Actor Patrick Gilmore. Photo courtesy/copyright of Karolina Turek.
If you are a Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV fan, then you are likely to recognize Patrick Gilmore. Over the past 15 years, the handsome and congenial feature film, stage and TV actor has journeyed more than once down the genre path, having worked on the small screen in such hit series as The Dead Zone, Eureka, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, Continuum and SGU Stargate Universe, playing Dr. Dale Volker, one of a group of human scientists, military officers and civilians marooned several billion light years from Earth onboard the alien spaceship Destiny. Currently, he can be seen as David Mailer in Travelers, a contemporary Sci-Fi drama that has a connection to not one but three of the actor’s previous gigs.
“Brad Wright, who was one of the executive producers and co-creators of Stargate Universe along with the previous two Stargate TV series, created as well as executive produced Travelers, and in doing so, wrote the David Mailer role with me in mind,” says Gilmore. “I still had to audition, though, and prove I could do it. So they put the word out to my agent, and I booked an audition. When I received the first Travelers script and began reading it, I could hear my voice in David’s lines, if you know what I mean. Because Brad wrote the role for me, it felt especially comfortable speaking those words. So it was humbling and exciting to get out there and start playing such a role. I owe Brad a huge debt of gratitude for everything.”
Having premiered in October on Canada’s Showcase Network and just recently (December 23rd 2016) for the rest of the world on Netflix, Travelers involves a group of time travelers that journey from Earth’s distant future back to the 21st century. However, instead of arriving in their respective corporeal forms, they transfer only their consciousnesses into the minds of five humans seconds before they are about to die – Marcy (Mackenzie Porter), a young intellectually disabled woman; Trevor (Jared Abrahamson), a high school quarterback; Carly (Nesta Cooper), a young single mother trapped in an abusive relationship; and Phillip (Reilly Dolman), a drug-addicted college student.
They are soon joined by their leader, whose consciousness takes over the body of FBI Special Agent Grant Maclaren (Eric McCormack). Their objective is to alter specific past events in order to protect humankind from future extinction. David Mailer also becomes involved in the traveler’s mission, but in a somewhat more indirect capacity. Stepping into his character’s shoes for the first time was quite a memorable as well as challenging experience for Gilmore.
“Mackenzie Porter and I had the pleasure of not only being involved in the first day of shooting on Travelers, but our two characters were the focus of the very first scene that was filmed,” recalls the actor. “That’s something I had never experienced before, insofar as being part of the first step into a brand new world, and it was a bit daunting. We were all pros, but this show didn’t exist before. It was different with Stargate Universe in that there were multiple seasons of SG-1 as well as Atlantis to refer back to. With Travelers, though, we were embarking on something that was totally unknown. We shot that first scene on a bus, and I remember saying to our director Nick Hurran, that he should probably say a little speech because it was a pretty thrilling moment. We were all about to start telling a brand new story, not knowing where it would take us. Everyone was getting to know each other and eager to learn and create something.
“That excitement is what sticks out most for me about my first day of work on the show. It was challenging, too, because, like the rest of the cast, I was laying the foundation for an entire season with regard to my character. I had to make sure that all my [acting] choices were carefully thought out, because they would recur and reflect who this character of David Mailer would be for at least an entire season. Hopefully we’ll be lucky and it will last longer. You don’t know, though, starting out, so it was a delicate balancing act for me to decide just who I wanted David to be. It was much different with Stargate Universe, because initially I only had a couple of lines, and In fact, my character was supposed to be killed off. However, five episodes in, they [the show’s producers/writers] decided to keep him around. So I didn’t have to be too concerned about who Dale Volker was going to be. He just evolved naturally, whereas on Travelers, I wanted David to show potential and be interesting right from the start.”
Compared to the other five aforementioned regular Travelers characters, David Mailer is very much the “odd man out,” in that a future consciousness has not taken up residence in his body. As such, his involvement in the story is unlike that of the others, and his perception of the events unfolding around him serves a unique purpose to those watching. “My character is a social worker who works with a mentally challenged young woman named Marcy,” explains Gilmore. “She works at a library, and David is, among other things, teaching her how to read as well as speak without a stutter. Marcy is very sweet and the two of them have developed a lovely little friendship. Then one day, according to David, not only can Marcy speak without a stutter as well as read without help, but she has also acquired this wide range of medical knowledge. This totally jars David’s world.
“So that’s how the show begins, and my character’s story arc is very much entwined with Marcy’s,” continues the actor. “Through her, David gets to know some of the other Travelers, but he’s kind of kept in the dark as to what they are actually doing. Certain peoples’ lives have been taken over by ‘foreigners’ from the future, if you will, and David is a reflection of how that affects the lives of the 21st century native, positively as well as negatively.
“I’ve had the chance to talk about Travelers for a little bit, and the more I do, the more I understand its themes and overall intent. To me, the show is about second chances. Rarely do we get a second chance, and here is a story about people from the future travelling back to the present to give humanity a second chance. As a social worker, David Mailer is a perfect microcosm of that. His job is to help people get on the right track and assist them in getting a second chance. He gets thrown into the mix with the time travelers, with his role being in a way like that of the audience, because he doesn’t quite understand what’s happening or how it’s happening.
“Like the audience, David is experiencing these time travelers along with their lives and reacting to everything in an honest fashion. This show is very much rooted in reality; that’s the beauty of it, which I thought was also true of Stargate Universe. It’s not over the top, but, instead very gritty, really grounded and quite moving. My brother, who passively watches some of what I do, got hooked on Travelers, and he’s a tough audience. After watching an episode, he’ll send me a text that reads, ‘Oh, my God, this is so intense!’ A lot of that has to do with the gifted group of actors on the show, including Eric McCormack, who’s steering the ship. He’s not only a master of timing, but an incredibly talented, subtle and available actor. Eric is able to infuse material that is, again, dark, gritty and well-written, with humor, while not going over the top. That can be tough at times, because it’s fun to make viewers laugh, but you can’t forget the intensity of the situation, to use my brother’s words.”
Along with Travelers, Gilmore also has a recurring role on You Me Her, which airs on Direct TV’s Audience Network and has been renewed for a second as well as third season. “My character’s name is Shaun and he’s a bit of an eavesdropper who likes to chime in on peoples’ problems in a very incoherent, irreverent way,” he says. “We just finished filming season two [late November 2016] and they gave me much more to do this season, which was really wonderful. Oftentimes they just let the camera roll while I very much ramble, which fits the character because he doesn’t make a lot of sense,” jokes Gilmore. “That was a great deal of fun, and, like Travelers, is a show chock full of talent. The second season starts airing in February, and hopefully it, as well as Travelers, will stick around for a while.”
As noted above, photo courtesy/copyright of Karolima Turek, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!