The Episodes

Season 1 (2012)

1×01 “Jumping Tracks”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Adrienne Mitchell
Original airdate: January 4, 2012

It’s 1941 and Canadian men are at war, leaving wives, daughters and sweethearts to replace them in the bomb factories. Rich young socialite Gladys Witham yearns to do her part, joining Victory Munitions’ secretarial pool. Orbiting this new working-class world, Gladys meets the gals of Blue Shift — including Betty, a tough farm-girl, newbie Kate who’s running from a violent past, and glamorous Vera. Governing them all is Lorna, their formidable shift matron, whose stern exterior masks a conflicted soul. Enjoying her taste of this new life, Gladys embarks on a brave and foolhardy venture — to secretly defy her family and join these girls. Can “the Princess” snag a job working the dangerous factory line?

1×02 “Misfires”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Adrienne Mitchell
Original airdate: January 11, 2012

Gladys works hard to juggle her double life, racing between the factory-floor and high-society parties, when an unforeseen tragedy divides the factory. A faulty test-bomb sends a worker to the hospital with serious injuries. Men are quick to blame the Blue Shift women, and factory manager Harold needs a scapegoat. Determined to clear the girls, Lorna and Marco each conduct their own investigation, while Kate scrambles to protect her false identity. Given her outsider status, can Gladys galvanize the women to stand up for their rights?

1×03 “How You Trust”

Written by Esta Spalding, directed by Ken Girotti
Original airdate: January 18, 2012

A surprise inspection throws Victory Munitions into a frenzy. Determined to prove themselves, the girls band together. But Lorna uses the opportunity to incriminate Marco, while Kate finds herself Prime Suspect in a raft of thefts. Exiled to the storeroom, Kate meets a man who shows her a thrilling new world of music. Singled out as the thief’s target, Gladys lays a trap that nets a shocking secret.

1×04 “Bringing Up Bombshell”

Written by John Krizanc, directed by Ken Girotti
Original airdate: January 25, 2012

Blue Shift claims the honour of building Victory Munitions’ millionth bomb, and film director Russell Joseph is searching for the perfect poster-girl to star in his recruitment newsreel. While he has eyes on Gladys, Management chooses Betty who, urged by Kate, accepts. Meanwhile, a rise in factory hanky- panky prompts Lorna to pitch Harold on a factory “code of conduct” governing relations between men and women. Bolstered by Russell, Gladys finally finds the courage to confront James about his past — only to be hit with an unexpected confession.

1×05 “Armistice”

Written by Shelley Ericksen, directed by Anne Wheeler
Original airdate: February 1, 2012

As Marco presses Lorna to forget her guilt and enjoy their affair, a telegram arrives: Lorna’s son Stanley is a war hero. Learning this, Harold selects Lorna to speak at the upcoming Armistice Day ceremony. Gladys’s dalliance with Private Lewis Pine comes to light when James discovers his letters to her. Meanwhile, Archie’s deteriorating condition forces Vera to make a hard choice about whether to help a friend in need, or fulfil her own dark plans.

1×06 “Elements of Surprise”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Anne Wheeler
Original airdate: February 8, 2012

When Gladys’s parents make a surprise visit to Victory Munitions, their attempt at reconciliation exposes her secret life on the factory line. Lorna meanwhile faces her own parental issues, fearing that her affair has left her in the bind she warns her girls against — pregnancy. Kate is surprised by the return of her abusive father Vernon, but is bolstered by Betty to make a stand. However, all bets are off as shocking news from overseas leads each girl to face a life-altering choice, knowing the next days may be their last.


Season 2 (2013)

2×01 “The Quickening”

Written by Raymond Storey, directed by Adrienne Mitchell
Original airdate: January 2, 2013

It’s 1942, and with the Axis taking every battle, there’s a real chance the bad guys could win. After meeting Kai, a Chinese-American who has witnessed the horrors of the war in Hong Kong, Gladys is determined to help Canadian POW’s – organizing a fundraiser that her parents aim to usurp as a PR opportunity. Lorna continues to deal with the fallout from her pregnancy, especially when both Bob and Marco learn the truth. Betty finds a vanished friend – but may end up wishing she hadn’t.

2×02 “Roses Red”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Adrienne Mitchell
Original airdate: January 9, 2013

It might be the most romantic day of the year, but not everyone’s feeling amorous. Struggling under her father’s spectre, Kate tries to talk her way out of a delicate situation. Marco, still reeling from Lorna’s news, must confront Bob at the exact moment Lorna needs him most. Gladys’s Valentine’s Day gets a boost when she gets a surprise visit from a soldier, while Vera considers a novel way to show her patriotism.

2×03 “The Enemy Within”

Written by Alison Lea Bingeman, directed by Don McBearty
Original airdate: January 16, 2013

After pulling some strings, Gladys lends her car and stature to the Moretti family cause, as together they visit Marco’s father, who hopes his hard-won hearing will finally see him free. Back at VicMu, Lorna tries to impress the girls with some frugal wartime recipes, but finds a less than enthusiastic reception. Betty and Kate try to heal their wounds with a dose of religion at Leon’s church, while Vera discovers that helping out soldiers in need has reciprocal benefits.

