Posts Tagged ‘Derek McGrath’
Viewers of Little Mosque on the Prairie should be excited to discover that the fifth season of the sitcom is now available for purchase through CBC’S Online Shop for a current sale price of $25:99[CA]
The fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, which initially aired from January 2011- March 2011 featured Amaar [Zaib Shaikh]and Rayyan’s [Sitara Hewitt]relationship as an engaged couple and the challenges involved in the two’s relationship which was observed in accordance to the Islamic faith,leading up to the much anticipated wedding. Meanwhile Reverend William Thorne[ Brandon Firla] attempts to reform and build positive relationships in the community in various ways, including one of a romantic nature with the town’s librarian, Rose. The season also brought forth special guest appearances by cast members from earlier seasons including Derek McGrath[ Reverend Duncan Magee] , Carlo Rota[ Yasir Hammoudi] and Aliza Vellani[ Layla Siddiqui].
The 2 disc DVD set features all 14 episodes as well as a bonus blooper. Additional features have been listed below, as seen on CBC’S Online Shop.Shipping is typically expected within 3-4 days, however may vary somewhat depending on factors such as location .
- Closed Captioned
- 16:9 Widescreen
- 5.1 Dolby Digital
- Region 0
Will you be purchasing the fifth season of the show? Should you be watching for the first time, which particular story element are you the most excited to see unfold? Share your response in the comments section, below.
Actor Derek McGrath has been leading a notable career within the Canadian entertainment industry,both as an actor as well as a singer.Some of the actor’s roles on Canadian TV series include a wide range of animated series such in roles for TV series such as Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Super Why! Wayside and Ruby Gloom.More recently, McGrath has stated in CBC’S hit sitcom,Little Mosque on the Prairie as the cheerful and open-minded character Reverend Duncan McGee,throughout the show’s initial three seasons.
With McGrath’s time on Little Mosque having drawn to a close last season and the actor being kind enough to partake in an interview with us, we took the opportunity to discuss playing the character of McGee,McGrath’s view on the decision of the producers to replace his character with Brandon Firla’s, Reverend William Thorne as well as the actor’s return to Little Mosque in the show’s previous fifth season. We also discuss McGrath’s perspective on Little Mosque’s influence on Canadian culture and as well as how working on the show enhanced both his acting career and personal perspective on the Muslim community.
The actor also takes the time to share some of the recent projects he has been working on,including a role on Vision TV’S , She’s The Mayor as well as details on his latest CD.
Derek McGrath: I was originally contacted by my agent as per usual with an audition; I received an email with time and place for the audition, a brief description of the character and the material I would be reading. If I remember correctly, I auditioned twice. I was at a nursery, buying trees when I got the call from my agent telling me that I had been offered the role of Magee. I was really excited because I believed the show would have an important impact in terms of reducing misunderstandings about Islam. I also loved the character of Magee.
AK: What was the most challenging part playing Reverend Magee and what techniques did you use to overcome this?
DM: The challenging part of playing Magee was in keeping him intelligent and witty as opposed to silly and one-dimensional. There are a lot of “over the top”characters on Mosque and I thought it was important to maintain a level of believability with Magee. I kept telling the writers “wise and witty, wise and witty…not silly”.
AK: How do you relate to the character of Reverend Magee?
DM: I’m a great believer in tolerance. I think it very important to try to see the other guys point of view. I think it’s more powerful to stand up for my own views than it is to attack someone else’s view. That’s a subtle but significant difference. That’s how I think Magee approaches conflict.
AK:How do you think Magee has developed over the course of the show and what aspirations do you have for him as the show draws to a close?
DM: I’m not sure you’re aware of it, but Magee is no longer in the show so I’m afraid I have no aspirations for him whatsoever.
AK:What was your reaction with the casting changes made upon the show’s fourth season which involved the character of Magee being replaced by Brandon Firla’s character, Reverend William Thorne? How do you think Magee’s absence from the series has impacted the overall storytelling on the show?
