CBS’ drama ‘The Red Line’ follows the aftermath after an African-American doctor gets mistakenly shot by a Caucasian police officer in Chicago. Named after the train line that runs through Chicago, ‘The Red Line’ establishes itself as a socio-politically poignant drama aimed to generate empathy in different cultural spaces and catalyze a more inclusive society. According to co-creator Erica Weiss, the goal of the show is to bring to life a “cultural conversation through the lens of an emotional family drama.” She adds “Chicago politics and the sociopolitical conversation is rich in material, and that has been thrilling to explore.”
CBS doesn’t have many shows in its lineup that explores contemporary topics such as police shootings, race and socially conscious storytelling. Thus, ‘The Red Line’ proves to be an essential addition to its repertoire. Executive producer Ava DuVernay said that having the series on CBS, an unlikely platform for an intense drama such as this one, was entirely the point. “That’s why I like that it’s there. Kinda the whole point. Opening up conversation and encouraging empathy in all kinds of places, even unexpected places, may be a path to growth for all of us. Worth a try,” she tweeted.
The Red Line Cast: Who’s in it?
Written by Caitlin Parish and Erica Weiss, ‘The Red Line’ stars Noah Wyle, Noel Fischer, Michael Patrick Thornton, Aliyah Royale, Vinny Chhibber, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Howard Charles, and Elizbeth Laidlaw. The pilot episode marks Wyle’s second consecutive starring role in a CBS drama pilot, following ‘Perfect Citizen’. In ‘The Red Line’, Wyle plays the role of Daniel Calder, a dedicated high school teacher mourning the loss of his innocent African-American husband after he gets mistakenly shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. Hence, Daniel becomes a single parent to his daughter, Jira (played by Aliyah Royale).
Noel Fishcher is cast as Paul Evans, the Chicago police officer who wrongly shoots an African-American doctor in a convenience store. Confused and sickened by his own actions, Evans is seen to be concerned about the subsequent public and legal fallout, in the show. Fishcher is known for his role as Mickey Malkovich in ‘Shameless’ and has previously been seen on ‘The Long Road Home’ and in a guest appearance on ‘Fear the Walking Dead’. Prior television appearances of Michael Patrick Thornton include ‘Elementary’ and ‘Private Practice’. He is reportedly cast as Jim Evans, the brother of police officer Paul. Disabled after getting shot in the line of duty, Jim is seen as a bitter police officer rattled by the charges against his younger brother, and is prone to bouts of violence.
Howard Charles, who has previously played Porthos in BBC America’s ‘The Musketeers’, plays Ethan, the kind-hearted husband of Tia (Corinealdi), in ‘The Red Line’. His character is seen to be working as a train operator on Chicago’s eponymous Red Line, and is supportive of his wife’s political career. Elizbeth Laidlaw portrays Vic, a hard-working mother of two, and the devoted police partner of the socially indicted Pete Evans (Fishcher). Her unconditional loyalty to her partner results in her taking a questionable course of action, in the show. Vinny Chibber plays Liam, a quick-witted, openly gay high school teacher whose matter-of-fact approach to emotional support is welcomed by both Daniel Calder (Noah Wyle) and his daughter (Aliyah Royale) in the aftermath of the wrongful police shooting.
The Red Line Plot: What’s it about?
The heart-wrenching CBS drama ‘The Red Line’ follows the life of three vastly different Chicago families whose stories of loss and tragedy intersect in the wake of the mistaken shooting of an African-American doctor by a white cop. As the stories of Calder, Young and Evans families crisscross and intersect with each other, a message of hope appears– it’s possible to emerge from tragedy stronger, and it’s important to come together with others, not just to survive, but to thrive.