Buckle up as ABC’s new 1960s-set series invites you to come fly the friendly skies with them in their new period drama, Pan Am. With the success of Mad Men, this show is yet another 60’s historical fiction that sates our nostalgia for the Swinging Sixties (NBC has The Playboy Club).
The show welcomes us to 1963, during the golden years of the iconic airline Pan American World Airways. During this period, the jet age has arrived and Pan Am’s Clipper Majestic is about to embark on its inaugural flight. It will follow the lives of the pilots as well as the young, beautiful flight attendants who are the “It” girls of the Jet Age. Viewers will join the crew as they travel to intoxicating cities such as Paris, Berlin, Monte Carlo and Rome and bump into history, passion, romance, adventure and Cold War espionage along the way.
I’m interested to see a world where sexual harassment policies and laws weren’t in place yet. I wonder if the series will show this side of that period. Speaking of which, the Association of Flight Attendants (the world’s largest flight attendants’ union) has made a statement regarding the series that says, “The premiere episode of the new Pan Am drama on ABC may be a nostalgic escape to the days before deregulation, but it also highlighted the myriad of social injustices overcome by the strong women who shaped a new career. Weight checks, girdle checks, the no marriage rule, sexism, gender discrimination, racism – all of this was challenged by intelligent, visionary women who helped to usher in the call for social change throughout the country and around the world.” This makes me appreciate the era I’m living in.
The series centers on the pilots and stewardesses working for the world-famous airline.
- Maggie Ryan: the ambitious flight crew’s purser, who has struggled to climb her way up to a better life. She is not afraid to test the rules and relishes defying authority.
- Kate Cameron: She is competitive, head-strong and has lived in the shadow of her younger and prettier sister, Laura, all her life. She rebelled against the sheltered life in East Granby that was chosen for her, that of a wife, a mother and instead spread her own wings to fly, becoming an experienced, trilingual stewardess. Joining Pan Am was her escape, at least until Laura signed on. She takes on an even greater challenge when she agrees to spy for the CIA; a role which makes her unique as she navigates a whole new world of espionage and intrigue.
- Laura Cameron: the pretty girl from high school who is also sweet, intelligent and well meaning. She run off on her wedding day and became a Pan Am stewardess like her older sister. Newly out of training, she is the newest member of our Pan Am crew who lands on the cover of LIFE Magazine in her Pan Am uniform, making her a minor celebrity and a source of irritation for her older sister.
- Colette Valois: a French Pan Am stewardess who was orphaned during the German occupation of France during World War II. She still harbors resentment toward the German people. She is optimistic, empathetic, non-judgmental and tough when she has to be. Her search for fulfillment sometimes results in bad decisions, notably those of a romantic nature.
- Dean Lowrey: a Boeing 707 pilot recently promoted to captain on the international routes—the youngest in the Pan Am fleet. When in flight he’s steadfast, confident, in control, but on the ground and in his personal life… not so much. He has been romantically involved with Bridget, the crew’s former purser.
- Ted Vanderway: a former Navy test pilot who is the crew’s First Officer and Co-Pilot. He comes from a prominent family and is a self-proclaimed womanizer. His bullish and self-assured ways don’t always serve him well as his ego can bruise more easily than he thinks
- Christina Ricci as Maggie Ryan
- Kelli Garner as Kate Cameron
- Margot Robbie as Laura Cameron
- Karine Vanasse as Colette Valois
- Mike Vogel as Dean Lowrey
- Michael Mosley as Ted Vanderway
September 25, 2011 (SUNDAY), 10/9c on ABC