Excited about the new year? After everything that we went through in 2020, 2021 ought to be great. Since we can’t do much in terms of New Year’s celebrations anyway, we’d like to start the year off with a small binge-watching ritual! We’ve therefore made a feel-good watchlist for the beginning of the year. There are many series that we’d love to binge on, but our top picks are ‘Road to Avonlea’, ‘By Way of the Stars’, and ‘Wind at my Back’.
That’s not just a random choice; did you know that these three series have a lot in common? Let us tell you more about it…
They take us back to better times
2020 was certainly an eventful year for us and for the environment. Tons of single-use masks were dumped into the ocean and some of the planet’s richest ecosystems were burned to the ground. On the contrary, the three series are set in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the impact of humans on the planet was not as dramatically obvious yet. Therefore, all of the series have stunning views of the Canadian province, and showcase a different, more self-sufficient and less consumerist way of life.
They show us how to keep our faith during hardships
On the other hand, old times were not necessarily good times. That’s what the three series confirm, since they all discuss the topic of keeping one’s faith during hardships. In ‘By Way of the Stars’, Lukas, a Prussian servant boy in the late 19th century, needs to flee to Canada in order to save himself from a ruthless Count. In his new home, he experiences the hard frontier lifestyle, and he makes a dear friend, Ursula.
Similarly, in Road to Avonlea, Sara, a city girl in the beginning of the 20th century, needs to leave the city and move to the province in order to stay with her late mother’s relatives. Finally, in ‘Wind at my Back’, a single mother of three in the era of the Great Depression needs to leave her children with their rich but malicious grandma and search for a job in the neighbouring town.
These plots are pretty tough indeed. Although we wouldn’t like to give away too many spoilers, we can tell you this: all of the series have happy endings!
They’ve been produced by a Canadian mastermind of the worldwide creative industry
Sullivan Entertainment is well known its famous TV programmes in Canada and the US. Owned by Kevin Sullivan and his wife, Trudy Grant, Sullivan Entertainment has (co-)produced all of the three series. In fact, Road to Avonlea and Wind at my back were not just produced by the company, but were entirely created by Kevin Sullivan himself! T
he high quality of the productions is particularly impressive: just one look at the stunning costumes, or a careful listen to the wonderful series’ soundtracks by John Welsman would be enough to persuade someone of that. It’s therefore only natural, that all of the series have won or have been nominated for several awards!
They’re based on famous novels
It seems that in order to make a great screenplay, one firstly needs a great novel.That’s probably what Kevin Sullivan thought while creating the series; all of them are based on famous books that have been adapted for TV. The truth is that the final screenplay result is just much better than the stories in the books – and we all know that’s not always the case when a book gets a TV adaptation.
To start with, ‘By Way of the Stars’ is based on a famous German book by Willi Fährmann, titled ‘The Long Journey of Lukas B.”. Secondly, Road to Avonlea is based on several books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, among which one can find ‘Chronicles of Avonlea’. Finally, ‘Wind at my Back’ is based on Max Braithwaite’s books ‘Never Sleep three in a Bed’ and ‘The Night we Stole the Mountie’s Car’.
Have you read any of these novels?
They have the same protagonists
Or at least, that’s the case with ‘By Way of the Stars’ and ‘Road to Avonlea’. In fact, Road to Avonlea’s Felicity King, a.k.a. Gema Zamprogna, also stars in ‘By Way of the Stars’ as Ursula von Knabig. Same with Zachary Bennet, who has the role of Lukas Biennmann in ‘By Way of the Stars’, but he’s also Road to Avonlea’s Felix King. Finally, Michael Mahonen, known as Ben Davis in ‘By Way of the Stars’, also plays the role of Gus Pike in ‘Road to Avonlea’.
Can you spot more actors starring in both series?
In case these interesting facts were not enough to make you watch the series, we’d like to invite you to our January series marathon! Join us in watching ‘Wind at my Back’, ‘Road to Avonlea’ and ‘By Way of the Stars’, and send us your thoughts on Facebook and Instagram.