1 9 7 2 (Canada)
13 x 60 minute episodes
This Canadian miniseries chronicling the lives of a family of southern Ontario aristocrats over 100 years set a record at the time for being the most expensive Canadian television miniseries. Filmed at the Lakeshore Studios in Toronto, the budget was CA$2 million.
The storyline regularly jumped between the 1850s and the 1970s, prompting CBC to publish a family tree of the characters in the series so viewers could follow the complex plot and characterisations (the series had 36 major speaking roles, several bit parts, and hundreds of extras).
Kate Reid played the dual role of Gran (Old Adeline) and her own great-granddaughter (also called Adeline) in the 1970s segments. Paul Harding played Gran’s Grandson, Renny, in the past and the contemporary Adeline’s octogenarian father. Both had frequent makeup changes from young to old and back again.
Renny’s sister Meg (Amelia Hall) was seen first as a romantic but stubborn young woman in love with Maurice Vaughan (David Hughes), yet too proud to marry him – having broken the engagement due to his infidelity. His brief fling with a country wench had left him with an illegitimate child, the girl Pheasant (Blair Brown).
In the 1970s, Meg was a sweet, slightly vague old woman who still had a bit of steel at her inner core.
The Whiteoaks of Jalna was soap opera on an epic scale, but while a very large audience viewed the opening episodes, their number diminished alarmingly in subsequent weeks. The Toronto Globe and Mail called it “a confused stumble through the lives of too many people, almost all of them either uninteresting or unpleasant”.
The series – based on three novels by Mazo de la Roche – had no real ending as a further 13 episodes were being considered but did not eventuate.
An eight-part French language series titled simply Jalna was produced in 1994.
Gran (Old Adeline)/Adeline II
Philip II/Philip III
Piers as a Boy
Eden as a Boy
Finch as a Child