he National Dream, also known as The National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway, was a 1974 Canadian television docudrama miniseries based on Pierre Berton's 1970 book of the same name, plus Berton's 1971 follow-up book The Last Spike. The television adaptation was written by William Whitehead and Timothy Findley.
The series portrayed the concept and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway during the late 19th century, with Berton himself as narrator. The National Dream combined dramatic reconstructions of the events (directed by Eric Till) with documentary content (directed by James Murray). Production required two years and cost CAD 2 million.
CBC Television premiered the eight-part hour-long series on 30 March 1974 and aired its final instalment on 28 April 1974. The series' rated audience of three million within Canada set a record for CBC in terms of dramatic programming. The series was also seen in modified form on BBC in the United Kingdom.