|Production of the Series|
|Maxine Samuels was the Executive Producer of the show, which was in production between 1963 and 1965. In the early 60's she was looking for an idea to sell to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about children. Finally she just asked the CBC what they wanted: so they told her they wanted an "outdoor adventure series for kids." That's when she came up with the premise for "The Forest Rangers."
Originally, there was a plan in 1959 to do a show called "The Forest Ranger." Twenty scripts for this show had been written by Ron Kenyon and Emile Harvard. Local Toronto actors had been hired. There were even plans to bring in actors from Hollywood. These plans fell through; that is, until 1963, when Ms. Samuels brought her own Junior Forest Rangers into the works.
First she had to borrow $1 million from the Bank of Montreal, and according to The Daily Star in 1964, "Ms. Samuels got the show on the road last year by selling the idea for the 1st 39-week series for $680,000 to the CBC and Britain's ATV network, raised $325,000 from the bank."
The name of the production company was ASP and "The Forest Rangers" became the 1st Canadian-made tv series in full colour. The CBC loved it.
The show was filmed just north of the village of Kleinburg, located today in the City of Vaughan, at the Toronto International Studios. There was a ranch on the grounds in those days called the Circle M Ranch, which was just down in the Humber Valley off of Hwy. 27.
Ms. Samuels' crew quickly began building roads and bridges. Building facades were erected to make the mythical town of Indian River; and luckiiy they also found the remains of an old Hudson's Bay fort, which was left over from the tv series of the same name. This would be the kids headquarters.
The main studio, however, was a large grey building on the grounds where all the indoor scenes were shot. Maxine hired veteran English filmaker Ted Holliday as the producer and he in turn hired all the directors (George McCowan, Eric Till and Paul Almond), cameramen, actors and film processors. Lindsay Galloway was the main script writer. Many of the ideas for the show came from authentic stories.
Once filming began in early 1963 things looked promising. The show was filmed at a torrid pace (about 2 episodes per week). Usually two episodes were filmed simultaneously. There were two film crews used-one in Kleinburg and one in Northern Ontario to get scenes for forest fires, fire tower lookouts, lakes and thick forest brush.
The kids were schooled right on the set in a dressing room complete with desks, blackboard, and of course a teacher. Each morning they were picked up at 6 a.m. in two different cars-one car for the kids that lived in Toronto and one for those that lived in the country. Filming usually wrapped up around supper time.
To get special effects for forest fires and the use of wild animals, the Dept. of Lands and Forests were recruited. They overlooked and managed the fires which were often set off screen with smoke bombs. However, it was noted, that in real-life situations of forest fire fighting, junior rangers would not have been involved. Ms. Samuels gave the kids special license to take part in all of the action though.
|Chief Ranger George Keeley and Sergeant Scott at the RCMP Office in Indian River.|
|My Favorite Links:|
|CBC TV Series Directory|
Another Forest Rangers Page at TV Feeds Me
|Back to Main Page click here.|
|Charlie Appleby, a very old WW1 flying ace, flies his plane low over Indian River, scaring the local townsfolk. Sergeant Scott and Ranger Keeley duck for cover.|
|To find out what the actors from the show are up to nowadays click here.|
|The Junior Rangers crests for the show are now available for $10 with free shipping and handling. Please email me to order yours now at: email@example.com|