since we last saw him," said actor Nicholas Campbell, who played Da Vinci for eight seasons, in a recent TV, eh? Blogtalkradio interview. "Things that are significantly in public discourse, like harm reduction, the plight of the underprivileged, is very much less a topic of conversation in the media. For Da Vinci to get anyone to listen to him, he has to go at things like normal politicians do."
The Quality of Life, written by series creator Chris Haddock plus Alan DiFiore, and directed by John Fawcett (Ginger Snaps), begins with Da Vinci hosting a big city mayors' conference when a woman is murdered after a political gathering and sex party – the first of which Da Vinci himself attended.
An elaborate cover-up is engineered by newspaper conglomerate owner Charles Greenborne (Michael Murphy) and wife Katherine (Mary Walsh), along with professional "fixer" Jean Tellier ("the ubiquitous Hugh Dillon," in Campbell's words). Da Vinci's roles as mayor, witness, former coroner, and the man who might be the next premier of British Columbia complicate his world as he balances his ideals, political aspirations, and desire for justice.
"There's a concentration of media, there's less and less outlets now, so Da Vinci has to make friends with people he otherwise could have ignored, people he wouldn't share the same view of society with," Campbell explained. "Now he has to make friends with them and play ball. Some would say it's a maturing of the character. Others would say he's dealing with realities in a very disciplined way, which is not really what made him famous. The thing everybody liked about Da Vinci is he wasn't afraid of calling it as he sees it. But the world that exists now is not the same world as when we met him."