Peripheral character Greg Mansdale on CBS’ Zoo, played by Jason Cermak, first appeared in Season two as a inconsequential International Animal Defense Group (IADG) sergeant.
Making minor cameo appearances through season 2, Mansdale became know as the trusted advisor and confidant to General Davies, played by Peter Outerbridge, whom is bent on executing the Noah Objective, in which all of Earth’s mutated animals are wiped out, then repopulated by new animals using “clean” DNA.
The shock happens in the penultimate final episode of Season 2; with the hero’s looking for a cure and successfully destroying the clean animal DNA therefore thwarting the Noah Objective, GregMansdale takes matters into his own hands and kills Davie’s to prevent him from calling off the Noah Objective.
Mansdale then frees and befriends the group, only to double cross them yet again on the beaches of Pangaea, seizing them and throwing them in prison, thus revealing that he is actually one of the Shepard’s, and that the Noah Objective has been executed. Mansdale declares that “all will be revealed soon” and walks away down the beach.
Season 3 teaser trailer shows a distraught Mansdale behind bars. Looks like Jackson and the catch up to Mansdale and exact some revenge.
I initially got cast on Zoo in the principal role of “sergeant” and was to appear in one episode. The character just informs General Davies and the audience about key story points. I am a huge fan of the show having watched season one and was happy to be a part of the series.
I almost lost the part because I got the call that I booked Friday afternoon and was supposed to head for a weekend vacation later that afternoon to return Monday. As it was, I was supposed to now be on set for Zoo Monday morning as well. Transport was already booked an paid for when I got the call, and I was informed that I would have to get in for a wardrobe fitting ASAP. I was trying to make the weekend trip still work and work with the costume department to fit both in. I got word from my agent that production would simply hire another actor if they had to work around my schedule. I told them I would make it work and got in my car and headed to North Shore studios immediately. The wardrobe department was really accommodating in trying to get me out of there to make it to my ferry on time. As it turned out I made the ferry, and the wardrobe they selected for me happened to have the name “Mansdale” stitched on the jacket.
Working on set, I ended up having some great conversations with Peter Outerbridge whom plays General Davies. He is a highly intelligent and wonderful actor to work with. It turned out he bought a new laptop and was having issues with his microphone not working so he was having trouble Skyping with his kids back in Toronto. With my degree in IT, I was able to help Peter out in troubleshooting the issue.
The next episode came and they ended up giving me the part as “aide” which fills the same function as “sergeant” so I was happy to get another appearance in another episode. Upon seeing Peter again, he said “I knew you would be back. What’s your character’s name?” I said “I don’t have one. I’m just ‘aide'”. Peter looked at my wardrobe and saw the name Mansdale and said “No, your name is Mansdale. I’m going to start the scene saying ‘At ease Sergent Mansdale'”. Unscripted and very gracious of Peter to do that for me.
Next episode rolls around and my agent informs me that Zoo is bringing me back for a 3rd episode as a “Sergent Mansdale?”
Mansdale appears in 6 episodes in Season two. During the table read for the second last episode, we find out that Mansdale actually kills General Davies. It was a shock to the entire cast so I can only imagine how the fans felt. The bitter irony of it all was Mansdale by in large was a creation of Peter Outerbridge. “I created a monster! That’s the last time I give someone a name on a show!” Peter jokingly said to me after the table read. I had hugely mixed emotions; enormous gratitude to Peter for what he did for me and upset that I’m indirectly the reason he dies on the show. I expressed my appreciation to Peter and after the initial shock all was well. Peter is a fantastic talent and has no shortage of shows to work on.
Now Mansdale is back in Season 3 of Zoo, he doesn’t get away with just walking into the sunset after double crossing Jackson Oz and team. I think the fans are really going to enjoy what’s in store for Mansdale in season 3.
Catch a glimpse of Mansdale in the Zoo Season 3 Teaser trailer: