The Inspiration channel, which ranks among the fastest growing basic cable networks in America with a broadcast reach of up to 73 million viewers, recently announced it will broadcast “Courage, New Hampshire” nationally on Memorial Day 2013.
See the ISPN trailer:
“We are very excited to make this announcement,” said INSP Senior VP of programming, Doug Butts. “Original scripted dramas are going to play a significant role in INSP’s future programming strategy. Courage, New Hampshire is an outstanding addition to our already strong programming line-up.”
“With the overwhelming success of period shows like Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, North & South, etc., audiences will find Courage, New Hampshire equally compelling,” Butts said. “Courage, New Hampshire fits perfectly with the INSP brand.”
Visionary, screenplay writer, director, actor and co-producer James Patrick Riley noted, “I am looking forward to seeing INSP deliver a large audience. I am hoping that we will eventually go into regular production, with many more seasons to come. Likewise, it would be great to establish ourselves in mainstream media, because we have done something really special here. To have created an American 18th century serial episodic period drama is something really phenomenal. Not even any of the major networks have attempted that.”
When asked about the future of Courage, Colony Bay Entertainment executive and Courage co-producer Jonathan Wilson replied, “Currently, we are in the pre-planning stages for a season two, so stay tuned. We can’t say a whole lot about the number of episodes, but we’re pretty sure about one thing…There will be more romance.”
In episode one-“The Travail of Sarah Pine”- The viewer visits the frontier township of Courage, located in western New Hampshire. When British soldiers arrive in search of deserters their quarry escapes, but one of them catches the eye of Justice of the Peace Silas Rhodes and a dramatic, gripping trail ensues.
Dramatic, believable acting by an outstanding cast of talented actors (featuring Alexandra Oliver as Sarah Pine, Nathan Kershaw as British deserter Bob Wheedle, James Patrick Riley as tavern keeper and Justice of the Peace Silas Rhodes and Basil Hoffman as royal solicitor Simeon Trapp) propel the show.
In episode two-“The Sons of Liberty”- Justice Rhodes travels to Portsmouth for the execution of two notorious criminals. Royal Governor Wentworth details how ruling New England will require a “light hand”, and the Township of Courage greets the arrival of a new pastor.
Performances by Donal Thomas-Cappello as the deceptively sinister Reverend Silence Laud, Isabelle Gardo as the desirable Abby Lamb, Greg Martin as the burglar and Joe Massingill as the counterfeiter make this episode delightful and compelling. Mike Gallagher appears as a jovial barkeep and Andrew Breitbart plays the part of the High Sherriff.
In episode three-“A Snake in the Garden”- Governor Wentworth begins enforcement of the unwelcomed, unpopular white pine act. The “Reverend” Silence Laud makes romantic advances on the lovely Miss Lamb, and the sons of liberty are the only one who stands between royal imprisonment and a farmer’s freedom.
Donal Thomas-Cappello reprises his role as Reverend Laud, and Isabelle Gardo returns as Abby Lamb. Jonathan Salisbury as Noah Pine, Allen Marsh as Abraham Fox and Patrick Finerty as William Bramley further drive the drama of this episode.
In episode four-“Ambition”- Reverend Laud becomes ensnared in his own deceit while Governor Wentworth takes steps towards enforcement of royal justice upon Courage. While at a training day in Portsmouth the neighboring towns’ gathered militias are pushed by Courage townsmen to ponder the question: “are you with us?”
The circle of drama continues as the Sons of Liberty stand against corrupt British rule.
The production quality is top notch, featuring crisp photography and well-paced editing that tells the story while avoiding the pitfalls of encryption or dragging scenes. The beautiful music is consistently appropriate. The compelling screenplay employs clever, time appropriate dialogue which evokes a wide range of emotions while conveying time tested morals.
James Patrick Riley and Jonathan Wilson, co-founders of Colony Bay and the driving force behind the success of Courage are to be congratulated for their fine production. It is highly recommended and can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
To obtain a four DVD copy of Courage, go here: