Clare Lewis is part of a new generation of women,  frontline nurses fighting prejudice, racism, and the horrific damage done by World War 1: They are The Bluebirds.


eason 1: Short Synopsis:

When the trainloads of young men mutilated by war arrive, the Bluebirds have no time but to focus on life-saving. Stopping hemorrhaging, stabilizing shattered limbs, treating for shock.


Most days it’s a bloody assembly line of triaging as they sort through a relentless treadmill of men hovering between dying and dead. Within the task of salvaging an endless parade of shattered limbs and minds viciously torn apart by the devices of men, they fight for their own freedom and independence. At the end of each day, their unique, enviable, blue and white uniforms, integral to their identities, are covered in mud and the blood of the “boys” they are trying to save. 


Determined to gain the same liberation the soldiers are fighting for, they are not afraid to wade through the bloody carnage of the frontlines of war to achieve it.


Rationale and Audience Demographic:

The parallels between the social circumstances and global events of WWI and modern-day are stark and relevant. It adds to the tide of voices and experiences outside of the white, hetero-normative, male perspective that is sweeping the entertainment world. This is a story about women and racialized minorities exploring what their national identity means, in a way that they would not have had access to if The Great War and the Spanish Influenza had not killed close to 40 million. The Bluebirds dives into the world of nurses on the frontline, and the secondary battle to claim their freedom as women.


Based on the award-winning stage play Vimy, by Governor General’s Award-Winning playwright Vern Thiessen, the narrative of The Bluebirds comes with a strong existing IP and proven audience appeal. The Bluebirds is targeted at a female-skewing demographic aged 30-49, much like that seen with The Crown. With a secondary audience of 2LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities looking for binge-worthy period dramas. Women are taking center stage in genres across the board – from period dramas like The Knick, and The Great, to wartime stories like Their Finest, Bomb Girls, and A Call to Spy. Audiences are demanding female lead content and The Bluebirds delivers a gritty, dramatic, binge-worthy look at the women of WWI.




  • Bluebird Ward Nurse
  • 30 years old
  • Inspired by Clare Gass and Gladys Maud Mary Wake

Clare is a trained doctor, but even in the bloody, chaotic midst of war, there are constraints placed on what she is allowed to do and she must constantly fight against the status quo of gender constraints. Her growing pacifist sentiments lead her to the risky decision of helping a German deserter escape to a neutral country.


  • Bluebird Nurse
  • 31 years old 
  • Inspired by Margaret Lowe

Maggie doesn’t have a passion for being a nurse, nor is she particularly patriotic. As a queer woman, raised in a strict Irish Catholic family, the chaos of the frontlines seemed like a place where she could hide from the truth of who she is. After meeting May, a queer ambulance driver, she realizes that life is too short to not be who she is, and takes the dangerous step of coming out to her fellow Bluebirds.


  • 21, years old
  • inspired by Katherine Maude Macdonald, ​​Duchess of Sutherland, and Julia Hunt Catlin Taufflieb.

Kristy is aware of the privilege she was born into and is determined to do something with it. With an unwavering belief in equal rights for everyone, Kristy’s moral compass and outspoken nature cause more than a little conflict for the white, male, heteronormative status quo at the field hospital – this culminates in her falling in love with a Canadian/Japanese soldier. 


  • 22 years old, Mohawk
  • Inspired by Edith Anderson Monture

Edith was trained in the USA and is an American Red Cross nurse because Canada would not allow an Indigenous woman to study or enlist as a medic. Despite her countries discrimination and oppression of her people, she has come to its aid in the war, but her desire to help and heal is at odds with the racism she faces.


  • 44 years old
  • Based on Margaret C. McDonald
  • Experienced with the war and nursing 

Pointed and pragmatic, the Matron served in Spain and South Africa and knows what it takes to survive in the modern war machine of red-tape, strict discipline, and pure guts. She is the first Nurse in the British Empire to hold the rank of Major. She creates and defends what power means to the Bluebirds, but it comes at a cost: loneliness, addiction, and PTSD from her previous war experience. 




The new Bluebirds are thrown into the chaos of war. Maggie and Clare treat a patient in direct insubordination of one of the doctor’s orders. Edith and Kristy triage a Blackfoot sniper who has suffered the horrible results of being gassed. The Matron fiercely protects her Bluebirds against the racism and sexism on the ward. The team settles into their new lives as round-the-clock frontline caregivers.


A trainload of injured soldiers arrives and the Bluebird’s skills are truly tested. Clare struggles to rationalize why she is part of the war. Kristy is thrown into the operating room for the first time, as Maggie cares for a Punjabi gunner whose legs must be amputated. Despite making it through the day, Kristy has a breakdown of “neurasthenia”. Needing respite and comfort, the four Bluebirds turn to each other getting drunk in a nearby wood, and Maggie reveals to Clare that she is queer. 


Clare agrees to delay discharging a German patient at his pleas. When his sudden disappearance sparks rumors of treason, she grapples between duty and humanity. With restricted supplies jeopardizing care, Maggie uses her botany knowledge to use moss as a substitute to prevent a deadly infection. One of Kristy’s patients, badly burned from head to toe, asks her to help end his life. The Matron struggles with PTSD after a called off bombing raid. Edith is caught in a buried artillery shell explosion on her way to town. 


Clare sees her fiancé for the first time in months and the two have sex. When Kristy is called in for questioning about her dead burn patient, Clare covers for her. A shipment of much-needed supplies raised by Edith’s Indigenous community pulls the camp back from the brink.  Maggie falls for a vivacious ambulance driver, May, and comes out to the rest of the Bluebirds. A bombing raid alarm sends the Bluebirds into overdrive while trying to deal with a West Indian soldier who’d arrived with horribly disfiguring injuries. 


Clare realizes that she is pregnant, and turns to Maggie for help in terminating it. When Edith finds an orphaned child and brings him back to the camp, Clare’s resolve to act quickly on her pregnancy is shaken. The nurse who committed treason for helping the German soldier is sentenced to death. Clare is ordered by the Matron to take a potentially deadly position at the front. Kristy cares for a Japanese-Canadian infantryman who she is deeply attracted to. At the same time, she is called home to a family emergency and must choose between family and duty. 


The Matron informs Clare she must leave for the Front the next day. Edith has successfully tracked down a living relative of the child. Having decided to return home, Kristy decides to throw a going-away party for herself and Clare. The hospital is bombed. Maggie rushes to help Clare, who is bleeding out, and helps Kristy who is buried in the rubble. Edith protects the child and is injured. Just then, another group of injured men arrives to add to the chaos. The Matron looks on and begins to tend to the wounded.



Following the bombing of the hospital, The Bluebirds have to rebuild the medical ward while coping with their own losses and continuing to care for the steady flow of injured soldiers arriving every day. Amidst an already maxed medical system, arrives an outbreak of the highly contagious Spanish Flu. The Bluebirds must battle a different kind of enemy that threatens not only the soldiers’ lives but theirs as well.