Hot as Hades

by Bruce Dixon

Playing the loose cannon with no regard for authority is probably not such a big step for someone better known as Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

But the recurring Hades role in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess is pretty much on hold for actor Erik Thomson, who is now busy developing his character of Dr Mitch Stevens on the highly-rating Australian drama series All Saints.

Thomson is not only happy to score a major role on a successful show, but is even more rapt that he has an interesting character to play.

“I think the introduction of Stevens is a good move by the producers,” he says. “He is a similar sort of element to that of George Clooney, which worked so well for ER.

“Stevens is a bit of a maverick, with no respect whatever for authority, yet he has a redeming quality in his dealings and rapport with patients.

“A character like that introduces a new dynamic to the show, helps break up any rhythm that a series can fall into and, because it brings in an element from Georgie’s (Parker) past, it has also given her plenty of new material to work with.”

For anyone who has missed the last couple of episodes, Stevens is a former bad-boy intern of All Saints who had decided to get away from the establishment by spending several years with a United Nations medical team in Africa.

But he is more than just a returned recalcitrant – he is Sister Terri Sullivan’s first and only lover prior to her calling to become a nun. It all adds up to a good device for injecting some fresh drama and tension into the show.

For Thomson, whose acting career has been firmly centred on New Zealand theatre, working as a series regular has been a real eye-opener.

“I have never worked in a network environment before and I didn’t realise it could all be so fast, yet so relaxed.

“On Hercules, we had seven or eight days to produce a one-hour show. On All Saints it’s four. But that’s good because you’re acting all the time and there’s no standing around. There are always two cameras going and two angles being worked and that gives the show a flowing style and helps the actors keep it as natural as possible.

“And this cast is a very professional bunch. They all have their feet on the ground and they all have to be versatile. I think that’s why actors from here do so well overseas.”

This article is property of TV SCENE magazine. “Hot as Hades in New Role” was written by Bruce Dixon and published in the March 14, 1999 issue of TV SCENE (page 3).

[Copyright held by author and publication. The webmistress respectfully reproduces this without any intention of copyright infringement. Very many thanks to Becc, owner of the fantastic ALL SAINTS ONLINE fansite, for letting me feature this article on my site!]