Champlain’s Dream, TFO version
On Monday, March 9, I had the privilege of attending the premiere of the docu-fiction series* on the historical figure Champlain, based on the extraordinary book by historian David Hackett Fisher, which I had occasion to write about recently in another series of blog posts. The premiere was screened at the National Gallery of Canada for a full house that included the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General of Ontario and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, and more than 400 other guests from across Ontario.
TFO put on an outstanding reception, and the entire evening was superbly well organized. David Hackett Fisher himself was also present. But would the quality of the product be up to the mark? After all, doing justice to an exceptional 600-page book and summarizing the life of a figure like Champlain verges on the impossible.
Well, after seeing the first episode, I’d say the huge gamble was not just a success, but a remarkable triumph. What an outstanding program! If the quality is as high in the remaining five episodes as in the first one, we are in for a completely new kind of series, a series that is both exciting and educational, without overdoing it. For example, there are segments with historians speaking, but never for more than 30 seconds, so the audience’s attention doesn’t wander. The episode is so visually captivating that the half-hour goes by in a flash. I am seriously utterly amazed by the quality of this program. I’m also confident that the educational platform that will be launched at the same time will be just as interesting. Conceived first and foremost to attract younger audiences, in keeping with TFO’s mandate, this series will appeal to audiences of all ages.
After the screening, we had the opportunity to speak at greater length with historian David Hackett Fisher as well as the producers, the director and the actor who plays Champlain, Maxime Le Flaguais. Since we currently have almost no pictures of Champlain, I regret to inform the actor that he is now Champlain for the rest of his life and long afterwards! Because I’m sure that this interactive series too will go down in history. I don’t see how it couldn’t.
I strongly encourage you to tune in to TFO on Monday, March 16, and for the next six weeks, to view this series, which will quickly become a must-see. Congratulations to the TFO team on putting together such a memorable evening, but above all on creating this long-awaited series. Congratulations also, and especially, to Glenn O’Farrell, president and CEO of Groupe Média TFO, on his vision, tenacity and courage in departing from the beaten track and on his ability to take risks. Congratulations as well to the production companies, Slalom of Ottawa and Fairplay of Montréal.
*website in French only