Frontier (2016 TV series)
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||18 (list of episodes)|
|Original release||November 6, 2016 –|
December 21, 2018
Frontier is a Canadian historical drama television series co-created by Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie, chronicling the North American fur trade in colonial Canada/Rupert's Land, sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s. The series is co-produced by Discovery Canada, as the channel's first original scripted commission, and Netflix. The series premiered on November 6, 2016.
The series was renewed for a second season in October 2016, ahead of its premiere, which premiered on October 18, 2017. Frontier was renewed for a third season on September 20, 2017, also ahead of the previous second season. The entirety of the third season premiered first on Netflix on November 23, 2018, and was broadcast in Canada between December 7 and 21, 2018.
The series chronicles the North American fur trade in late 1700s Canada, and follows Declan Harp (Jason Momoa), a half-Irish, half-Cree outlaw who is campaigning to breach the Hudson's Bay Company's monopoly on the fur trade in Canada, which has become corrupt and engages in illegal activities to enrich itself.
- Jason Momoa as Declan Harp, a ruthless trapper, infamous for his brutality, wanted by the Hudson's Bay Company
- Alun Armstrong as Lord Benton, member of the Hudson's Bay Company also known for his iron-fisted tactics.
- Landon Liboiron as Michael Smyth, a tumultuous thief who, after sneaking aboard a Hudson's Bay Company ship, is recruited by the company to spy on Declan Harp.
- Zoe Boyle as Grace Emberly, an ambitious bartender in Fort James who collects and peddles information.
- Jessica Matten as Sokanon
- Christian McKay as Father James Coffin (season 1), a lustful missionary who purports to be a priest; offers himself as a "guide" to Michael.
- Evan Jonigkeit as Captain/Governor Jonathan Chesterfield (season 1–2), Lord Benton's second-in-command.
- Shawn Doyle as Samuel Grant, head of Low River Company
- Greg Bryk as Cobbs Pond
- Zahn McClarnon as Samoset (seasons 1-2)
- Lyla Porter-Follows as Clenna Dolan
- Diana Bentley as Imogen
- Breanne Hill as Mary
- Paul Fauteux as Jean-Marc Rivard
- William Belleau as Dimanche (season 1)
- Allan Hawco as Douglas Brown
- Michael Patric as Malcolm Brown
- Stephen Lord as Cedric Brown (season 1), a Scott who captures the son of the Lake Walkers tribe's chief
- Katie McGrath as Elizabeth Carruthers (season 1–2)
- Charles Aitken as Captain Johnson (season 1)
- Tantoo Cardinal as Kamenna
- Raoul Trujillo as Machk (season 1)
- Kiowa Gordon as Kitchi (season 1)
- Cameron Roberts as Chogan (season 1)
- Jean-Michel Le Gal as Commander Everton (season 2, recurring season 1)
- Demetrius Grosse as Charleston 'Charlie' (season 2–3)
- Karen LeBlanc as Josephette (season 2–3)
- Joel Thomas Hynes as Darragh (season 2)
- David Schaal as Captain Grey (season 2)
- Rémy Girard as Marquis de Beaumont (season 2)
- Jamie Sives as Magnus McTaggart (season 2–3)
- Natar Ungalaaq as Inuit hunter (season 2)
- Nagliniq Amagoalik as Inuit child (season 2)
- James Preston Rogers as Vladimir 'The Siberian' Tetukin (season 2)
- Brendt Thomas Diabo as Aki (season 2)
- Kathryn Wilder as Chaulk (season 2–)
- Paul Ewan Wilson as Vanstone (season 3, recurring season 1–2)
- Paul McGillion as Major Vinnicombe (season 3)
- Jay Simpson as Lord Winston Fisher (season 3)
- Ellyn Jade as Kahwihta (season 3)
- Michael Raymond-James as Fortunato (season 3)
- Temuera Morrison as Te Rangi (season 3)
- Gary Lewis as Edward Emberly (season 3)
- Gordon Brown as Barclay (season 3)
- Cal MacAninch as Angus (season 3)
- Stephen Oates as Patrick O'Reilly (season 3)
- Evan Mercer as Mercer (season 3)
- Sean Wei Mah as Omaciw
- Graham Abbey as MacLaughlan (season 1)
- A.C. Peterson as Governor Threadwell (season 1)
- Peter O'Meara as Peter Carruthers (season 1)
- Nathaniel Arcand as Wahush (season 2)
- Star Slade as Minno (season 2)
- Ryan Tarran as Wadlow (season 3)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||November 6, 2016||December 11, 2016|
|2||6||October 18, 2017||November 22, 2017|
