The Campbells is a Scottish-Canadian television drama series, produced by Scottish Television and CTV from 1986 to 1990. The series starred Malcolm Stoddard as James Campbell, a Scottish doctor living in 1830s Upper Canada with his three children, Neil (John Wildman), Emma (Amber-Lea Weston) and John (Eric Richards).

The Campbells
Written byAllan Prior
Directed byGeorge Bloomfield, Timothy Bond
Country of originCanada
No. of series4
No. of episodes100
Running time30 minutes
DistributorFremantle International
Peter Rodgers Organization
Original networkCTV
Original releaseApril 4, 1986
(Scottish Television)
September 1, 1990 (CTV) –
September, 1990


Dr. James Campbell tries to serve his patients in the face of local opposition from the Laird, and after several discouraging political events, as well as some unfortunate events regarding his practice, he desires a chance to start over. His sons, Neil and John, dissatisfied with their current, mundane lives, decide to emigrate from Scotland to Canada on hearing of the opportunity to own land in Canada and persuade him to make the move. Emma, James' daughter, is equally dissatisfied and likes the idea as well.

The series is set in the vicinity of Cambridge, Upper Canada (now Ontario) in the 1830s. This is known because of the clothing, weaponry, and the constant references to the past war against "the Yankees" (War of 1812).

The series follows the everyday adventures of this family and their neighbors as they all try to survive and prosper on their farms against the odds of nature and the occasional charlatan.


Regular CastEdit

  • Malcolm Stoddard as Dr. James Campbell, a doctor who, after suffering damage to his professional reputation (due to negligence of a patient's nursemaid), decides to make a new life in the Canadian [New World] for himself and his family.
  • John Wildman as Neil Campbell, the eldest son. He has a slightly pessimistic outlook on things and later in the series marries and moves away becoming a policeman. After moving away, he no longer makes regular appearances on the show, though he is frequently mentioned.
  • Amber-Lea Weston as Emma Campbell, the beautiful, high-spirited daughter. Emma takes on the role of the mother after her death (occurring before the series' timeline) and often seeks adventure outside the house. Much of her character development centers around her maturing into a professional writer and the struggles which that entails.
  • Eric Richards as John Campbell, who is a mechanically minded and often inventive boy, the youngest son of James. Much of the storyline of the series focuses on his ideas on improving life in the wilderness and in general.
  • Cedric Smith as Thomas Sims, the wealthy aristocrat of the area. He often attempts to invest his money into a [get rich quick scheme], with little to no actual return (often a complete loss). He feigns a cold exterior and has a deep sense of honor and duty. Veteran of the British Army, he served with distinction in the War of 1812.

Supporting CastEdit

  • Brigit Wilson as Harriet Sims, Thomas Sims' wife, Rebecca Sims step-mother. She married Thomas after his first wife died. Though they don't get along at first, as the series progresses, she and Rebecca grow close to each other.
  • Wendy Lyon as Rebecca Sims, Emma's best friend, who often rejects the lavish lifestyle of her family.
  • Neil's Wife
  • Barbara Kyle as Charlotte Logan, the innkeeper.
  • Thomas Anderson-Baker as Thomas Logan, the young son of the innkeeper, often an annoyance to Thomas Sims.
  • Sean McCann as the blacksmith. Though rarely seen in the series, when he does make an appearance, the episode typically centers around his character.
  • Robin Craig as Maddie Todd (first season only).
  • Rosemary Dunsmore as Mary McTavish

DVD releaseEdit

On June 23, 2015, Timeless Media Group released The Campbells- The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.[1]


External linksEdit