Sadly, it isn’t very good.

‘Prairie Giant’ stirs memories in Saskatchewan
Residents of Regina and the town of Gravelbourg, Sask., got a sneak preview Monday evening of the CBC miniseries Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story.
For some people, it brought back memories of the fiery former Saskatchewan premier and his legendary fight with the doctors.
For the residents of Gravelbourg, it was a chance to see themselves and their town on the big screen.
“It doesn’t often happen that a little town like this can get this kind of recognition,” said Cyriel Poirier, who saw the film at Gravelbourg’s Gaiety theatre.
About 500 residents of the town participated in the filming of the two-part miniseries, to air Sunday, March 12 and Monday, March 13 at 8 p.m. on CBC-TV.
The town was a stand-in for Depression-era Saskatchewan, reflecting the poverty and hardship, but also the sense of community that shaped Douglas’s ideas.
The movie spans nearly 50 years of Douglas’s life, from his arrival in Weyburn, Sask., as a young Baptist preacher in 1931, to his reign as premier, his pioneering role in universal health care, and his time as the first federal New Democrat leader.
Producer Kevin DeWalt says the movie is really more about the man than his politics.
“He was very tough when he had a vision and he wanted it to be rammed through. He didn’t put up with any incompetence around him, and if you were incompetent you didn’t last very long, and I don’t think that’s something the public knew very much of,” DeWalt said in an interview with CBC News.
The aim was to depict Douglas, chosen as the Greatest Canadian in 2004, with his failures as well as his victories, he said.
“Certainly during the federal election, after he lost the premiership, when he lost in Regina … that was a very big turning point for him, and we have a scene in the movie where Irma basically says, ‘After all he’s done for Saskatchewan and they couldn’t elect him one more time.’ … They put the house up for sale the next day and never came back,” DeWalt said.
Dr. Moulds (R.H. Thomson) leads the doctors strike in Saskatchewan in 1962. (Photo credit: Allan Feildel)
Actor Michael Therriault plays Douglas, Kristin Booth is his wife, Irma, and R.H. Thomson is his nemesis, Dr. Moulds, leader of the doctors’ struggle against medicare.
Written by Bruce Smith and directed by John N. Smith, Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story is produced by Minds Eye Entertainment in association with the CBC.
“I hope that this project about Tommy Douglas will help make known a person who is, in my view, exceptional … when you think about universal health care, the first Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all of his contributions,” says Pierre Letarte, director of photography.
The miniseries was originally scheduled to air in January, but was postponed because of the federal election.
More about Douglas’s life can also be heard Tuesday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 14, on Ideas on CBC Radio One. A two-part series titled Dream No Little Dreams will air both nights at 9.05 p.m.