16 September 2003 | shrbw
A Documentary Style Western
As a child, this television series fascinated me. It was, in essence, a western, but it was unlike any other example of the genre on television at the time. It was not so much that it was set in Canada in the eighteenth century (when it was a French colony), though that was interesting. For it was the approach to the story lines that made it stand out - a drama documentary approach that employed, from time to time, a narrator. (Of course, the episodes were based on real events, and the principal characters were historical personages.)
The majority of episodes were about incidents in exploration, and relations with the indian tribes. Interestingly enough, the details of everyday life were sometimes dealt with at length, including the construction of a winter shelter, hunting beaver, and the navigation of the great rivers by canoe.
Indeed, the series had some superb outdoor photography. It all seemed to be more realistic than offerings like 'Gunsmoke', which seemed very much rooted in the studio. (Where the characters seemed to spend most of their time in the marshal's office or the town saloon.)