|3||6||December 7, 2018||December 21, 2018|
Season 1 (2016)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Can. air date|
|1||1||"A Kingdom Unto Itself"||Brad Peyton||Rob Blackie & Peter Blackie & Perry Chafe||November 6, 2016|
|Bent on restoring the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trade stranglehold, Lord Benton voyages to the New World to stamp out cutthroat trapper Declan Harp.|
|2||2||"Little Brother War"||Brad Peyton||Perry Chafe||November 13, 2016|
|While Emberly schemes with Captain Chesterfield behind Lord Benton's back, Harp makes a dangerous raid to secure an alliance with the Cree.|
|3||3||"Mushkegowuk Esquewu"||John Vatcher||Rob Blackie & Peter Blackie & Joseph Kay||November 20, 2016|
|Harp scrambles to make peace after Lord Benton's intrigues stir up deadly trouble among the independent trading outfits and the Cree.|
|4||4||"Wolves"||Kelly Makin||Greg Nelson||November 27, 2016|
|A Hudson's Bay Company ship arrives from London with a surprise passenger and troubling news for Lord Benton, who lays a snare for Michael and Harp.|
|5||5||"The Disciple"||Ken Girotti||Greg Nelson||December 4, 2016|
|A shrewd new entrepreneur contrives to topple Grant and the Brown brothers alike, and Lord Benton's obsession with Harp disintegrates into savagery.|
|6||6||"The Gallows"||Ken Girotti||Greg Spottiswood||December 11, 2016|
|Declan is badly hurt. He returns to the Alehouse seeking Grace Emberly's help. Declan wants revenge on Benton. Emberly's tell Chesterfield now is the time to arrest Benton and become Governor. Everton asks Benton for more food for his imprisoned soldiers but Benton refuses. Everton receives 50 lashes in the yard. Samuel Grant visits Fort James and meets with Emberly. He also visits Benton. Michael, Clenna and Sokanon try to make it back to Fort James to stop Declan but Clenna breaks her leg. Malcolm Brown waits for Chesterfield in the Alehouse. Emberly de-escalates a confrontation between them. Chesterfield proposes to Emberly and she refuses. Michael, Clenna and Sokanon make to the Alehouse and the girls set Clenna's leg. Declan meets with Samuel Grant. Declan agrees for Samuel Grant to do business with the Black Wolf Company, on the condition that Grace Emberly has safe passage to Montreal and that Samuel takes Benton for a walk tomorrow. Emberly betrays Chesterfield to Malcolm Brown. Chesterfield and Malcolm fight and Malcolm is badly beaten. Michael goes after Declan. Samuel Grant meets with Benton as promised but informs him that Declan is waiting to attack him. Declan injures Benton but is captured. Clenna and Michael end their relationship. Michael, Sokanon, Emberly and the girls from the Alehouse blow up the magazine while Declan stands on the gallows. Benton aims for Declan but shoots Father Coffin. Michael shoots Benton and Declan escapes.|
Season 2 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Can. air date|
|7||1||"Dead Reckoning"||Brad Peyton||Sherry White||October 18, 2017|
|With a bounty on Harp's head, Fort James fills up with bounty hunters; Emberly and Chesterfield conspire against Benton; Michael and Sokanon struggle to keep the Black Wolf in business.|
|8||2||"Wanted"||Brett Sullivan||Aubrey Nealon||October 25, 2017|
|Bounty hunters find Harp in the North. Benton sails to England at the mercy of Everton, but makes a new friend. Michael has a plan to make the Black Wolf more money. Carruthers and Grant vie for the attention of a French Marquis, and Emberly finds herself in danger of losing her independence.|
|9||3||"The Wolf and the Bear"||John Vatcher||Chris Roberts||November 1, 2017|
|Harp is hunted by the Siberian. Michael and Sokanon plot a heist against the Hudson Bay Company. Emberly seeks to protect her father's alehouse from Chesterfield.|
|10||4||"Mutiny"||David Frazee||Adriana Maggs||November 8, 2017|
|Michael and Sokanon remain at Fort James preparing to execute the plan for the Black Wolf company. En route to England, Benton proves he is still a skilled manipulator and Chesterfield demonstrates that he is an able student of Benton's.|
|11||5||"Cannonball"||Paul Fox||Kerri MacDonald & Sherry White||November 15, 2017|
