Camille Sullivan as Alice Landry, Shawn Doyle as Ben Landry, Jared Ager Foster as Peter Landry in CBC’s Unspeakable mini-series, which was partially filmed in the Comox Valley. Photo by CBC

Vancouver Island-filmed mini-series set to air Jan. 9

CBC production explores Canada’s tainted blood scandal

A CBC mini-series which spent more than a week shooting in two locations in the Comox Valley is set to hit airwaves next week.

Unspeakable, an eight part mini-series about the Canadian tainted blood scandal of the early 1980s, will premiere Jan. 9 on the network.

The Vancouver-based production filmed part of the series in May 2018 in two Valley locations — the Comox Valley Airport (which doubled as an airport in Sweden) and St. Joseph’s General Hospital, which served as hospitals in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver because of the look which changes from floor to floor.

“This is the first time shooting in the Valley,” said filmmaker Robert Cooper in May, whose is known for his work on the Stargate television franchise.

He explained there were logistical challenges around the production, “but it’s something we’ve been looking at since the opportunity was presented to us … our production team has done an amazing job making it an incredibly seamless process.”

RELATED: Canadian mini-series set to shoot in the Comox Valley

Cooper, who serves as a writer, director and executive producer of the series, is personally familiar with the storyline, as he was born with hemophilia and required blood products during the scandal.

“(Hemophilia) is a genetic disease that affects your blood clotting and you require a blood product in order to have your blood clot – it can affect you in minor or major ways,” he noted.

“In the ’80s when HIV and other infectious diseases like hepatitis were infiltrating and affecting the blood system, hemophiliacs – because they depend on blood, take a lot of it – were largely affected by that unfortunate situation.”

Joan Miller, film commissioner for the Vancouver Island North Film Commission said the production served as an opportunity for graduates from North Island College’s TV & Film Training Programs to gain work experience, as well as for many local services to be contracted, including restaurants, hotels and security firms.

“It’s the first production at the hospital (since it closed) and St. Joseph’s admin team and Providence Health has been very supportive … they realized that it will have a good community impact, as well as economic input to the area,” said Miller.

For more information on the mini-series, visit www.unspeakableseries.com

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach ‘Seniors Scene’ columnist remembered

Roy Jones described as caring father, energetic seniors’ centre member

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read