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'Off the Map' cast feels like family on set

February 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Getting to the set of "Off the Map" requires a six-hour flight and then another 45 minutes in the car.

Once you arrive, you're at the show's clinic, where medicine is practiced and personal lives are examined.

"The fact that everyone on our show is damaged, it makes a lot of sense to me because you are in a remote location and these are doctors who are talented and could practice anywhere," said actress Rachelle Lefevre. "There's a reason why they chose to be in the middle of nowhere."

Those reasons will keep unraveling as the medical drama's season plays out.

The show is set somewhere in South America.

Most TV series shoot in and around Los Angeles on soundstages. "Off the Map" is not one of those shows. To get the tropical feeling of this place just right, "Off the Map" is shot in Hawaii on the island of Oahu.

"I've never felt such a familial sensibility in a crew and I'd like to think that it has to do with the whole Hawaiian ohana, which means family in Hawaiian," said actress Valerie Cruz.

You might catch the cast and crew playing a little Frisbee during the dinner break or run into Sammy, Martin Henderson's dog, observing all the action when he's not working as an extra.

"He's kind of taken on the role of the set mascot," Henderson said. "He spreads goodwill to us here at 2 a.m. when we're all tired."

"Off the Map" has already told unusual medical stories involving doctors sometimes having to wing it with supplies.

"All the medical stuff is real. Some of it is very obscure, but real," said actor Zach Gilford.

Cast members won't let go of much information on future episodes, but Cruz knows shocks are in store, at least for her character.