Home Fires was a Canadian television drama series, which aired on CBC Television from 1980 to 1983.
It was a family saga set in Toronto during World War II, and took its name from the expression “keep the home fires burning”.
Not to be confused with Homes Fires (2015-2016), a UK TV Series.
Created and written by Jim Purdy and Peter Such, the series centred on the Lowes, a family in Toronto. Patriarch Arthur Lowe (Gerard Parkes) was a doctor who ran a family medicine clinic in a working class downtown neighbourhood with nurse Marge (Sheila Moore), and was married to housewife Hannah (Kim Yaroshevskaya), a Jewish immigrant from Poland.
As the series progressed, storylines increasingly focused on Arthur and Hannah’s children Terry (Wendy Crewson) and Sidney (Peter Spence) and nephew Jakob (Gil Yaron). Terry married her boyfriend Graeme (Jeff Wincott) shortly before he was shipped off to serve in the war, where he was killed at Dieppe; she then served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps before taking a job as a welder in an aircraft factory, where she became a labour union organiser. She entered a new relationship with Bruce McLeod (Booth Savage), a war correspondent, and ultimately decided to attend medical school to become a doctor in the show’s final season. Sidney, who was too young at the start of the series to register for military service, resented being unable to serve but signed up for the Royal Canadian Air Force when he reached enlistment age. He was captured as a prisoner of war, but eventually returned to Toronto with a new British war bride. Jakob was Hannah’s nephew, a Polish refugee who had come to live with his aunt and uncle in Canada to escape the rising tide of European anti-Semitism in the leadup to the war; initially a supporting character, he became much more prominent after Sidney’s enlistment.
Crewson won an ACTRA Award as Best Actress in a Drama Series in 1984 for the show’s final season.
- Alf Humphreys … Peter Newcomb, 1 episode, 1980.
- Jefferson Mappin … Alistair Reid, 1 episode, 1980.
- Mel Tuck … 1 episode, 1980.
- Lisa Turina … Little Girl, 1 episode, 1980.
- Jeff Wincott … Graeme, 1 episode, 1980.
- Kim Yaroshevskaya … Hanna Lowe, 1 episode, 1980.
- Janice Bryan … 1 episode, 1983.
- Dianne Latchford … Nurse #11 episode, 1983.
- Peter Spence … Sydney Lowe (1980-1983), unknown episodes.
- Wendy Crewson … (1980), unknown episodes.
- Gerard Parkes … Dr. Arthur Lowe, unknown episodes.
- Booth Savage … Bruce McLeod, unknown episodes.
- This weekly one-hour drama took place in Toronto during World War II.
- It was about the Lowe family, whose patriarch was a family doctor.
- While the war raged on, many characters were only known by the letters they sent home and read by the mother or father.
- Consequently, some characters who appeared on the show, were not seen again for many episodes, much like the situation at the time itself.
- The show was created and written by Jim Purdy and Peter Such, who got the idea from an experimental theatre production in which they participated.
- Each show was a complete story in itself, in spite of the fact that it was a continuing series.
- The production combined film, for exteriors, and videotape production in studios for interiors.
Home Fires Series
- Series 01 (1980):
- 8 episodes.
- Series 02 (1981):
- ?8 episodes.
- Series 03 (1982):
- ?8 episodes.
- Series 03 (1983):
- ?7 episodes.
In total 31 episodes aired between 1980 and 1983, with 8 in the first series.
Production & Filming Details
- Harvey Hart … (1 episode, 1980).
- Herb Roland.
- Stephen Katz.
- Ronald Weyman.
- F. Harvey Frost.
- Eric Till.
- Duncan Lamb … associate producer.
- Robert Sherrin … executive producer.
- Jim Purdy.
- Peter Such.
- Glenn Morley … (unknown episodes).
- Lawrence Shragge … (unknown episodes).
- CBC Television.
- Release Date:
- Series 01: 09 November 1980 to ?
- Series 02: ?
- Series 03: ?
- Series 04: ? to 17 November 1983.
- Running Time: 60 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: Canada.
- Language: English.