Sunday, July 5, 2020

"Wojeck" is CBC Greatness

Canadians, like Brits, like to mock their own television drama programs. "Typical BBC cheapness." How many times have I heard that? Here in Canada, that statement would probably ring out as "everything the CBC makes is crap". Of course those two national networks are not the only makers and providers of television fare in their respective countries, but you get the idea.

Wojeck aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's television network between September of 1966 and March of 1968. Season one was produced in black and white; season two, colour.

John Vernon was "Steve Wojeck", a big city coroner who worked and cared for the people. With anti-BS fervour he tackled issues such as worker safety, health standards, racism, and, radical for television drama at that time, abortion.

Photographed here in Toronto on 16mm film, Wojeck's 'eye' was that of direct cinema documentary. The approach of "realism" enhanced the often excellent scripting, giving the stories some added punch. Had the series been produced on 35mm in the more conventional, and expected, studio style, it probably would not have been as effective.

Wojeck is a great series.


First posted as "Sunday Fun: Wojeck Opening (First Season)" on October 28, 2018.

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