Pan Am is an American period drama television series created by writer Jack Orman (ER). Named for the iconic Pan American World Airways, the series features the pilots and stewardesses of the airline as it operated in the early 1960s at the beginning of the commercial Jet Age.
Pan Am premiered on ABC on September 25, 2011 and ended on February 19, 2012. In May 2012, Sony Pictures Television had conversations with Amazon about picking up the series for a second season because of its international success. It won the “Best Series” at the Rose d’Or TV awards, Europe’s equivalent of the Emmys. Unable to reach a deal with Amazon, the series officially ended on June 20, 2012.
The complete series is available on DVD. The main cast is composed of:
- Kelli Garner (Looking) as Catherine “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. She demonstrates a flair for espionage that impresses her handlers, and she is promoted from courier to agent halfway through the first season.
- Christina Ricci (Ally McBeal) as Margaret “Maggie” Ryan, the flight crew’s idealistic and liberal-minded purser, who is not afraid to test the rules and her Pan Am superiors. Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Maggie joined Pan Am by creating the impression that she was fluent in Portuguese.
- Margot Robbie (Neighbours) 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. Having run away from her own wedding in New Haven, Connecticut, several months prior, she struggles to grow up and prove to her sister that she can stand up on her own two feet.
- Michael Mosley (Scrubs) as Ted Vanderway, the crew’s First Officer (co-pilot). 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. Though he is engaged to his childhood friend, Amanda, Ted slowly develops a relationship with Laura.
- Karine Vanasse (Revenge) 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. It is later on revealed that her parents were French Jews who had been killed at Dachau shortly after she was left at an orphanage. Furthermore, she has a brother who was placed for adoption; by the end of the series, Colette has planned to search for him.
- Mike Vogel (Bates Motel, Under The Dome) as Dean Lowrey, a Boeing 707 pilot recently promoted to captain on Pan Am’s international routes and one of the youngest airline captains in the industry. A former air force pilot, he had been romantically involved with the crew’s former purser, Bridget, and is now pursuing a relationship with Colette. Dean has also found himself in a secret relationship with Ginny, the mistress of a Pan Am vice president.