CBC Television Network

Manipulators, The

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1970 to 1971

Broadcast Medium: Television

Aired Wednesday nights from January 28 to February 25, 1970. Aired Sunday nights from January 31 to March 14, 1971. Repeated during the summer of 1971.
This highly acclaimed drama was based in Vancouver and told the story of parole officers and their clients. The original title of the show was The Clients, and the series was shot in black and white, in the tradition of Wojeck. The pilot offered a gritty, realistic picture of Canada’s street life, particularly from a law enforcement point of view.
The star of the series was Marc Strange as probation officer Rick Nicholson. Roxanne Erwin co-starred as Maggie Campbell. The show was created by Ed McGibbon, a Toronto writer and reporter who worked for CBLT television and CJAD radio. He wanted to create a show that offered two sides of the same story: the judicial angle and the criminal angle, a scenario which was later replicated to some degree in series like Da Vinci’s Inquest and This is Wonderland, which shared its unique story telling and social conscience.
The first season featured five episodes while the second season had seven. Guests included Margot Kidder and Chief Dan George. Marc Strange later created The Beachcombers, one of the most popular television shows on CBC, with his wife Susan. The executive producer of The Manipulators was Philip Keatley.

Principal cast:

Marc Strange as Rick Nicholson
Roxanne Irwin as Maggie Campbell
Gregory Nash as Maggie’s son
Al Kozlik as Bill
Anthony Holland as Clem
Dorothy Davies as the staff psychologist

Written by John Corcelli – August, 2005