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Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion 

TV-MA | | Drama, History | TV Series (2003– )
A true story about the tragic explosion at Halifax Harbour, Canada, in the early hours of December 6, 1917.

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Series cast summary:
Clare Stone ...  Constance 'Connie' Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Max Morrow ...  Courtney 'Court' Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Paul Doucet ...  Captain Le Medec 2 episodes, 2003
Lynne Griffin ...  Millicent Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Richard Donat ...  Patrick Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Gordon Michael Woolvett ...  Sergeant Sam Barlow 2 episodes, 2003
Brian Downey ...  Capt. Horatio Brannen 2 episodes, 2003
John Dunsworth ...  Naval Officer McNabb 2 episodes, 2003
Leon Pownall Leon Pownall ...  Commander Frederick Wyatt 2 episodes, 2003
Graham Harley Graham Harley ...  Mr. Cleese 2 episodes, 2003
Jeremy Akerman ...  Rev. George Adams 2 episodes, 2003
Adrien Dixon Adrien Dixon ...  Walter Brannen 2 episodes, 2003
Morrissey Dun Morrissey Dun ...  Dr. Sherman 2 episodes, 2003
Jackie Torrens Jackie Torrens ...  Isabel 'Izzy' 2 episodes, 2003
Christopher Shore ...  Gunter 2 episodes, 2003
Alec McClure Alec McClure ...  Jamie Larkin 2 episodes, 2003
Pete Postlethwaite ...  Charles Burchell 2 episodes, 2003
Lee J. Campbell Lee J. Campbell ...  Mayor Colwell 2 episodes, 2003
Joan Orenstein Joan Orenstein ...  Older Constance 'Connie' Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Graham Greene ...  Elijah Cobb 2 episodes, 2003
Dennis Envoldsen Dennis Envoldsen ...  Vince Coleman 2 episodes, 2003
Nigel Bennett ...  Captain From 2 episodes, 2003
Glenn Lefchak Glenn Lefchak ...  Reporter 2 episodes, 2003
Bill Forbes Bill Forbes ...  First Mate Mont Blanc 2 episodes, 2003
Bradley Bailey Bradley Bailey ...  Ned the paperboy 2 episodes, 2003
David McClelland ...  Shipping Manager 2 episodes, 2003
John Walf John Walf ...  British Naval Officer 2 episodes, 2003
Brian Heighton Brian Heighton ...  Canadian Surgeon 2 episodes, 2003
Mary-Colin Chisholm ...  Mrs. Mackay 2 episodes, 2003
Andrew MacVicar Andrew MacVicar ...  RCMP #1 2 episodes, 2003
John Fulton John Fulton ...  Councillor #1 2 episodes, 2003
Mitchell Landzaat Mitchell Landzaat ...  Mont Blanc Helmsman 2 episodes, 2003
Stephen Coats ...  Jury Foreman 2 episodes, 2003
Geoff McLean Geoff McLean ...  Imo Pilot 2 episodes, 2003
Stan Carew Stan Carew ...  Imo Helmsman 2 episodes, 2003
Patrick Christopher Patrick Christopher ...  Le Medec's Defense Lawyer 2 episodes, 2003
Mark Graham Mark Graham ...  Wyatt's Defense Lawyer 2 episodes, 2003
Mary Ellen MacLean Mary Ellen MacLean ...  Teacher 2 episodes, 2003
Jacqueline Donovan Jacqueline Donovan ...  Young Mother at Dartmouth Cabin 2 episodes, 2003
Linda Busby Linda Busby ...  Mrs. McGill (Laundry Lady) 2 episodes, 2003
Angus Duncan Angus Duncan ...  Representative #1 2 episodes, 2003
Kevin Deagle Kevin Deagle ...  Representative #2 2 episodes, 2003
Hillary Ashley Hillary Ashley ...  Frozen Girl 2 episodes, 2003
Kiersten Tough Kiersten Tough ...  Nurse (Face Slap) 2 episodes, 2003
Geoff McBride Geoff McBride ...  Doctor #3 (Chebucto) 2 episodes, 2003
John Dartt John Dartt ...  Crowd Member #1 2 episodes, 2003
Darcy Lindzon Darcy Lindzon ...  Sergent (Dreamscape) 2 episodes, 2003
Gavin Buhr Gavin Buhr ...  Big Convict 2 episodes, 2003
Sarah Jane Blenkhorn Sarah Jane Blenkhorn ...  Nurse #1 (Chebucto) 2 episodes, 2003
Gordon Trites Gordon Trites ...  Soldier Sent to North Station 2 episodes, 2003
Jeremy Webb Jeremy Webb ...  Mont Blanc Crewman #1 2 episodes, 2003
Jean Morpurgo Jean Morpurgo ...  Crowd Member #2 2 episodes, 2003
Andrew Fowler Andrew Fowler ...  Sergeant on Horseback 2 episodes, 2003
Brianna MacDonald Brianna MacDonald ...  Senior Student 2 episodes, 2003
John Davie ...  Coleman's Friend 2 episodes, 2003
Gary Levert Gary Levert ...  Launch Captain 2 episodes, 2003
Glen Grant Glen Grant ...  Stevedore 2 episodes, 2003
Chris Turner Chris Turner ...  German Spy #1 2 episodes, 2003
Brian Jamieson ...  Peddler 2 episodes, 2003
Susan Leblanc-Crawford Susan Leblanc-Crawford ...  Head Nurse 2 episodes, 2003
David Alexander Miller David Alexander Miller ...  Wounded Soldier (Hospital Ship) 2 episodes, 2003
Shawn Duggan Shawn Duggan ...  Corporal (Looter Shooter) 2 episodes, 2003
Kevin Nugent Kevin Nugent ...  Man (Go to the Hill) 2 episodes, 2003
Adam Pennington Adam Pennington ...  Soldier with Sam's Rescue Party 2 episodes, 2003
Jeri-Matti Helppi Jeri-Matti Helppi ...  Doctor #2 (Chebucto) 2 episodes, 2003
Bridget Bezanson Bridget Bezanson ...  Nurse at Train 2 episodes, 2003
David Christoffel David Christoffel ...  Police Officer - Wyatt Arrest 2 episodes, 2003
Laura Muise Laura Muise ...  Girl (Mortuary) 2 episodes, 2003
Andy Smith ...  Sergeant (Cigarette Out) 2 episodes, 2003
Joseph McKibbon Joseph McKibbon ...  Collin's Clerk 2 episodes, 2003
Jim Fowler Jim Fowler ...  Soldier at Wellington Magazine 2 episodes, 2003
Miles Leahy Miles Leahy ...  Chicken Farmer 2 episodes, 2003
Joscelynne Bordeaux Joscelynne Bordeaux ...  Woman Amputee 2 episodes, 2003
Paul Jessen Paul Jessen ...  German Spy #2 2 episodes, 2003
Murray Vincent Countway Murray Vincent Countway ...  Mr. Thomas 2 episodes, 2003
David J. Francis ...  Mr. Hinch 2 episodes, 2003
Matt Grant Matt Grant ...  Mr. Keeler 2 episodes, 2003
Gil Anderson ...  Woman Dug Out By Sam 2 episodes, 2003
Richard Collins Richard Collins ...  Mont Blanc Engineer 2 episodes, 2003
Miles Meili ...  Sailor #1 Calling All Clear 2 episodes, 2003
George Green George Green ...  Police Officer at Courthouse 2 episodes, 2003
Daniel Lillford ...  Man #1 at Rally 2 episodes, 2003
Lucy Decoutere ...  Woman #1 at Rally 2 episodes, 2003
Zachary Bennett ...  Ernest 'Ernst' Masterson 2 episodes, 2003
Ted Dykstra ...  Francis Mackey 2 episodes, 2003
Tamara Hope ...  Beatrix Collins 2 episodes, 2003
Shauna MacDonald ...  Dr. Barbara Paxton 2 episodes, 2003
Vincent Walsh ...  Captain Charlie Collins 2 episodes, 2003


