After watching the first few episodes of the 2nd season of Sanctuary, we all started to wonder if Ashley was dead, as in "dead dead", or dead as in, "for dramatic ratings and she'll be back dead."
Yet the clues were obvious - even before our confirmation.
Though they drew out Ashley's (Emilie Ullerup) death out for 2 episodes, she is dead. And she's been replaced by one of the most dead-pan characterizations of a character I've ever seen, in the form of Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi).
In an interview with ÜberSciFiGeek, Emilie confirmed that she was let go due to a network decision and was not expecting her character’s death. As far as that network decision is concerned, Damian Kindler, the executive producer of Sanctuary, said that,
"... it was a decision we arrived at with our two major networks in the U.S. and Canada creatively, and we really felt it would have the deepest, most dramatic impact on the series and the characters... "
I'm guessing the studios have heard the backlash regarding Ashley dying. In a sort of back pedaling kind of statement, Kindler added in the article that, “people don’t necessarily have to die in sci-fi…" and if Sanctuary actually makes it to a 3rd season, there is a story they're developing involving Ashley.
It might be a challange to get a 3rd season if viewers bail because Ashley and the mother / daughter / father relationship was their appeal to the show. I'm really not sure what the reasoning was behind it. Sure, she took some time to grow on me, but she eventually did. I won't even go into how Freelander gets on my nerves in so many ways.
Like many, I'm not too motivated to watch the show any more. If I'm around, I'll turn it on. If not, well, whatever. Please be kind and constructive in your comments gang! We already have a good idea how you may feel.
Sources: ÜberSciFiGeek, Sci Fi Wire