DM: I was very disappointed when I was told that Magee would no longer be part of the Mosque family but I was not bitter. I did not take it personally; I saw it as an artistic decision which obviously made sense to someone. In all honesty, I also believed it was a mistake. The audience reaction was very severe and I believe the decision alienated a large portion of the fan base as evidenced by the enormous number of negative emails sent to the Mosque website. As for Brandon Firla, I think he’s a wonderful actor and perfectly cast to play Thorne. Again, in all honesty, I think the character as written is too harsh for the show, very funny but not right in the context of Mosque. None of the other characters is mean-spirited. Again, this has nothing to do with Brandon; he’s doing exactly what he was hired to do. Not sure why they didn’t correct this mistake and have us both on the show; but that’s not for me to decide.
AK: What resources did you use to help you effectively portray the character, given the religious background of the character of Reverend Magee?
DM: One of the things I did to prepare myself for the show was to read the bible in it’s entirety. And then to read the Koran as well as the Tao Te Ching. I wanted an understanding of where Magee was coming form and also where Amar was coming from. The Tao Te Ching to get another slant.
AK:As an experienced Canadian actor, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including, Super Why, Wayside and the 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo as well as staged productions such as Little Mosque on the Prairie. Which type of acting do you prefer to work in and what particular benefits are associated with your selection?
DM: Personally, I love being in front of a movie camera although there’s a lot to be said for the kind of regular work that a TV series provides. You get your own trailer and all the food you can eat…fabulous!!!
AK: Last season, you returned to the role of Magee after an absence of nearly two years. How did it feel to return to the Little Mosque production and what challenges were involved in readjusting to the role?
DM: Mostly, I just had to remember how I had played the role originally and try to be true to what I had already created.
AK: Reflecting on your recent appearances towards the end of the fifth season, what were some of your favourite moments for the character of Magee, in terms of his interactions with the various members of Mercy?
DM: My favourite moments on Mosque were the times I got to work with Neil Crone and Deb McGrath and Sheila McCarthy because they were always so professional and so prepared. No B.S. with them.They show up on time ready to give their absolute best. And their best IS the best.
AK: What is your reaction to Little Mosque ending this season and how do you hope that both the show and Magee, in particular is remembered?
DM: I’m sorry to see the show ending because I think Canada, in fact the world needs shows like Little Mosque which features people of decidedly different cultures learning to live peacefully alongside each other. As major centers become more and more multi-cultural, tolerance and acceptance will be absolutely necessary if we’re going to have any harmony in our day-to-day lives. I hope the show will be remembered as a genuinely funny and gentle reminder that people are people are people and I hope Magee will be remembered as the warm-hearted embodiment of that principal.
AK:Little Mosque on the Prairie has achieved international success , airing in over 68 countries as well as in Canada, with the series premiere, earning a CBC record breaking viewership of 2. 1 million. What impact do you think Little Mosque on the Prairie has had on Canadian culture and why do you think the show has resonated with viewers so well? How do you think it represents Canada, given that the show is the first of its kind?
DM: I think the show resonates with Canadians firstly because it’s genuinely funny and secondly because it enlightens us about an unfamiliar culture without ever getting preachy. I think they embraced the characters because they are endearingly human with faults and qualities that we can all recognize in ourselves and in our friends and neighbours. As for the Anglo Saxons in the audience, I think the show was a comfort because it revealed Muslims as less frightening than they may have believed them to be and I think our Muslim audience was delighted to see their sisters and brothers portrayed as regular “joes” with the same hopes and fears as their Anglo Saxon neighbours.I think a lot of Canadians were surprised to see that Muslims have a sense of humour. The rest of course is just the mystery of show business.
AK: How has being a cast member on this series impacted your career and how has it influenced your personal perspective on the Muslim community?
