Bomb Girls is an explosive homegrown TV drama

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support today for as little as $1 per month!

I'm not generally a fan of network TV. Mostly because I have a kryptonite strength hate on for the reality television that tends to fill the air these days. However on this occasion, I raise a glass to Global for bankrolling, as well as promoting the heck out of "Bomb Girls," a terrific new dramatic Canadian mini-series about a group of women working at a munitions factory during WWII.

Stylistically, the program is reminiscent of Douglas Sirk's technicolour melodramas of the 1950s, or the colour saturated sets and wardrobes that we've seen in Mad Men. There's a particular look to this period, and director Adrienne Mitchell, not wanting to fall back on the sepia tones so frequently used in period dramas, opted to use to a special kind of HD Kodachrome film look so the series would vibrantly pop. In short, Bomb Girls looks great.

While Mitchell's choice of the Kodachrome look gives the series an expensive, appealing patina, it also serves to nicely reflect some of the bitter ironies of the time. The women's bold red lipstick is also the same bright colour used on the bomb tips. Everything in Bomb Girls is potentially explosive. Most certainly the war that the boys are fighting overseas, but also the sexual battle that takes place in the homes and especially on the floor of the munitions factory.

Things here are red hot. The few men who have been left behind relentlessly harass the women on the assembly line in an appalling manner. Any viewer under 50 will be shocked at what passed as acceptable behaviour not all that long ago. Bomb Girls should be required viewing for anyone interested in the battle of the sexes, and particularly young women today who proudly disavow feminism. Watch this program and you'll see why the feminist revolution needed to be waged.

Then there are the socio-economic battles. Jodi Balfour plays Gladys, a poor little rich girl who defiantly insists on taking a job on the floor so she can see how the other half lives. While Gladys is undeniably slumming, the reaction this prompts from her patriarchal monster father is terrifying. Gladys might live in an ivory castle, but one misstep and Daddy will toss her pampered behind out the door and onto the streets.

Meg Tilly's character, Lorna, runs herd over the girls on the line, acting as the voice of reason and the conduit between the women on the floor and the dismissive bosses who run the factory. She's a tough, middle-aged woman with two sons at war and a bitter paraplegic husband who hates the fact that she provides for the family and he can't.

Lorna fearlessly barks out orders, appearing to be the only woman who can go toe to toe with the men; but secretly Lorna is terrified that a telegram will arrive any day with the news that one of her sons is dead.

The rest of the cast is equally good and for such a large ensemble, their stories are well drawn. I didn't feel cheated or rushed, as is frequently the case when you have so many stories attempting to fill a scant six hours of TV.

There's a young woman who has assumed a fake identity and is on the run from her sadistic preacher father who has taken to whipping her. A lesbian dynamic is hinted at, and of course there is the rich girl/poor boy storyline that feels fresh, even though it's an extremely familiar narrative.

And that's just a taste as to the flavour of the show. If the first episode is any indication as to the quality of the rest of the series, Bomb Girls is bound to be a big Canadian hit.

Bomb Girls was created by Michael MacLennan and Adrienne Mitchell and co-produced by Mitchell and Janis Lundman from Back Alley Pictures and Muse Entertainment. It starts this Wednesday, Jan. 4th at 8 p.m. EST on the Global Television Network. Don't miss it.

Cathi Bond is a writer/broadcaster and a regular contributor to Listen to her movie review podcasts for by clicking here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.