National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway, The (Miniseries) (1974)

National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway, The
Canadian popular historian, Pierre Berton, recounts the story of one of the most challenging and important political and engineering projects in Canadian history, the building of the country's first trans-continental railway. Beginning as part of Prime Minister John A Macdonald's deal in 1871 to have British Columbia join Canada, the project seemed foolhardy for such a young nation. Indeed, many regarded the idea of building a railway spanning from Ontario to BC through the rocks of the Canadian Shield, swamps, prairies and mountain ranges without even a clear route or destination as impossible. This series follows the long struggle to realize Macdonald's National Dream through the initial surveying, the political scandals and infighting even as the colourful builders struggle to conquer the difficult geography in their construction of a railway that would help secure and define a nation.

Cast:
Pierre Berton....Host
Diana Barrington....Lady Dufferin
Lloyd Berry....Foreman Miller
Susan Bird....Mary Macdonald
Vernon Chapman....Richard Cartwright
George Chow....Chen
John Colicos....Cornelius Van Horne
Tim Crighton....William Topley
Joe Crowfoot....Chief Crowfoot
Neil Dainard....Robert Rylatt
James B. Douglas....Major A.B. Rogers
Gillie Fenwick....Alexander Mackenzie
Ted Follows....Charles Tupper
Pat Galloway....Agnes Macdonald
Robin Gammell....Walter Moberly
Jim Henshaw....Wilcox
John Horton....Lucius Seth Huntington
William Hutt....John A. Macdonald
Robert Joy....Carter
Jean-Marie Lemieux....Father Lacombe
Don McManus....General Lafayette Rosser
Peter Mews....John Henry Pope
Barney O'Sullivan....E.C. Gillette
Gerard Parkes....Edward Blake
Ken Pogue....James Hill
Claude Préfontaine....Georges-Etienne Cartier
Bill Reiter....Andrew J. Haney
Michael J. Reynolds....Andrew Onderdonk
David Schurmann....J.H.E. Secretan
Joseph Shaw....George Stephen
Henry Stamper....Hugh Allan
Tony Van Bridge....Sir Sandford Fleming
Sandy Webster....Marcus Smith
Jonathan Welsh....Albert Rogers
Richard Whelan....George McMullen
Paxton Whitehead....Lord Dufferin
Philip Whyte....Thomas Tate
Chris Wiggins....Donald Smith
Leslie Yeo....Priest


Original Broadcaster(s): CBC

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