CTV Television Network

John Woo’s Once a Thief

Network: CTV Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1997 to 1998

Broadcast Medium: Television

Based on action director John Woo’s critically successful movie, the one-hour television series continued the story of two young refugees from a criminal empire in Hong Kong, who were played by Ivan Sergei as Mac Ramsey and Sandrine Holt as Li Ann Tsai, with Jennifer Dale as The Director and Nicholas Lea (better known for his role as Alex Krycek on The X Files) as ex-cop Victor Mansfield.

Variously described as ‘a high-speed romp’ and ‘a romantic comedy with bullets’, Once a Thief blasted and leaped its way across the nation’s television screens with unbounded enthusiasm, and reasonable foreign sales. Yet, despite the name value of John Woo, and the strong contributions of a talented all-Canadian cast, it was a combination of economics and indifferent viewer response that dictated an end to the Alliance Productions series after only one season on CTV in 1997. It launched on Mondays at 10:00pm in September 1997, and ended on Saturdays in the same time period in the Fall of the following year.

Written by Pip Wedge – August, 2002