Producers: Paul Pope, Jan Peter Mayboom, Simon Wright
Writer: Tony Marchant
Director: Alex Chapple
A Shaftesbury/Pope/Big Tree Co-Production
In association with The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
And ITV Global Entertainment
Cast: Shawn Ashmore, Joanne Whalley, Colin Buchanan, David Suchet.
Diverted is a fictional story inspired by the events of September 11, 2001, when the Federal Aviation Authority shut down the skies over the United States. More than 200 aircraft flying over the Atlantic are ordered to find alternate places to land. Expertly landed by air traffic controller Mike Stiven (Shawn Ashmore) and his team, 39 of those planes are guided to safety in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, population 9,000.
With the sudden and unexpected influx of 6,600 tired, frightened passengers, Gander’s Mayor Reg Bowers (Rick Boland) and the good people of Gander kick into full gear. In a display of supreme generosity, men, women, and children gather up food and bedding; hundreds of meals are whipped up; accommodations are mapped out; the Gateway Hotel’s acting manager Eileen Northbrook (Liisa Repo-Martell) evacuates guests to make room for the newly-arrived airline crews. A computer system is installed at a local school by the Red Cross to register incoming passengers; the Salvation Army greets the shaken passengers and welcomes them to Canada. And, despite a current transit strike, the hatchet (between the drivers and the union) is temporarily buried and the buses start rolling again.
The citizens of Gander manage to get every last passenger under a roof. But they still need showers – bars of soap – and frozen storage for the 10,000 meals that have been prepared. And phones – for each of the passengers who have loved ones that need to be contacted.
Among those inconvenienced by the diversion are the passengers of Commonwealth Airways Flight 263 enroute to New York from London: American businessman Samuel Stearn (David Suchet) is desperate to track down his son, Daniel, who had a meeting in the Twin Towers that fateful morning; and Nadine (Karen LeBlanc), fears for her sister Carol who worked in the Towers.
Produced in Association With
Canadian Television Fund
Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation
The COGECO Program Development Fund
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
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