Why Transplant Had To Reshoot Scenes For Being 'Too Gruesome' In Season 2, According To The Star

The second season of Transplant has come to an end, and the finale delivered some closure with Dr. Bishop giving up his job to save Bash’s after some crossfire over the malpractice suit, while also leaving viewers on some cliffhangers for Theo, Bash, and Mags. Bash’s flashback story also took a big step forward, after he was set free from his Syrian prison, but there are still a lot of questions about those scenes set in the past. Star Hamza Haq spoke with CinemaBlend about the series, and opened up about filming the flashbacks… including why some had to be reshot.

Season 2 went even further in establishing why Bash is still so haunted by the life that he left behind in Syria, even as he tries to rebuild a life in Canada for his sister. The flashbacks were scattered throughout multiple episodes rather than airing all in the course of one hour of television, so when I spoke with Hamza Haq, he explained how those scenes were shot and what made them so effective. The actor said: 

The majority of them we filmed on the same day. The thing is, just given artistic visions of the different directors coming in and all of this, sometimes we did a little bit differently. So I think over the course of that, it was probably shot over five days over the whole thing, and then reshoots because sometimes certain scenes were too gruesome and the network's like, 'Hey, can we tone that down a bit?' Because we didn't film a version of it that wasn't so jarring. It wasn't too many days, but hair and makeup – I gotta give kudos to them. They did a spectacular job, especially in like the later prison scenes with the beard and the grime. And the art department as well. That jail cell that they've built, that was in our studio and I think they did a tremendous job.

If it seemed like the flashback scenes that actually aired in Season 2 were gruesome, then you can only imagine what the originals looked like before the network requested reshoots! Transplant’s home network is actually CTV in Canada, which airs the episodes first before they come to NBC for audiences in the United States. The flashbacks can be hard to watch for Bash’s sake, with the implication of what wasn’t being explicitly shown. 

Hamza Haq as Bash in flashbacks for Transplant Season 2.

(Image credit: NBC)

Hamza Haq made sure to give kudos to the hair and makeup departments for really creating the look of how bad of shape his character was in by the later episodes of the season. When asked if the beard and the makeup helped him get into character for those scenes, the actor shared:

Absolutely. They do so much of the work for you. Obviously you have to show up on the day but costume always helps. Anybody who's getting ready for an audition, you know, you have to dress the part, and they did so much of that work for me. I just had to push it a little bit further but if it was a still image, it tells so much of the story already, so I'm very grateful for their efforts and their vision.

The second season also revisited Bash’s past with his reunion with Rania, a.k.a. the mystery woman who turned up at the end of the Season 1 finale. By the end of Season 2, he wanted to keep Rania in his (and Amira’s) life, but the door seems pretty closed on romance. Whether that’s the case for him and Mags after he showed up on her doorstep in the last moments of the finale remains to be seen. They may have agreed to pretend that their almost-kiss in the elevator didn’t happen, but she didn’t look unhappy to find him at her door!

Some good news is that Transplant is not only already renewed for Season 3, but already well into production. When we spoke earlier in July, Hamza Haq revealed that they were “in the midst of filming Episode 8 and Episode 9” of the next season, and Bash will have a new set of struggles after how Season 2 ended

There are no details about if or when the third season will air on NBC after the new episodes release on CTV in Canada, but fans can always revisit the first two seasons of Transplant streaming with a Hulu subscription. There are also plenty of other new and returning viewing options on the way, so be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).