The Atwood Stories

(ended 2003)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Death by Landscape
      Sixty-five-year-old Lois compulsively collects landscape paintings, but to her family's incomprehension, has never ventured anywhere near real wilderness. A new painting sends her back to the day when young Lucy first steps out of her chauffer-driven car at summer camp. Lucy is rebellious, sophisticated and worldly; by the end of that summer, Lois and Lucy are inseparable. Several years later, as veterans, they embark on the camp's ritual canoe trip. In a moment which Lois has contemplated for over fifty years, Lucy silently and inexplicably disappears from somewhere near the edge of a cliff, never to be seen again. Lois' life is irrevocably altered; all these years later, she gazes into these paintings as if her young friend might mysteriously re-emerge from deep within the wilderness they depict.moreless
    • Betty
      Episode 5
      In post-World War II rural Ontario, eight-year-old Alice and her older sister move into a small cottage along a river next door to kindly Betty and her handsome and charismatic husband, Fred. Before the summer is over, Fred has run off with another woman and Betty has suffered a breakdown. Years later, when an erratic Betty reappears in their lives, a teenaged Alice must come to terms both with the world's unfairness and with its mystery.moreless
    • Isis in Darkness
      Isis in Darkness
      Episode 4
      Richard, an English literature major and would-be poet in his early twenties, is entranced by Selena, a talented and exotic young poet who is clearly the real thing. But when she criticizes his poetry and rejects him romantically, Richard falls into the arms of a practical librarian, Mary Jo. Richard gains a wife and child, but relinquishes his dream of becoming a poet, along with his will to do just about anything else. Years later, a chance encounter with Selena pushes Richard's marriage to its inevitable demise. And still later, news of Selena's premature death galvanizes Richard into the fevered work that will become a celebration of Selena's life and poetry.moreless
    • Man from Mars
      Man from Mars
      Episode 3
      In the water Christine feels beautiful, weightless, free. On land, she is a plain 'big-boned' girl in a family of slender beauties. One day an impoverished Asian exchange student speaking almost no English insinuates himself into her life. The world starts seeing her differently, and she actually begins to feel attractive. But when the harmlessness of this odd young man's behaviour is called into question, the police become involved and Christine is ultimately forced to make a difficult choice.moreless
    • The Sunrise
      The Sunrise
      Episode 2
      A reclusive painter in her 40's tries to maintain tight control over every aspect of her life in order to keep at bay the dark forces which threaten to overcome her. As a result she cannot engage with her subjects and her art falls short of her expectations. Finally, though, in the person of a seemingly dangerous young man, she finds the key to letting things be as they are, and breaks through her demons.moreless
    • Polarities
      Episode 1
      A cynical young American in his early 30's takes a teaching job at a small university in the Canadian north. He engages in a guarded, undefined relationship with an intense female graduate student who inhabits an idiosyncratic but functional reality. As her state of mind becomes more extreme, their involvement moves from disengagement through an emotional opening up, then a passionate connection, and finally into a sad and reluctant betrayal.moreless
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