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Deja View: Ian Tracey, Rogue, Continuum, and Bates Motel 

Photo Credit: DirecTV
Photo Credit: DirecTV

If you’ve been reading us a while (thanks!), you know that I have a pack of Canadian actors who are near and dear to my heart, perhaps none moreso than the fabulous Ian Tracey. He’s been on my radar about 15 years, back to The X-Files and Poltergeist: The Legacy. If you’ve never seen Da Vinci’s Inquest (which ran eight seasons) or Intelligence (which ran two), get on that.

He was a series regular in both, and they’re seriously amazing TV (DI isn’t available on DVD in its entirety, but Intelligence is). After Intelligence wrapped in 2007, Tracey took a much-deserved breather, working in a recurring basis as Adam Worth on Sanctuary and appearing here and there in a few one-off things, but otherwise we didn’t see him onscreen much.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Over the last 18 months, he’s been back with a vengeance, and I couldn’t be happier. Last year, he was the doomed hunter dad in the Supernatural episode, “Adventures in Babysitting” and a railroad thug who met the wrong end of Cullen Bohannon’s gun in the first season of Hell on Wheels. In the closing episodes of Continuum‘s first season, he was Jason, a maybe-unhinged fellow traveler who gave Kiera a heads up on the impending bombing, and SPOILER ALERT, he’ll be back in season two.

Photo Credit: Syfy
Photo Credit: Syfy

Film fest attendees may have spotted him opposite The Vampire Diaries‘ Sara Canning in a noirish short film called Corvus that’s been making the circuit for the last year. The folks over at Reelz Channel had him twice this spring. First, in the cheesarific True Justice, where he was a skeevy black market surgeon, and last month, he was Hector, a plant manager trying to do the right thing when catastrophe struck in the mini-series, Ring of Fire.

Photo Credit: DirecTV
Photo Credit: DirecTV

And now, for the first time in years, he’s back in rotation as a series regular, on DirectTV’s Rogue, where he plays Mitch, the detective ally to Grace. There’s more than meets the eye between them and I look forward to finding out exactly what that is. Fans who’ve been watching Tracey for a while will be tickled to see him walking the same beats he did on Da Vinci’s Inquest (both filmed in Vancouver), even sitting in one of the booths at Vancouver’s Ovaltine Cafe nine years after he sat there as a completely different character (or maybe that’s just me). There’s a great new interview with him here on the DirecTV site, where we find out that we’ll soon see him working opposite his son, Keenan, for the first time.

Photo Credit: A&E
Photo Credit: A&E

I’ve been thrilled to have him back on my TV, and color me doubly thrilled when he sauntered into Bates Motel for a moment last night as Remo, Dylan’s new co-worker/subordinate in the wake of Ethan’s death. Hopefully, we’ll see him again in later episodes. I have to think he must be on board for an arc because he’s been back in such a big way.

(Bonus–we also got David Cubitt, another fave who’s been laying low since Medium ended, as Norman’s doomed dad).

I adore Tracey. He has a sensitivity and swagger we don’t get that often, and it’s been a lovely evolution to watch him move from playing scary guys in his early work to the multi-layered, flawed heroes he gets to play now. He’s an infinitely interesting actor and I’ll watch him in anything. I’ve missed him, and I’m super happy to have so many places to find him again.

Rogue airs on DirecTV’s AUDIENCE Network Wednesday nights at 9/8c and Bates Motel airs Monday night on A&E at 10/9c. Continuum‘s second season returned to Showcase in Canada on Sunday and will return to Syfy in the U.S. on June 7th.

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  1. karen

    I LOVE Ian! From the first night I stumbled upon DaVinci’s at 1am when I couldn’t sleep, I was hooked! I think I’ve seen every single show he’s ever played even the tiniest role in. (Remember The 4400?)
    I’m thrilled to know he’ll be in Cedar Cove starting next month as well as the second go round of Continuum!

    1. Heather M

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Karen! I will watch him in anything. =)

  2. Alison

    Here in the UK it’s slightly more difficult to find more about the wonderful Ian Tracey – despite the internet. I have been a fan of his since the Huckleberry FInn days and he seems to just get better and better! Love to hear about future projects he is embarking on. Glad to know there are more fans out there!

    1. Heather M

      Thanks, Alison! I would expect we’ll see him in the third season of Continuum next year, and possibly the second season of Bates Motel.

  3. Eileen Fay

    I am so with you on every word you say about brilliant, fantastically talented Ian Tracey. I have been quite besotted with him since 1998 (DaVinci, although I realize that he started years earlier as a teenage HUck Finn, among other things. His performances are so enthralling!

    As you know, DaVinci was loaded with gifted actors, male and female, and I take my hat off to everyone on that show, and the writers and Chris Haddock, too, of course!

    If I had to choose between a day with Donnelly Rhodes and Ian it would be so hard!!! I adore them both, as well as numerous other Canadian actors.

    But back to Ian. I thank you for the essay above. I have been dying to talk to someone about how nuanced and intelligent his acting is, but no one I know sees those shows.

    I personally thought CBC were criminally negligent for dumping the fantastically well written and acted Intelligence after only 2 series. It deserved at least as much time as DaVInci got. I often wonder if Haddock’s spot-on political commentary tucked into the scripts was a reason the powers-that-be dropped it. It sure spoke the truth about govt. and corporate corruption.

    So delighted to see Ian on Continuum now. His off-beat Jason is a trip! I hope he will be in season 4.

    Well, thank you so much for letting me share in your appreciation of this amazing man. And how nice his son seems to be following in Dad’s footstets, too! I saw a photo of Ian and Keenan when Keenan went to Capilano (sp?) University a few years back, Ian looked so Proud! (I wonder who the Mom is?)

    Wish I knew how to write to Ian. Do you?

    1. Heather M

      Hi Eileen,

      He continues to be one of my absolute favorites. I am so hoping we get a 4th season of Continuum. There’s no word yet.

      I do not know how to write to him.

      Keenan has some more recent pics of him and Ian on his Instagram feed. It’s nice to see him doing well, too. I see more and more of his dad in him.

      Thanks for writing!

      1. Eileen Fay

        Thanks for replying to me, Heather. I love your site.
        In the past I tried writing to various actors at their agents’ offices in Vancouver, but I did not look up Ian’s agent yet. So far, none of the Canadian agents I tried have(apparently) gotten or passed along my mail. At least I never got a reply, anyway.

        I did get a lovely brief note from Robert Carlyle, though, after I wrote to him in care of the Bridge Studio in Burnaby, where they film “Once.” So that was nice.

        If I get a line on Ian’s agent I will let you know. It doesn’t hurt to try, n’est-ce pas?

        (I always feel a little embarrassed writing a “fan” letter, but then I think, hey! It is a kind thought, so why not? I did 7 years of “little theater” work in my youth so I do know that an actor appreciates recognition.)

        I also hope Continuum hangs on, It is very well written and acted, as you know. It kills me that some godawful series last much longer than really smart ones.

        Yes, I see Ian in his son’s smile and some other facial parts. Lovely boy!

        Okay, bye for now, and thanks again!

  4. Melissa

    I wonder if Mr. Tracey would mind if we started a small fan club? I don’t blame him for not wanting to be ‘found’ by his many fans, he wants to live a normal life!
    However, his exquisite acting talent belies his ‘normal-ness’; he has that rare star quality, popping off the screen at us, whether he likes it or not! 😀

  5. Edyrose

    Ian Tracey is my favorite actor

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