The trailer has arrived for the upcoming CBC mini-series Unspeakable, which hails from former Stargate scribe Robert C. Cooper and features many familiar faces from the Stargate universe.
Check it out below.
Unspeakable tells the real-life story of the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s, in which thousands of people contracted HIV and Hepatitis C after receiving tainted blood products that had not been sufficiently screened. It was one of the largest medical disasters in Canadian history, resulting in a lawsuit that paid out billions of dollars in compensation to victims.
It’s a labor of love for Cooper, who is himself a victim who contracted Hep-C from tainted blood. In addition to writing and executive producing, Cooper is directing multiple episodes.
Michael Shanks (“Daniel Jackson”) stars in the 8-part drama as Will Sanders, a public health official and father who fights for his hemophiliac son. He is among the first to recognize the problem of tainted blood in the country’s public health system. Shanks recently spoke with GateWorld about the project.
“It’s about the tainted blood scandal that affected most of the western countries in the early 80s pertaining to Hep-C and HIV that ran rampant through transfused blood,” Shanks said. “It’s a great story that’s still going on. The repercussions and the lack of closure on that subject in England, in the U.S., in Canada … I think it’s going to be quite an interesting story, and a story that needs to be told.”
Now more than two decades after he met Robert Cooper on Stargate, Shanks said that participating in the mini-series helped him to understand Cooper.
“There was a large stigma that existed with contracting disease through [transfusion],” Shanks said. “… Doing the show now, and meeting [Cooper’s] parents … made me understand Rob a lot more. It made me understand his demeanor a lot more — his whole presentation of life. And doing this show with him was just so personal to him. It was great to be part of, and it made me understand him.”
Also starring are Sarah Wayne Callies (Colony), Shawn Doyle (Big Love), and Camille Sullivan (The Man in the High Castle).
Unspeakable is loaded with other Stargate veterans as well, including Lexa Doig (Stargate’s Dr. Carolyn Lam), Paul McGillion (“Carson Beckett”), Brian Markinson (“Lotan”), and Aaron Douglas (who was Moac in “Maternal Instinct” and then a Jaffa in “Redemption” before finding fame as BSG‘s Chief Tyrol).
“First and foremost, the series is about the emotional impact this terrible tragedy had,” Cooper said via press release. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such incredibly talented people committed to bringing our lead characters to life.”
Stargate writer-producer Carl Binder is also working with Cooper on the project, and Stargate’s John G. Lenic is producing.
Unspeakable premieres on CBC in Canada on Wednesday, January 9 (9 p.m.). In the U.S. it will be released on the Sundance streaming service, SundanceTV.
Stick with GateWorld for Michael and Lexa’s full video interview on this and other topics in the days ahead!