|Emberly reclaims the Alehouse, but even caught with his pants down, Chesterfield does not intend to lighten the pressure. The plan for seizing the pelts becomes more dangerous. Grant's and Elizabeth's sparring turns deadly.|
|12||6||"Keetom Takooteeoo Maheekun (The Return of the Wolf)"||David Frazee||Peter Blackie & Rob Blackie||November 22, 2017|
|Michael meets Pond and negotiates the sale of the stolen pelts but Sokanon has reservations, meanwhile Chesterfield is searching for Harp and Grace is in danger. Douglas and Malcolm Brown find a new ally and set their sights on a weakened Grant. Lord Benton is the chess grand-master and is making sinister plans.|
Season 3 (2018)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Can. air date|
|13||1||"The Low Road"||TJ Scott||Sherry White||December 7, 2018|
|Declan sets out to save Grace from Benton; Michael tries to keep the BWC together; the Browns and Samuel find themselves in the same boat.|
|14||2||"La Fin Du Monde"||TJ Scott||Russ Cochrane||December 7, 2018|
|Emberly and Chaulk turn the tables on Benton; Michael makes an attempt at forming an alliance.|
|15||3||"Satanazes"||TJ Scott||Kerri MacDonald||December 14, 2018|
|Harp and the group chase Emberly and Benton; Emberly tries to figure out what Benton wants; Douglas finds out about a betrayal; Malcolm gets in some trouble.|
|16||4||"All For All and None For One"||Lee Rose||Sherry White & Michelle Latimer||December 14, 2018|
|Harp and the crew assemble more men in Scotland; Michael tries to come to agreement with the Lake Walkers; Sokanon is betrayed.|
|17||5||"House of the Lord"||John Vatcher||Christopher Roberts||December 21, 2018|
|Lord Benton leverages Grace in his cause with the Hudson's Bay Company. Harp discovers a betrayal. Sokanon faces a perverse imprisonment.|
|18||6||"The Sins of the Father"||John Vatcher||Rob Blackie & Peter Blackie||December 21, 2018|
|While the new alliance teeters on collapse Sokanon's crusade leads to bloodshed. Harp invades Lord Benton's castle and faces a dark temptation.|
The series is co-produced by Discovery Canada, as the channel's first original scripted commission, and Netflix. Filming for Frontier took place in several locations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, Canada, as well as Cornwall and Northumberland in the United Kingdom.
The series is produced in 4K ultra high definition; on January 8, 2016, Bell Media confirmed that Frontier would stream in 4K via the Discovery Go app exclusively on Samsung 4K smart TVs.
The series premiered on November 6, 2016. The series was renewed for a second season in October 2016, ahead of its premiere, which premiered on October 18, 2017. Frontier was renewed for a third season on September 20, 2017, also ahead of the previous season. The entirety of the third season premiered first on Netflix on November 23, 2018, and was broadcast in Canada between December 7 and 21, 2018.
Internationally, the series is distributed by Netflix, with the first season available from January 20, 2017. An exclusivity agreement meant that the series would not be available on Netflix in Canada until 2017.
The first season received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating from critics of 43% based on 14 reviews, with the site's consensus reading "Jason Momoa's powerhouse performance as Declan Harp is ultimately weighed down by Frontier's often sluggish storytelling". Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 52 out of 100, based on reviews from 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
In a positive review, John Doyle of The Globe and Mail described the series as "an action-packed, uncomplicated and very entertaining yarn about the cutthroats who created this country by plundering it, when they weren't busy killing each other". Doyle felt the opening episode's handling of interactions with First Nations was handled "delicately," commenting that Frontier was "far from being a whitewashed tale about the English, Scots, Irish and French battling out for possession of fur and land".
The second season was better received and has a 100% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.