Shattered City, an epic two-part mini-series, dramatizes a compelling piece of Canadian history. It is the story of how a tragic incident at the height of the First World War became a living metaphor for the worldwide conflict, and how Halifax arose from the ashes after severe destruction and devastation. In the early hours of December 6, 1917, the Mont Blanc, a French-owned freighter loaded to the gunnel's with thousands of tons of TNT, collided with a Belgian relief ship and exploded in the Halifax Harbour. The explosion was so vast that it killed more than 2,000 people, injured 9,000 more and completely flattened two square kilometers of northern Halifax. The series settles mostly on one family, the Collins, who's eldest son Charlie, a captain in the Royal Canadian Army, who tries to find the rest of his family including his fatally injured father, as well as his mother, and other siblings among the rubble, and later finds himself as a lawyer defending the Mont Blanc's captain, Le ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

CBC [Canada]





Release Date:

2003 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

A Explosão de Halifax See more »

Filming Locations:

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The blast took 1/50th of a second to destroy the area damaged See more »


There is a scene at the railway station in which a rail car carries the old CNR logo (A maple leaf with a box inside it containing the words "Canadian National Railways"). The CNR was formed in 1923. See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to the spirit and the memory of Constance "Connie" Bond Young August 9, 1911 - February 22, 2003 See more »


Followed by City of Ruins: The Halifax Explosion (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

An interesting but flawed miniseries.
7 June 2005 | by hecklesSee all my reviews

My commentary: First and foremost, while the emphasis was on human error in the movie, the fact is war is a very fertile breeding ground for accidents on top of the deliberate carnage. "Saving Private Ryan" noted this with the mention of the glider that was fitted with armor plating - but no one thought to tell the pilot. So it crashes and six soldiers are killed needlessly. Accounts of war proliferate in tragic incidents such as that one. The Halifax Explosion must be the biggest war-related accident in history.

The Great War featured incomprehensibly vast usage of artillery shells, and artillery shells need TNT and other explosives. A lot of this had to be imported from the U.S., and by ships. Ships had to be gathered in ports. Ports will then see a lot of ships coming and going, and harbor masters are going to be pressed to keep all this traffic moving. The odds were considerable something like the incident of Dec. 6th, 1917 would happen someplace in Allied ports sooner or later.

Captain Le Medec probably wasn't the greatest or bravest mariner of all time. But how many ship captains who have seniority or pull are going to agree to captain a massive floating bomb at the height of the U-boat menace? Second, did anyone notice that the movie exonerates harbor pilot Mackie while making Le Medec and the Belgian captain look like total dolts at the helm; and has Mackie trying to avert disaster while the Frenchman funks off with his crew? Considering it is a Canadian and not a French production, what a surprise.

Then there is the almost defeatist speech Capt. Collins gives to the war rally in the church. Excuse me, an *officer* in HM forces blurting out like that? It simply wouldn't have happened at the time. Contrary to what he later tells Barbara, Germans weren't close to suing for peace at the time, and the war wasn't kept going only because the Allies wanted another year of war profits. Indeed, with the Western Front stalemated and Russia close to surrender, Ludendorff et al were convinced victory for Germany was just around the corner. And a lot of people on the Allied side feared the same thing.

On the plus side, I was impressed by what the production did with a limited CBC budget.

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