David Paetkau shoots new series in Toronto

Shannon Bond / Staff writer
July 11, 2008 01:00 AM

Flashpoint is a hot new summer television series starring the Sunshine Coast's David Paetkau.

The high intensity show examines the work and lives of a tactical team in Toronto as they deal with unpredictable and often violent situations that arise in the metropolis. Paetkau's character Sam Braddock is the newest sniper on the team.

"He's the rookie. He spent two years in Afghanistan and thinks he knows it all," Paetkau said. "He's a bit of a cowboy and has to learn the hard way that he doesn't [know it all]."

Premiering tonight (Friday) at 10 p.m. on CTV, Flashpoint is the first Canadian series since Due South to be picked up in simulcast by an American station (CBS).

"When I auditioned, I wondered if it was going to be another small, little Canadian show but it turned into kind of a big deal," Paetkau said.

Paetkau is also impressed that CBS decided to leave the show situated in Toronto, rather than altering it for an American audience. Paetkau said he thinks the American market is learning that shows set in different parts of the world can tell stories that resonate with viewers across borders.

It might also help that the Flashpoint tactical team was made as a reflection of Toronto's Emergency Task Force (ETF), one of North America's best law enforcement agencies, Paetkau said. The ETF has assisted the show to help capture authenticity, and Paetkau said the series isn't just another "murder of the week." Rather, he said Flashpoint tries to capture the human element involved in policing and discusses how some officers end up with emotional baggage and suffering with mental illnesses like post traumatic stress disorder.

The show has four main characters. Paetkau said viewers will get to know Sam Braddock in-depth as the season progresses. He said he is happy to be playing a good guy even if he is a bit cocky at times. Paetkau said Braddock is a good guy with a lot to learn.

Paetkau has been previously known for his role on the television show Whistler where he portrayed an Olympic snowboard athlete who dies under mysterious circumstances.

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