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|This Is Wonderland|
|Theme music composer||Varouje Hagopian|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Original release||January 12, 2004 –|
March 15, 2006
The second season premiered on January 25, 2005, and the third season on November 23, 2005. On February 13, 2006, CBC declined to order a fourth season, effectively cancelling the show. The final episode aired on March 15, 2006.
Alice De Raey, played by Cara Pifko, a young criminal lawyer fresh out of Osgoode Hall Law School, is thrown into a chaotic justice system. She encounters characters ranging from the truly desperate to the bizarre. Alice, with a good-natured openness that cloaks a tenacious, committed spirit, finds herself on a journey that constantly tests her patience and compassion. Alice has a distinctive habit of muttering to herself.
Set in the courtrooms of Toronto's Old City Hall, cast regulars include Michael Riley, Michael Murphy, Michael Healey, Siu Ta, Eric Peterson, Janet-Laine Green and Kathryn Winslow. Jayne Eastwood and Ron Lea joined the cast in 2005.
In addition to Alice's education in the real world of low rent criminal justice, distinctive features of the Wonderland courtroom include respectful treatment of the mental health concerns of both defendants and the authority figures (judges and lawyers) faced with the contradictions of the system and the multicultural nature of Toronto society. Events in many of the characters' lives overwhelm their ability to emotionally cope and the shortcomings of the "blunt instrument" of the judicial system to address those situations are fully explored. Language and cultural barriers routinely figure into the course of justice, raising questions about the ability of the judicial system to respond to the needs of a changing society.
Cast and characters
- Cara Pifko as Alice de Ray
- Michael Riley as Elliot Sacks
- Michael Healey as James Ryder
- Siu Ta as Nancy
- Jayne Eastwood as Ronnie Sacks
- Michael Murphy as Judge Maxwell Fraser
- Eric Peterson as Justice Declan Malone
- Janet-Laine Green as Judge Serkies
- Alison Sealy-Smith as Judge Vaughn
- Tom Rooney as C.A. David Kaye
- Kathryn Winslow as C.A. Pamela Menon
- Gina Wilkinson as Anna-Lynn Monteal
- Sergio Di Zio as Marcus Weekes
- Angela Vint as Tamara Rogan
- Tony Nappo as C.A. Portella
- Yanna McIntosh as Zona Robinson
- Vik Sahay as Anil Sharma
- Ned Vukovic as Dr. Neuman
- Mung-Ling Tsui as J.P. Chan
- James Kidnie as J.P. Kranyek
- Ron Lea as Jack Angel
Awards and nominations
During the series' run, four Gemini Awards were awarded to members of the cast. Michael Murphy (as Judge Maxwell Fraser) won Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series in 2004 and 2005; Cara Pifko (as Alice DeRaey) won Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in 2005; and Michael Riley (as Eliot Sacks) won Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in 2005.
As of 2017 the series has been released online for free on Canada Media Fund’s Encore+ YouTube channel.
- "This is Wonderland". CBC. 2006. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006.
- "This is Wonderland". TVSA. Retrieved 25 October 2009..
- "This is Wonderland". VisionTV. 2011. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011.
- "This is Wonderland". Awards Database. Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
- "Cancelled CBC drama gets 12 Gemini nominations". TO411 Daily. August 29, 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Look who's up for a Gemini Award! (full list of nominees)". SooToday. Village Media. September 3, 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Strauss, Marise (September 4, 2006). "Defunct Wonderland leads Gemini noms". Playback. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "This Is Wonderland: The Complete First Season [Import]". Amazon. 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2009.