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This Is Wonderland

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This Is Wonderland
TiW S3 intertitle.png
This Is Wonderland season 3 intertitle
Created by
Theme music composerVarouje Hagopian
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Executive producer(s)
  • Dani Romain
  • Michael Prupas
  • George F. Walker
  • Bernard Zukerman
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorMuse Entertainment
Original networkCBC
Original releaseJanuary 12, 2004 –
March 15, 2006
External links
Production website

This Is Wonderland is a Canadian legal comedy-drama television series that premiered on CBC on January 12, 2004. The series was created by George F. Walker, Dani Romain, and Bernard Zukerman.

The second season premiered on January 25, 2005, and the third season on November 23, 2005. On February 13, 2006, CBC declined to order a fourth season, effectively cancelling the show. The final episode aired on March 15, 2006.


Alice De Raey, played by Cara Pifko, a young criminal lawyer fresh out of Osgoode Hall Law School, is thrown into a chaotic justice system. She encounters characters ranging from the truly desperate to the bizarre. Alice, with a good-natured openness that cloaks a tenacious, committed spirit, finds herself on a journey that constantly tests her patience and compassion. Alice has a distinctive habit of muttering to herself.

Set in the courtrooms of Toronto's Old City Hall, cast regulars include Michael Riley, Michael Murphy, Michael Healey, Siu Ta, Eric Peterson, Janet-Laine Green and Kathryn Winslow. Jayne Eastwood and Ron Lea joined the cast in 2005.

In addition to Alice's education in the real world of low rent criminal justice, distinctive features of the Wonderland courtroom include respectful treatment of the mental health concerns of both defendants and the authority figures (judges and lawyers) faced with the contradictions of the system and the multicultural nature of Toronto society. Events in many of the characters' lives overwhelm their ability to emotionally cope and the shortcomings of the "blunt instrument" of the judicial system to address those situations are fully explored. Language and cultural barriers routinely figure into the course of justice, raising questions about the ability of the judicial system to respond to the needs of a changing society.

Cast and characters[edit]


Within Canada, reruns of This Is Wonderland were broadcast on CBC's specialty channel Country Canada[1] (later rebranded as Bold).

The syndication began airing on South African network M-Net Series on July 7, 2009.[2] The series also became available on VisionTV.[3]


Awards and nominations[edit]

During the series' run, four Gemini Awards were awarded to members of the cast. Michael Murphy (as Judge Maxwell Fraser) won Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series in 2004 and 2005; Cara Pifko (as Alice DeRaey) won Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in 2005; and Michael Riley (as Eliot Sacks) won Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in 2005.[4]

This Is Wonderland received twelve Gemini nominations, including Best Dramatic Series (in 2006).[5][6][7]

Home media[edit]

The first season was released on DVD in Region 1 on September 6, 2005.[8] Seasons two and three have not been released on DVD.


As of 2017 the series has been released online for free on Canada Media Fund’s Encore+ YouTube channel.


  1. ^ "This is Wonderland". CBC. 2006. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006.
  2. ^ "This is Wonderland". TVSA. Retrieved 25 October 2009..
  3. ^ "This is Wonderland". VisionTV. 2011. Archived from the original on November 30, 2011.
  4. ^ "This is Wonderland". Awards Database. Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "Cancelled CBC drama gets 12 Gemini nominations". TO411 Daily. August 29, 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Look who's up for a Gemini Award! (full list of nominees)". SooToday. Village Media. September 3, 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  7. ^ Strauss, Marise (September 4, 2006). "Defunct Wonderland leads Gemini noms". Playback. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  8. ^ "This Is Wonderland: The Complete First Season [Import]". Amazon. 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2009.

External links[edit]