Broadcast Run: 1995 to 1996
Broadcast Medium: Television
Based on Mazo de la Roche’s epic novel, this 16-part family saga was set in the majestic landscape of pastoral Ontario and spanned four generations. This series on Global was pre-dated by a 1972 TV series on CBC, also based on the same novel, that aired as The Whiteoaks of Jalna, and a 1950’s version that aired on NBC. This series marked the first time a French language production was dubbed into English and telecast by a private English language broadcaster (Global). The series also aired on Radio Canada.
The story centred on the Whiteoak family, descended from Irish aristocracy, who decided to settle in Canada after a long stay in India where the father, Charles Whiteoak, was an officer in the British Colonial army. The family build “Jalna”, an austere Victorian mansion, on a very large estate, complete with its own huge lake. By this point, Charles had died and his widow, Adeline, took firm control of the affairs of the Whiteoaks. Her sons feared her as she was seen as a formidable force. Adeline entrusted her grandson, Renny, with overseeing “Jalna”, which she still hoped to expand further by annexing the adjoining domain of the Vaughans. Intrigue and ploys were plentiful as one stranger or family member after another coveted Adeline’s riches.
Broadcast: 1995 – 1996
Running time: 60 minutes
Production Company: A Canada/France co-production between Les Productions du Chene Blanc (Canada) and Cineteve/SFP Productions (France), produced by Marie Jose Raymond (Canada) and Fabienne Servant-Schreiber (France), with the cooperation of Societe Radio-Canada, France 2 and the CanWest Global System
Written by Joanne Ingrassia – June, 2002