2×04 “Guests of Honour”

Written by Joseph Kay, directed by Don McBearty
Original airdate: January 23, 2013

Lorna pulls out all the stops (and all her rations) to host a dinner party for her son Gene, an ace gunner and wild-child on leave promoting war bonds. But when the blackout siren sounds, Gene takes advantage of the cover of darkness to make his escape. Meanwhile, at the rooming house news of escaped German POWs set the girls on edge. Gladys distracts herself with cards and the company of friends, anything to take her mind off her fiancé James’s presumed wartime proclivities. A surprise arrival ignites a tinderbox with Kate trying to impress the war hero and Betty struggling to come to terms with her cellared past.

2×05 “The Harder We Fight”

Written by Julia Cohen, directed by Jerry Ciccoritti
Original airdate: January 30, 2013

When a group of Maritimers arrive at the plant, one of the girls, Reggie, immediately draws Betty’s suspicions and ire. Meanwhile, Lorna’s hot-blooded son Gene convinces Gladys to join him on an adventure that leads where neither expected. Carol and Vera fight for the prize of being office manager – and Carol fights dirty. Marco has to account for his whereabouts while wrestling with the growing knowledge that somebody is trailing him.

2×06 “Where There’s Smoke”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Jerry Ciccoritti
Original airdate: February 6, 2013

When Gladys discovers who’s really been paying her hotel bills, she takes a page out of Gene’s devil-may-care attitude, and makes some bold choices. Lorna finally admits that her son’s bravado might have darker roots. Betty meets a soldier named Teresa – who offers her new possibilities. Marco sources the cavalcade fireworks from Frank, a former childhood friend, who hints he could also help Marco in other ways.

2×07 “Party Line”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Rachel Talalay
Original airdate: March 25, 2013

It’s harvest time and as the girls pluck the bounty of their victory garden, Vera uncovers a TNT shortage, shining an unwelcome light on the men of the Blue Shift – and jeopardizing her burgeoning friendship with Marco. Meanwhile, as preliminary reports of a successful raid on Dieppe are broadcast cross-country, Gladys isolates herself to fight her own private battles and Betty has an unexpected reunion with a soldier. Lorna fights for her long coveted home telephone, but any success is tempered by her growing fears for the safety of her sons.

2×08 “Fifth Column”

Written by Pamela Pinch & Raymond Storey, directed by Rachel Talalay
Original airdate: April 1, 2013

While out with the girls, Gladys finds herself a magnet of unwanted interest – first from a mystery man and then from an overly-curious redhead who plies her with questions about the factory. Meanwhile, in a bid to get closer to her daughter, Lorna enlists Kate to volunteer with her at Sheila’s hospital. Kate does her best to reach a shell-shocked soldier, while Lorna faces her own shocks from Sheila. Betty’s budding relationship with Teresa intensifies – attracting some unwelcome attention.

2×09 “Something Fierce”

Written by Joseph Kay, directed by Bruce McDonald
Original airdate: April 8, 2013

Writing an article on Women at War, legendary and controversial journalist Dottie Shannon visits the factory – ruffling feathers and shining a light on the stark disparity between women and men’s salaries. After this revelation, Lorna is torn – does she pursue a raise and risk the wrath of her male co-workers, or consent to the status quo “for the good of the war effort”? Gladys runs into Clifford in the most unexpected of places and learns the true extent of the shadow-world of intelligence. Kate is also faced with a career conundrum when she’s offered the chance to sing in a live revue – only to discover that it’s a bawdy burlesque show.

2×10 “Romeo Foxtrott”

Written by Alison Lea Bingeman, directed by Bruce McDonald
Original airdate: April 15, 2013

News that passenger ferry, SS Caribou has been torpedoed off Newfoundland gives the war a new sense of urgency on the home front. Clifford impresses upon Gladys the importance of wartime intelligence and keeping tabs on her friends, but Vera misconstrues Gladys’s newfound interest in Marco. Marco further questions his allegiances after his mother is wrongfully accused of stealing at Witham Foods. Lorna decides to give dance class a whirl and finds herself smitten with dancing and possibly with the teacher. Kate grapples with what it means to be “practically married,” while Betty personally experiences the difficult plight of being a soldier’s girl.

2×11 “Kings and Pawns”

Written by Raymond Storey, directed by Paolo Barzman
Original airdate: April 22, 2013

The Governor General’s upcoming tour of Victory Munitions has the factory in a whirl. On the surface it’s all flowers and curtsies, but the Earl’s visit has set many wheels in motion. Gladys is unsettled after being dismissed by Clifford who informs her that her intelligence has led to ensnaring Marco, a man she believes is decent, albeit misguided. Meanwhile, Marco’s options are dwindling as he is appalled to learn that the non-violent anti-war statement he planned with Frank has morphed into something else – to be perfectly timed with the Earl’s visit. Lorna enlists Bob in her ongoing dispute with Sheila, resulting in unforeseen consequences.

2×12 “Blood Relations”

Written by Michael MacLennan, directed by Paolo Barzman
Original airdate: April 29, 2013

A blood drive calls on everyone at VicMu to donate to the boys fighting Rommel in Egypt and while some are eager to give, others feel uneasy about getting drained. Kate’s glow in the wake of her happy reunion with her mother and her upcoming wedding is dimmed by the reappearance of Detective Brodie and his questions about her father’s death. Clifford reveals the breadth of his talents to Gladys and he offers her an unexpected opportunity. Lorna grapples with decisions that could have life altering consequences for those she loves. Vera makes a clear statement vis-à-vis Marco, forcing him to examine old patterns. Meanwhile in a brave sacrifice, Betty demonstrates the ultimate expression of love.