Inspector Alec Woodward and Sergeant Johnny Dias aren't your average TV cops. They're neither stereotypes, nor mere imitations of other currently popular TV characters. Sometimes they don't even get 'Mr. Big.' But Metro Toronto 'community cops' Woodward
(Sean McCann) and Dias (Stephen Markle) do have something to offer fans of TV action-drama. The continuing stars "of CBC-TV's new Sidestreet series provide realistic portrayals of dedicated police officers striving to douse volatile situations before they ignite into major crises. Sidestreet deals , dramatically with small 'i' issues, rooted in reality. The problems facing these two members of the police department's community services division relate to events you could read about today or tomorrow in any Canadian newspaper. Viewers will be able to identify with the two plainclothesmen as they cope with such contemporary problems as labor strife, rape, harassement of parolees, 'block-busting' by land developers operating barely within the law, organized juvenile crime, illegal immigration and loan-sharking. It's a good bet that Canadian television fans will warm to the realistic Characterizations of hard working policemen etched by McCann and Markle, both experienced Canadian performers on stage, film and television. The original scripts for Sidestreet are by such established Canadian writers as Grahame Woods and Tony Sheer, as well as several new-to-TV authors from across the country. The five Canadians sharing directorial duties include Gerald Mayer, Denis Heroux, Richard Gilbert and Don Haldane.
Among the guest stars turning in top supporting performances in various Sidestreet episodes are Al Waxman (star of CBC-TV drama's situation comedy, King of Kensington), Daniel Pilon, Murray Westgate (a principal in CBCTV drama's House of Pride), Monique Mercure, Jon Granik, Ruth Springford, Joseph Shaw, Trudy Young, James Blendick, Neil Munro, and Donnelly Rhodes. John Ross is executive producer of the series and Brian Walker is producer. Sidestreet was conceived and developed by Canadian writer John Saxton and British producer - writer Geoffrey Gilbert, in cooperation with CBC-TV drama.
Recaps1x7: The Hold Out recap
: Community cops cope with contemporary social problems in Sidestreet, a series of eight, full-hour film dramas shown Sundays at 9 p.m. on the CBC television network starting September 14. In the premiere episode by Tony Sheer, titled The Hold Out, Inspector Alec Woodward (Sean McCann) and Sergeant Johnny Dias(Stephen Markle) of Metro Toronto's community services police division are faced with the unscrupulous tactics of a land developer trying to oust a widow from her home. The woman, played superbly by Ruth Springford, is the last hold-out preventing
the developer (who never appears personally on the scene but has a ruthless agent and a shady rent collector do his dirty work) from demolishing a group of old houses and erecting a highly profitable new development. The block-busting tactics targeted at the defiant widow - "My husband died in this house, and so will I..."'- are brought to the attention of
Woodward and Dias who attempt to put a stop to the harassment. Despite the best efforts of
the two police officers, the attacks increase in ferocity and the courageous hold-out winds up in hospital. A sub-plot neatly woven through the story involves a young Pakistani couple befriended by the widow. Their illegal status in Canada is known to the developer's conniving rent collector(played by Jon Granik) who uses this information to collect blackmail payments in addition to the rent. Larry Reynolds turns in a first-rate supporting performance as a former top reporter fallen on evil days. The ex-journalist, now a, confirmed wino and superintendent of a slum rooming-house, witnesses an attack on the hold-out but is reluctant to come forward with testimony identifying the assailants. The Hold-out, like all Sidestreet episodes, was filmed both in studio and on location throughout Metro Toronto, adding an extra degree of authenticity to the tightly written and performed teleplays. The Hold-out includes a terrifying realistic fire sequence when one of the slum buildings is accidentally raised and Woodward and Dias risk their lives attempting to rescue the unfortunate tenants. The community-cop heroes of the eight full-hour
CBC-TV drama series aren't super cops. As viewers will discover, sometimes 'Mr. Big'
eludes their best efforts. But Woodward and Dias will provide Canadian viewers taughtly-drawn portrayals of dedicated officers investigating such real-life social problems as rape, loansharking and organized juvenile, crime. And, a note 'to those viewers' "weary" of explicit' scenes of gore, brutality and mayhem on their screens there'll be NO 'violence for the sake of violence' on Sidestreet. Sidestreet is put together
by CBC-TV's drama department, headed by John Hirsch. Executive producer is John Ross and producer is Brain Walker. Richard Gilbert directed the episode entitled Hold-out... read more.