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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bomb Girls Cancellation (Spoilers)

Bear with me. I don't usually get militant when shows I love are cancelled but, having watched the Bomb Girls S2 finale, in the knowledge that it may be the last time I see those characters, I bypassed upset and got angry. For those unfamiliar with the show, it tells the story of a group of women in a munitions factory in Toronto during World War II. It concluded its second series this week but last week it was announced that it's been cancelled. They have said there'll be a two-hour television movie next year to wrap up loose ends but, one, fans don't entirely believe them and, two, this deserves another series and not a tie-up movie.

I wrote in my email to Global as soon as I learned about the prospect of cancellation: Bomb Girls has a global appeal. It's a well-written show centred around women, and some very interesting women at that. It's sad that in 2013 this should still feel like a novelty but it does! To encounter four leading characters as different as Betty, Kate, Gladys and Lorna was wonderful for me and all credit to the writing team and the actors for that. I stand by those words. But not only is it a programme about strong women, it's about an important aspect of the war that hasn't been delved into properly. It's gold and that's why fans have come out fighting to save it.

I have to admit, like many fans there is one particular character I'm eager to save: Betty McRae. Like all of them, she is complex and brilliantly acted but her storyline over the two series has undoubtedly appealed to - and probably helped - lots of women all around the globe. Ali Liebert has been outstanding in every scene, but she shone especially in the finale. And all I can think at the moment is that it can't end like that. I mean, they've left Betty languishing in prison covering for the woman she loves. Yes, I predicted such a thing happening but that's only because I know these characters and I love these characters.

I've chuckled with these characters, I've been haunted by them. There's an industrial accident in series one that was one of the most traumatic scenes I've ever watched and I still think about it. Nor did the writers shy away from showing the repercussions of that accident in some of the most touching scenes I've seen on television in years. That's another thing I love about this team - they don't forget a thing because they know the viewer won't. Betty McRae fans found that out the hard way in the finale.

There are suggestions that the television network didn't treat the show right, budging it around the schedules in an effort to lower the ratings. And, some cynics have said, that the reason they have promised a movie is so that no other Canadian network picks the show up. THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO TREAT YOUR AUDIENCES.

Bomb Girls still has potential. It has an outstanding cast and an outstanding production team. It's been nominated for awards and, as this fan backlash has demonstrated, it is intensely popular where people have heard of it. Below is the petition and some further reading. Signing the petition will only take a moment and there is a precedent in Canada for these type of campaigns working. So, please, donate a minute of your time and you'll have my eternal gratitude. 

Gladys and Lorna quoted Churchill on El Alamein in the final moments of the series finale: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Every Bomb Girls fan is hoping this proves prophetic. 


Toronto Standard Article

The Globe and Mail Article

Huffington Post Article 

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