Murdoch Mysteries – then and now

Murdoch Mysteries – then and nowMurdoch Mysteries: the Movies were much darker than the TV show Ah, Detective William Murdoch. It’s been a while since we last spoke … err, wrote. I’ve had a near-annual tradition of writing a column or two about CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries. It’s one of Canada’s most successful TV series, with a loyal fanbase that rivals…

Netflix’s ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ is more fiction than fact

Netflix’s ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ is more fiction than factShow should be reclassified as “science fiction” rather than “documentary” Since the controversial documentary series Ancient Apocalypse dropped on Netflix last November, academics and journalists around the world have been incensed at its false claims and misinformation. Earlier this month, the Society for American Archaeology wrote a letter to Netflix urging the platform to reclassify…

October 1962 a big week for pop culture

It was the month Johnny Carson and James Bond made their debut

October 1962 a big week for pop cultureIf you’re into pop culture anthropology, the first week of October 1962 offers a rich terrain for study. Within a period of five days, two notable events occurred. On Monday, Oct. 1, Johnny Carson took over hosting The Tonight Show, North America’s most popular late-night television slot. Four days later and across the Atlantic, the…

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcasting

A brilliant mind with a critical eye. Intelligent, engaging, curious, humorous and innovative

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcastingOn Monday, a true giant of Canadian broadcasting left us. Patrick Watson passed away at age 92. Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda, circulated the sad news. “A broadcasting legend has died. … His Witness to Yesterday in which he interviewed figures from our history got me hooked both on journalism and history,” he…

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?

Being a true football fan in Canada has been a pretty lonely existence

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?Thirty-six years ago last week, the Calgary Flames scored one of their most famous triumphs – a 3-2 Game 7 playoff victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers. Back then I was sports editor of the Calgary Sun, and that playoff run to the finals (Calgary lost to Montreal in five games) consumed…

CBC needs to ensure balanced coverage of Coastal GasLink dispute

Has seen fit to fund and air a documentary by a self-described American anarchist

CBC needs to ensure balanced coverage of Coastal GasLink disputeWith national division and polarity in Canada increasing, more than ever Canadian media needs to take a fair and balanced approach to current events. Here’s your chance to help the CBC do its job. The CBC, for some reason, has seen fit to help fund and air a documentary by a self-described anarchist from the…

Was Wyatt Earp a righteous lawman or career criminal?

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was controversial. Murder accusations were levelled at Earp and Doc Holliday

Was Wyatt Earp a righteous lawman or career criminal?My first encounter with Wyatt Earp’s legend came via the 1957 movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster as Earp, it was a dramatization built around the historical gunfight that took place in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, on Oct. 26, 1881. The picture it painted was heroic. You had…

Danhausen poised to powerslam pro wrestling

The 31-year-old pro wrestler has quickly become one of sports entertainment’s most intriguing phenomena

Danhausen poised to powerslam pro wrestlingWhen it comes to pro wrestling in North America, Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment is the largest and most profitable promotion. But in just three years, Tony Khan’s All Elite Wrestling has become the second-biggest promotion and is starting to gain ground in popularity, viewing numbers and recognizable names. Established veterans like Adam Cole, Bryan…

It’s a streaming service, Charlie Brown

Streaming services are gradually taking control of our daily viewing options

It’s a streaming service, Charlie BrownIf you happened to be channel surfing on TV on Oct. 24, you might have caught the classic Peanuts animated special: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It must have been on CBS, where it was first broadcast in 1966 and ran until 2000. No, it wasn't. Then it was on ABC. They picked it…

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the Bailey

Leo McKern transforms into the barrister with personality, magnificent inflection and dry wit

Spending Thanksgiving with Rumpole of the BaileyThanksgiving in Canada is a wonderful, relaxing time. Turkey dinner with family. Football games and baseball playoffs. Listening to music. Catching up on reading. How could you ask for anything better? As it happens, I can add one cherry on top of the proverbial sundae. I was able to go through my DVD collection of…
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