New York Film Locations

Pan Am TV Show

16 November 2011

Pan Am is a television series based on Pan American World Airways during the early 1960s. The period drama, from writer Jack Orman and director Thomas Schlamme, has a storyline that begins in 1963 and focuses on the pilots and stewardesses of the largest international air carrier in the United States during the beginnings of the commercial jet age and the jet set era.

(ABC Network)

The tv show stars Christina Ricci as Maggie Ryan, the flight crew's purser, who is not afraid to test the rules and her Pan Am superiors. Margot Robbie as Laura Cameron, a stewardess newly out of training, and Kate Cameron's younger sister.

Laura appears 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. Michael Mosley as Ted Vanderway, the crew's First Officer. A former United States Naval Aviator and test pilot, he was honorably discharged from the Navy after a Naval tribunal blamed him for the crash of an aircraft he was piloting even though his father (whose company manufactured the aircraft) admits to Ted in private that there was a mechanical problem.

Other cast members include Karine Vanasse as Colette Valois, a French Pan Am stewardess. Orphaned during the German occupation of France during World War II, she still harbors resentment toward the German people. Mike Vogel as Dean Lowrey, a Boeing 707 pilot recently promoted to Captain on Pan Am's international routes. He had been romantically involved with Bridget, the crew's former purser. Kelli Garner as Kate Cameron, an experienced, trilingual stewardess and Laura Cameron's older, head-strong sister. During the pilot episode, Kate is recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency and starts taking early assignments as a covert operative.

The pilot episode cost an estimated $10 million. The series, produced by Sony Pictures Television, was picked up by ABC in May 2011. ABC ordered five additional scripts this month. Although episodes of the series depict the characters in various cities around the world, the show is filmed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and other locations around New York City. The pilot was filmed, in part, at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage on Long Island.

According to Entertainment Weekly magazine, a life-size re-creation of a Pan Am 707 jet is "the biggest star of the series—in all senses". The 707 model is kept in a hangar near the Brooklyn waterfront. Nancy Hult Ganis, a Pan Am stewardess from 1968 to 1976, is one of the show's executive producers and is credited as the series developer; her research for the series was conducted at the Pan Am Historical Foundation and the University of Miami, the location of Pan Am's archives. In addition, Ganis advises the actors, props department, production designers, and costumers in making details of the show as accurate as possible.


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