DM: Since the time that I was a very young boy, I have always insisted on being inclusive so that has not changed much. But, I think I’m much more educated on the subject of Islam. As I mentioned earlier, I read the Koran as a result of being cast in Mosque and of course I worked closely with genuine Muslims for the first time in my life and I could always for instance go to Zaib or Zarqua if I had any questions. Before this show, I was never certain whether or not a Muslim audience might embrace my sense of humour. In fact they did most warm-heartedly. People are people are people and humor is humor is humor.
AK:What other acting projects have your recently been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?
DM: Last summer I shot a series called SHE’S THE MAYOR for VISION TV. I play a corrupt politician named FRANK CRUMB. I think the show is very funny and it seems to be a hit on VISION. I believe the season is complete for this year but I’m certain there will be re-runs on VISION so do please watch for it. A lot of people don’t realize that I’m also a musician; I’m a singer/songwriter and I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest musicians in the world when I recorded my C.D. STRANGER. I warmly invite everyone to give it a listen at derekmcgrathmusic.com.
AK: What message do you have for fans of the show, as Little Mosque draws to a close?
DM: I would never presume to preach but I will freely offer my opinion.There are only two basic emotions in the world, LOVE and FEAR. Fear makes you small and miserable; love makes you open and joyful. Fear kills; love creates. Choose love!
Indeed , an official description and trailer of next week’s stand alone Christmas special on Little Mosque on the Prairie has been released on the official Little Mosque on the Prairie site. Take a look at the description below and then be sure to head over to the official site , for the one minute long scene, which features Reverend McGee[ Derek McGrath] with Ammar. Enjoy and be sure to tune in for the Christmas special on Monday, December 6 at 9:00pm on CBC!
Amaar recounts his first Christmas in Mercy to Rev. Thorne after a tussle over their shared space reminds Amaar of the growing pains he had at the mosque as a rookie imam. Meanwhile, Yasir upsets Sarah when he stuffs Hamoudi Construction invoices into her Christmas cards as a cost-cutting measure.[ CBC]
What are your thoughts on the trailer?Which of the two storylines in the episode , are you the most excited for?Sound off in the comments section!
After several weeks of waiting, an official indication regarding Little Mosque on the Prairie’s future has been released. Indeed the series has been renewed for a fifth season, reports TV. Guide.ca.
Although CBC will not provide an official statement regarding the program’s renewal until the end of the month, the production for the upcoming season commenced last week.The news will indeed be a relief for many members of the fandom who were concerned about the program’s continuity after it was revealed that the series’ viewership had drastically decreased to less than 400,000 viewers.
The fifth season will consist of 13 episodes, the first of which will debut in January 2011. Readers should note that the exciting fifth season will feature all of the cast members who were present in the series’ inaugural season , including Carlo Rota[ Yassir Hamoudi], who was absent in the final half of the previous fourth season due to alternate professional commitments as well as Derek McGrath[ Reverend McGee] who was not apart of the cast during the fourth season.Rota will appear in only a handful of episodes throughout the season as he continues to have alternate commitments while McGrath will return for various episodes in the second half of the impending season.
As far as storylines are concerned, the following season will have a central focus on Ammar [ Zaib Shaikh] and Rayaan”s [ Sitara Hewitt] developing relationship since the two confessed their love for each other in the season 4 finale. Executive producer , Marry Darling commented on the challenges brought forth in presenting this storyline indicating that “Once love is professed, the whole chaperoning is taken to a new level. It’s been a real kick for our writers to not only figure out how to keep characters apart but to keep them from touching each other.”
Brandon Firla’[Reverend William Thorne] will also continue to be apart of the main cast during the upcoming season. According to Darling, his character will face challenges as he must now try to build a more respectable image and form positive relationships within the community.”He got his comeuppance at the end of last season and this year he’s dealing with that, trying to rebuild and find his real legs in Mercy. He’s trying to change but has some ingrained habits that make that hard”, says Darling.
Indeed we look forward to viewing the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie . Are you excited about the new season? How do you feel about the direction the series is taking? What specific storylines would you like to see develop? Let us know in the comments section below!