Tag Archives: CBC Docs POV

Preview: Spaceman delves into Granger Taylor’s strange disappearance

It could be the A-story in an episode of The X-Files. The tale of a man who, in 1980, announced to his friends and loved ones that he was leaving Earth aboard a UFO and would return in a few months and then disappeared. But rather than being the stuff of “Duane Barry,” the Season 2 episode of Fox’s sci-fi drama, this story really happened. At least, two-thirds of it.

“Spaceman,” debuting as part of CBC Docs POV on Friday at 9 p.m. on CBC, is the strange tale of Granger Taylor, a young man who climbed into his truck in Duncan, B.C., and was never seen again. He left the following note for his family:

Dear Mother & Father,
I have gone away to walk aboard an alien spaceship as recurring dreams assured a 42-month interstellar voyage to explore the vast universe, then return. I am leaving behind all my possessions to you as I will no longer require the use of any. Please use the instructions in my will as a guide to help.
Love, Granger

Now, almost 40 years later, Alibi Entertainment—the folks behind shows like Carnival Eats and Sarah Off the Grid—sit down with Granger’s family and friends to look back at his life and reflect on the rumours and reports surrounding his whereabouts.

“One of the things that became really obvious right from the beginning that made this stand out from your average story that might not be true was just how current a topic this still is on Vancouver Island,” says executive producer Jennifer Horvath. “It’s been this unanswered question in a smaller community and has stayed in people’s minds.” What isn’t disputed is that Granger was a technical genius. From disassembling cars to building an airplane and steam engine, Granger’s social skills were lacking but his ability to build things wasn’t.

Through interviews with Granger’s sister, Grace Anne Young Reynolds, and close friends Robert Keller and Darrin Manns, viewers learn the details of his life and untangle the theories behind his disappearance. A journalist, Tyler Hooper, digs into the official record to separate fact from fiction. Among the things unearthed by Horvath and her team are Granger’s mental health—something simply not discussed in the 80s—and drug abuse.

But before making the mistake—like I did—and assuming the case of this missing man was simply one to do with his state of mind, “Spaceman” delivers two earth-shattering revelations you’ll shake your head at.

“At the beginning, I would have said, ‘Absolutely not. [Granger leaving on a UFO] is ridiculous,'” Horvath says. “But meeting people who were so whole-heartedly convinced … it leaves the question open.”

“Spaceman” airs as part of CBC Docs POV on Friday at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of Alibi Entertainment.

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Preview: Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit frolics in the lives of cat fanciers

I’m a cat person, and I’ve noticed a dearth of programs devoted to the celebration of our feline friends on television and film. There are copious hours devoted to canines via Best in Show, the Puppy Bowl and—of course—the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Heck, there have been documentaries screened at Hot Docs spotlighting donkeys and chickens. But nary a moment really spent on cats aside from the excellent episode of The Nature of Things, “The Lion in Your Living Room,” which was more about the science of cats than the animals and those who love them.

Until now.

Cats and their owners are celebrated to great—and often comic—effect in “Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit.” Broadcast on Sunday at 9 p.m. as part of CBC Docs POV, the hour-long episode from the folks at Markham Street Films (Celtic Soul, Fight for Justice: David & Me) is a riot of fur and the colourful characters who lug their cats around Canada to determine which is “Best Cat.” It’s a cutthroat business in the Canadian Cat Association, as evidenced by Kim Langille who sums it up thusly: “If you’re not No. 1, you’re the first loser.” Wow. Over 12 years ago Kim was bitten by the competitive bug when she adopted Clancy and he became champion. Now she hopes to do the same with Bobby, her white Turkish Angora.

Standing in Kim and Bobby’s path to fame are Shirley McCollow and Oh La La, a fluffy Red Persian who made a splash at the Canadian National Exhibition. The claws are out and the fur flies as … OK, not really. There are no literal catfights in “Catwalk,” but there is plenty of side-eye and glimpses into the truly, um, unique, world of the  Canadian Cat Association. After an introduction as to how cat competitions work from Kim, Bob and Elaine Gleason—a husband and wife cat show judging team—detail how purebred felines are led through multiple rings where each is judged on whether they tick the boxes of what a purebred should look like.

As the season rolls on, it appears to be a two cat race between Oh La La and Bobby until some young upstarts begin clawing their way into the standings. Who will take home the title of “Best Cat”? Tune in to the highly entertaining “Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit” for the final showdown.

“Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit” airs Sunday at 9 p.m. as part of CBC Docs POV.

Images courtesy of Markham Street Films.

 

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