Cardinal (TV/Crime/Thriller) [TV/Review]


Season 1: 9/10
Season 2: 7/10
Season 3: 6/10
Season 4: 8/10

Year: 2017-2020
Genre: Crime
Original Country/Title: Canada
Source: Streaming (Swedish Local Streaming Service TV4Play)


Cardinal is a Canadian crime drama television series. The series adapts the novels of crime writer Giles Blunt, focusing on police detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and his partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse), who investigate crimes in the fictional city of Algonquin Bay.


I almost didn’t come further than the first 20 minutes in the first episode. I thought the voice of John Cardinal (Billy Campbell), one of the main characters annoying whispering voice was a joke, like a bad crime reporter trying to make a bad documentary “mysterious”. But pretty fast I forgot all about it and was hooked by the storyline, the characters,the beautiful landscape and the acting of Karine Vanasse.

The next obstacle for me was that in all four seasons of the show we pretty soon get to know who the perpetrator is and that usually destroys it for me. It kind of takes away the tension and mystery of the story. But in all seasons, apart from the third one it didn’t matter at all. Although the finales of each seasons get very predictable.

Another thing I like about the show is the side stories, for example with Cardinals wife’s mental illness. When a writer ad these kind of things it always feel like you get to know the characters on a deeper level.

The chemistry between the two leads are awesome, both John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) makes fantastic performances, and I will follow them in the future.


The 4th season was primarily shot in North Bay, Northern Ontario. The city, based in the Nipissing District, has a population of just 51,500 and straddles both the Ottawa River and the Great Lakes Basin. The Algonquin Bay police station is located in North Bay, with news station CBC Sudbury’s old office being used as Cardinal’s workplace.

Additional filming took place in Sudbury – the largest city in Canada’s Northern Ontario district, with a population of just over 161,000. Speaking to The Sun about filming in Sudbury, executive producer Julia Sereny said: “It was about -40. It was so cold that our sound recordist could not get his truck started.” “So we had no sound because we had to go and pick him up from afar,” she added. “When we tried to affix something — I can’t remember what it was — to a camera car, the windows shattered because it was so cold … Welcome to the north.”

Season four was also filmed in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, an First Nation reserve in Ontario. Just 386 people living on the land, which is located on the shores of Whitefish Lake, 20 kilometres away from Sudbury.

Karine Vanasse (Lise Delorme):
Karine, 36, plays Lise on the popular show. The mum-of-one, who shares a two-year-old son with her husband, Hugues Harvey, has previously starred in Revenge, Pan Am and Set Me Free. In fact, her role as Lisa was the first time she has ever portrayed a Québécois character in an English language show. 

Billy Campbell (John Cardinal):
A troubled police officer in Algonquin Bay, John and Lise make the perfect crime-solving team. John is played by Billy, 60, who is perhaps best known for his role as Luke Fuller in Dynasty. He has also starred in Dracula, The Killing and Helix. The actor lives permanently in Norway with his wife and their child. 

Read more about the other cast here on Hello Magazines website


I watched this on a Swedish streaming site, TV4Play.

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