Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Formative Years consisted of two separate miniseries dramatizing the formation of Canada in the 19th and 20th century. The first group of three episodes, focusing on the War of 1812, was broadcast under the blanket title "A War for Survival," and featured an all-star cast. University of Toronto professor John T. Saywell showed up on the fourth episode to moderate as discussion on the first three. Next came the five-part "Road to Confederation," a documentary miniseries produced by the National Film Board which offered in-depth studies of such noteworthy Canadians as John A. MacDonald, Alexander Galt, Georges-Etienne Cartier, Charles Tupper, and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine. The Formative Years aired on the CBC's late-evening Wednesday schedule from October 31, 1962 to January 16, 1963.