An animated version of a BC-based show The Beachcombers is under construction.
Nick Orchard, who worked on the original show as production manager, made the announcement during the show’s 50th anniversary celebration on Oct. 1 at Molly’s Reach, a Gibsons cafe that was a regular feature on the broadcast and still works today.
Created by LS Strange and her late husband Marc Strange, the original series follows the adventures of two men, the “beachcombers”, who earn their living by collecting stray logs along the coastline.
The idea to create the animated series came to producer Blair Peters last year while he was sitting in Molly’s Reach.
“I saw these characters on the wall and I thought ‘why not bring this great show to a whole new legion of fans?'” said Peters, who resides on the Sunshine Coast.
He partnered with Orchard and the two made a deal with the original creators of the series.
Now they are working with animators and some of the show’s original writers to develop the show.
“Beachcombers was, and still is, an iconic show and one of the greatest shows on Canadian television,” Orchard said.
“At its core, Beachcombers was a family show that told stories with comedy, drama, and heart…and many messages were slipped through that comedy and drama.”
Shot on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, The Beachcombers was one of the longest-running series in Canadian television history, airing on CBC for 19 seasons from 1972 to 1990.
While LS Strange won’t have a practical role on the show, Orchard said she “will be there to cheer us on.”
The Beachcombers was ahead of its time in terms of portraying Indigenous characters on screen, according to Orchard. He said they hoped to continue this in the anime version.
“We were doing environmental issues, we were doing Indigenous stories, we were all on these things way ahead and we will continue to do the same things in the future.”
Orchard said the goal was to bring a whole new audience to the show, in addition to those who watched the original broadcast.
“Our design for the show is not to dive into nostalgia…the characters – we bring them back to the present day.”
Peters said they hope to recruit a broadcaster by next spring.
“We’re really excited to dive in over the next few months and see where it takes us,” Peters said.