Upcoming CBC and BET+ original series titled THE PORTER (world premiere in Canada on Monday, February 21, CBC TV, 9 p.m / 9:30 p.m in Newfoundland; and streams on CBC Gem) is set predominantly in Montreal during the early 1920s and inspired by real events. THE PORTER follows train porters Junior and Zeke, nurse Marlene and performer Lucy, as a tragedy in the community sets them all on starkly different paths to a better life – and on a direct collision course with each other. The fictional drama celebrates the lives, stories and pivotal-yet-often-ignored achievements of the Black train porters and their families and communities, who played an essential role in shaping Canada and the United States.
The series aims to reframe not just Black history but Canadian history by featuring the fullness and diversity of the Black diaspora — including those who came from the small islands in the Caribbean and made a big impact on Canada/North America — in an effort to inspire and empower. The goal is that THE PORTER will lead viewers to seek out real stories of the porters and other aspects of history related to the show.
The series stars Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery), Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy), Loren Lott (American Idol, Tag), Olunike Adeliyi (Titans, American Gods) and Alfre Woodard (who also serves as one of the series executive producers). THE PORTER is originated and co-created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and led by showrunners Annmarie Morais (Killjoys) and Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People), and directed by Charles Officer (The Skin We’re In) and R.T. Thorne (Utopia Falls).