takes off on CBC Television, Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. It's a new dramatic series about the adventures of a group of renegade pilots who work for an airline in the north. The series stars Manitoba-born actor Adam Beach.
Winnipegger Jordan Wheeler is a writer on the show.SCENE asked him to blog about his experience.
There's a lot to like about working on Arctic Air
. The stories are great and it's fun brainstorming (and commuting) with other writers. I also got to work with people I enjoyed working with on other shows years ago and yeah, there's the prestige and honour of working on a one hour, prime time drama. Seeing "Written By" and then your name in the credits always makes for a smile, but when the sleeves are rolled up and you're pounding the keyboard with revisions or helping an actor deliver lines of dialogue in T'licho
in the snow, at night with overtime on the low, northern horizon, the glamour wears thin. But it's still fun.
Jordan Wheeler with "Arctic Air" star Adam Beach ("Arctic Air").
Perhaps the coolest thing about working on Arctic Air
was hanging out in the company of DC-3's. As fellow writer Bob Carney alluded to, in a lot of ways the planes are the stars of the show. So I was thrilled in October when I boarded the second, Arctic Air
-rented, Buffalo Air
DC-3 in Yellowknife bound for Fort Resolution
. Another one had left earlier with a good chunk of the crew. I flew with the actors, producers, and remaining crewmembers. And suddenly it was the 1930's. We touched down on the other side of Great Slave Lake an hour or so later, the passengers of the first plane shooting our approach, landing and taxi. After half a day's shooting we flew back.
I had flown on a DC-3 back in the 90's on a research swing when I wrote for North of 60
. Got off the jet in Yellowknife and saw a DC-3 on the far side of the tarmac. As producer Peter Lauterman once said: "Hey. They have an aviation museum here." And 30 minutes later you're on that plane headed for Fort Simpson.
The ride was like butter though. I was disconcerted on my first flight when the tail rose as we accelerated down the runway (the fuselage rests on an angle when the plane is parked, so it's an uphill climb to your seat), but I couldn't tell exactly when the wheels left the ground. Landings are the same - smooth.
Wish I'd jumped aboard the one we spent a day shooting with on the wind swept airstrip in Behchoko in October. Instead the crew and I drove back to Yellowknife. The view of the moon was nice though.
Also wish I got a picture of me sitting in the cockpit of the one in the studio in Aldergrove, B.C.
Maybe next season (knock on wood).
Tune in to Information Radio Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7:40 a.m. for an interview with Arctic Air star, Adam Beach.
Jordan Wheeler (Allan Feildel)
Jordan Wheeler is a Gemini Award winning writer who lives in Winnipeg. When
he is not writing he can be found golfing.
This content is provided by Jordan Wheeler. The views expressed do not express the views of CBC. CBC is not
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