“I couldn’t envisage doing an ongoing weekly television series based on Anne of Green Gables,” said Kevin Sullivan, in a clip from the new Sullivan documentary Avonlea A Rustic Paradise. “I just felt it would be too difficult to base a long-running series on a single character.”
Sullivan went one step further. Instead of returning to the character of Anne Shirley, he turned his attention to expanding upon the community of Avonlea first seen in the Anne of Green Gables films and utilized various story lines from L.M. Montgomery’s anthology of short-stories to weave together a brand-new series set in the celebrated maritime Village of Avonlea. The series he titled, Road To Avonlea, shared the sensibility of Montgomery’s intelligent and witty stories, and replicated the magic she conveyed in her writing both thematically and visually.
“She was writing about a time and a place that was particularly Canadian; that was one of the things about it that made it irresistible,” said Rachel Lynde actress Patricia Hamilton, in the new documentary.
Avonlea A Rustic Paradise is a must watch for fans of the seven seasons of Road To Avonlea. The documentary takes the viewer through the inspirations for the series and chronicles the journey from the idyllic dream world created by L.M. Montgomery through her writing, to the rustic paradise and memorable characterization presented onscreen. The documentary includes interview footage with Sullivan, Colleen Dewhurst, Patricia Hamilton, Mag Ruffman, Zachary Bennett, Gema Zamprogna and more; as well as never-before-screened behind the scenes footage from the filming of seven seasons of Road To Avonlea.
In the preview below for the documentary, Mag Ruffman talks a bit about what made L.M. Montgomery inspiring.