From a CBC media release:
October 1970 – Eight-Part Series a Police Thriller, Hostage Drama, and Political Nail-Biter
Premieres Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV
In October 1970, the political landscape of Canada changed forever. Tanks roamed the streets of Montreal and soldiers in full battle gear raided homes in their hunt for “terrorists” – members from the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) – French Canadian nationalists who abducted British diplomat James Cross and murdered Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. It was the largest manhunt in Canadian history. Bewildered citizens wondered what was going on. How far would Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau go? “Just watch me,” he said. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act and a nation waited with civil rights suspended.
CBC Television presents OCTOBER 1970, a riveting eight-episode drama that’s equal parts detective thriller, hostage drama and a political nail-biter. The series will telecast over eight consecutive weeks, beginning Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m.
OCTOBER 1970 vividly recalls the chaos and turmoil of the time. Gritty and intense, the drama parachutes viewers into the action, allowing them to see events through the eyes of the kidnappers, the victims, the police and the politicians. With civil liberties suspended and an unfolding political crisis, 3,000 raids were conducted without warrants of any kind. Over 450 people were arrested. Doctors, lawyers, journalists, singers, poets, labour leaders, academics and students were denied access to legal counsel and thrown into prison indefinitely.
Filmed in Montreal and Halifax, the cast includes R.H. Thomson as James Cross and Denis Bernard as Pierre Laporte. Patrick Labbé co-stars as Lieutenant-Detective Julien Giguère who fights his way through fear, paranoia, and turf wars with RCMP rivals to find the kidnappers. Playing FLQ terrorists are Hugo St-Cyr as Paul Rose and Olivier Morin as his brother Jacques. Mathieu Grondin plays Jacques Lanctôt and Fanny La Croix stars as his sister Louise. Karine Vanasse, one of Québec’s hottest young stars, makes her English-Canadian debut as Christine, a composite character.
OCTOBER 1970 is written by Peter Mitchell (Cold Squad) and Wayne Grigsby (Trudeau, Trudeau II: Maverick in the Making), and directed by Don McBrearty (Terry). Executive producers are Laszlo Barna, Wayne Grigsby and David MacLeod. The series is produced by Big Motion Pictures and Barna-Alper Productions in association with CBC Television.