By Susan Siniawsky
Take one isolated island, add a beautiful young reporter, a mystic, a menacing oligarch, several unexplained deaths, a couple of determined lawmen, and lots of lobsters and you have the recipe for absorbing suspense in Ragged Isle.
The arrival of Vicki Burke (Meghan Benton) on the Ragged Isle ferry seems to be the impetus for a lot of strange goings on. Vicki has been hired by the local newspaper, which the townsfolk find a bit unusual as the paper’s owner and sole employee, Vance Trundle (Denis Fontaine), has never found the need for additional staff. Vicki’s twin brother,Eric (Michael Dix Thomas) , a lobsterman, also lives on Ragged Isle. They have not been close for years and Vicki sees this as an opportunity to catch up. On the ferry Vicki is told by one of the natives, bar owner Rachel Moody (April Joy Purinton), that Ragged Isle is ‘kind of a funny place’, perhaps due to something in the water. This is an apt foreshadowing of what’s to come.
Eric meets up with his sister and tells her that he and his friend Paul (Ian Carlsen) must first run an errand, then will come back to be with her. A bored Vicki decides to take a stroll and winds up at psychic Madame Clelia’s house. She enters to find Clelia (Kathryn Coccyx) being threatened by Harrison Shaw (Todd Manter), owner and employer of much of Ragged Isle. Shaw’s domain is the mysterious and off-limits north end of Ragged Isle where Eric, Paul, and two friends have ventured by boat on their ‘errand’. Clelia seems to know a lot about Vicki and presents her with a locket. Meanwhile, Eric’s venture to the north end of the island seems headed for tragedy when one of his mates falls overboard. The friend is rescued, but does not seem himself when back on dry land.
The ensuing days leading up to the island’s major event of the year “Lobster Days” bring several deaths, all from mysterious causes. Vicki and Paul team up to investigate the backgrounds of certain residents who all have one thing in common: inheritance of great wealth under suspicious circumstances. Try as they might to solve the homicides, Sheriff Rick Dalton (Rick Dalton) and his deputy, Dan Therrien (Eric Moody) are going to need all the assistance they can get, wherever it comes from, even if it’s Madame Clelia and her talismans. All this just in the first season!
Season Two brings in agents from Homeland Security and a doctor from the Centers for Disease Control pitted against each other. Are the deaths caused by bioterrorism or by a rare disease? We begin to get a few answers by the start of Season Three which debuted only a few weeks ago at Raindance Film Festival.
Shot entirely on location in Maine, husband and wife team Barry and Karen Dodd, along with Greg Tulonen, Rick Dalton and Jacob Lear have created an absorbing and memorable series starting from the atmosphere of the beautiful opening credits to the imaginative story line.
Catch up on cast and crew, the music, and all the episodes on the Ragged Isle website.
UPDATE: SEASON 3 [spoiler free]
We all knew that Ragged Isle was one of the most creative shows on the web, and this third and final season proves it beyond a doubt. Series’ writer Greg Tulonen does a star turn as the harried CDC doctor working in tandem with Sheriff Dalton. The murders are solved, and the answers to the mysterious deaths are more intriguing than I could have imagined. The underwater photography and the special effects remain top notch. The time it took for the story to unfold over the three seasons was well worth the wait. The combination of suspense, romance, and sci-fi, along with the unique plot makes this show deserving of the many accolades it has received. At this writing there is one final episode left to be aired. I will be sad to see this series end.