Awards and nominations
Canadian Screen Awards
|2017||Best Achievement in Casting||Denise Chamain, Sara Kay, Jenny Lewis, Danielle Irvine||Nominated|||
|Best Direction in a Dramatic Series||Brad Peyton||Nominated|
|Best Achievement in Make-Up||Elizabeth Kuchurean||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Michael Ground||Nominated|
|Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role||Jason Momoa||Nominated|
|Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Fiction Program or Series||Gordon Barnes||Nominated|
|2018||Best Achievement in Make-Up||Elizabeth Kuchurean, Norma Richard||Nominated|||
|Best Costume Design||Michael Ground||Nominated|
|Best Photography, Drama||Glen Keenan||Nominated|
|Best Production Design or Art Direction, Fiction||Gord Barnes||Nominated|
|Best Sound, Fiction||Marco Dolle, David Yonson, John Elliot, Clive Turner, Alastair Gray, Orest Sushko, Janice Ierulli, Dave Johnson, Mark Shnuriwsky||Nominated|
Directors Guild of Canada Awards
|2017||Best Production Design - Television Series||Gordon Barnes
(Episode 101 – A Kingdom Unto Itself)
|Best Sound Editing - Television Series||Matthew Hussey, Alastair Gray, Mark Shnuriwsky, Clive Turner
(Episode 104, Wolves)
|2018||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series||John Vatcher
(Episode 203, The Wolf and the Bear)
- ^ "Jason Momoa to Star in Netflix Adventure Drama Frontier from San Andreas Director". Variety. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- ^ a b "Netflix Picks Up Canadian Period Action Series Frontier Starring Jason Momoa". Deadline Hollywood. 16 November 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- ^ "That's a wrap! Frontier finishes filming in Newfoundland". CBC News. Archived from the original on 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
- ^ "Fortress Louisbourg acting as backdrop for new TV series Frontier". CBC News. Archived from the original on 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
- ^ "Behind-the-scenes pictures of Netflix drama Frontier during filming in Northumberland - Northumberland Gazette". Northumberland Gazette. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
- ^ "Discovery GO Ups Ante on Home Cinematic Experience with 4K Ultra HD". Bell Media press release. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- ^ "It's a Cutthroat, Untamed New World as Discovery's Frontier Premieres, November 6 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT". CNW Group. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20.
- ^ "Netflix Renews Jason Momoa Drama Frontier for Season 2". 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- ^ "Discovery Announces 2017/18 Original Programming Slate; Canadian Hits Headline Network's 2017 Fall Lineup". Bell Media. Archived from the original on 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
- ^ "Discovery's Original Dramatic Adventure Series Frontier Returns for World Premiere of Season 2 on October 18, as Series Renewed for Season 3". CNW Group. 2017-09-20. Archived from the original on 2017-09-22. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
- ^ "Netflix's Frontier Season 3 — Premiere date November 23". RenewCancelTV. 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
- ^ "Season 3 of Frontier, Discovery's Original Dramatic Adventure Series, Premiering Dec. 7". TV eh?. November 9, 2018.
- ^ Petski, Denise (November 14, 2016). "Jason Momoa's 'Frontier' Gets Netflix Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- ^ "More Than Half a Million Viewers Make Discovery's FRONTIER the Most-Watched Canadian Original Scripted Series Debut on Specialty TV This Year – Bell Media". www.bellmedia.ca. Archived from the original on 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
- ^ "Frontier: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- ^ "Frontier : Season 1". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- ^ Doyle, John (4 November 2016). "John Doyle: Frontier is a lively, bloody yarn about Canada's fur trade wars". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- ^ "Frontier: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
- ^ "2017 TV Nominees - Academy.ca". Academy.ca. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- ^ "2018 TV Nominees".
- ^ "2017 Dorectors Guild of Canada Awards — Nominees Announced". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on 4 February 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- ^ "Television Nominees Announced for 17th Annual DGC Awards". CNW Group. September 6, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
- 2010s Canadian drama television series
- 2016 Canadian television series debuts
- 2018 Canadian television series endings
- Canadian Western (genre) television series
- Discovery Channel (Canada) original programming
- English-language Netflix original programming
- Historical television series
- Television shows about Native Americans
- 2010s Western (genre) television series