Kathie Huddleston / SyFy Wire
“For one to live, one must die,” an ominous woman tells a mother named Laura just before her young daughter is taken and murdered by a serial killer in the ABC limited summer series Somewhere Between.
However, in a Groundhog Day meets Final Destination twist, time reverses and the mother has eight days to save her daughter … if fate will let her. Caught up in this time-bending psychological thriller is Nico Jackson, a former cop, played by Devon Sawa, a Canadian actor who’s more than a little familiar with the Final Destination side of things.
Nico is “an ex-cop that let drinking get in the way of his career and his life and messed up a little bit,” said Sawa in an exclusive interview with SYFY WIRE. “Now he’s a private investigator because it’s one of the things he can do to make money. He doesn’t take very good jobs and he just skates by through life. He’s just trying to get by. So it’s a very interesting role. He’s very damaged when you meet him. He gets a crazy hand of cards and he’s got to figure it out. He gets wrapped up in this whole thing. He has no choice but to go along for this roller coast of events.”
So far we’ve learned a few things about Nico’s own devastating past … like when he was forced to testify against his own brother, who he believed killed his girlfriend. Then in a twist of fate he ends up saving the life of Laura, an event that seems to reset the calendar … and leaves them both as the only people who remember the previous timeline in which Laura’s daughter was murdered.
“I read the first script and the first 30, 35 pages you’re like where’s it going? What’s happening? And then all of the sudden it’s one of the shows where the showrunner starts dropping bombs. Everything was set up in those 35 pages and all of the sudden he’s dropping things and oh, my God, that happens and this happens and it gets you thinking. It’s a psychological thriller. It’s got a Final Destination feel to it, one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. It’s got that supernatural fate thing going on. I did that film back when I was a younger man. That’s kind of what drew me to it too, but this is a totally different thing,” said Sawa.
“When you try to explain Final Destination to people, it was kind of horror … This has got that same kind of X-File-y feel to it,” he said.
While Sawa loves the fate-twisting material, he admits “the series itself, I’m not going to lie, it was a monster of a series. It was seven day episodes instead of eight. There wasn’t really a B story going on. It was an entire A story. It was long days, a tough shoot, but it was worth it. The series itself, it was very emotional. A lot of emotion going on going back in time. We deal with those emotions. But it was a tough shoot,” said Sawa .. especially since a little girl’s life and a mother’s desperation are at the core of the series.
The big surprise for Sawa? “I wasn’t expecting to be so involved in the show when I read the very first episode. I thought I was kind of a supporting player. But Nico really he becomes a major actor in the story,” he said. Indeed, since Laura turns to him for help, the only other person to know what’s going on. But Nico has his own deadline besides saving a little girl. His brother is set to be executed at the same moment time reversed.
“I’ve been in this business for a very long time and this was one of the hardest jobs I ever shot, but it was well worth it. The cast, the crew, the story, the writing, the acting … it all fit together for me. I’m real excited about this one,” said Sawa.
Joining Saturn Award winner Sawa (Final Destination, Nikita) in Somewhere Between are Paula Patton (Déjà Vu, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) as Laura Price and JR Bourne (Teen Wolf, Stargate SG-1) as Tom Price, along with the incredibly cute newcomer Aria Birch, who plays Laura and Tom’s strong-willed eight-year-old daughter. The series was created by Stephen Tolkin (Legend of the Seeker).
But can this “limited” thriller find another way to live on past this summer? “If we go again maybe they’ll do it like American Horror Story. Maybe a whole new cast. We don’t know. But we shot this as a one and done. It starts in one and it all wraps up in ten,” he said.
“It really plays like a big long movie. Everything moves quickly and there’s bombs dropping everywhere. Every episode something new is dropping. I think it’s not trying to be anything but one of these entertaining, bucket of popcorn TV shows, like a Stranger Things, that’s fun to watch, that’s not trying to do anything but be a good time.”
Somewhere Between airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 10PM ET.