Border Security: Canada's Front Line is a Canadian Spin-Off of an Australian production of the same name by Force Four Entertainment.
Phony tourists here to work, belligerent visitors smuggling contraband, toys packed with heroin, weapons disguised as cell phones: all are just another day at the office for the Canada Border Services Agency.
Every day, twenty thousand passengers request entry into Canada by way of Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and many more at land crossings in the Lower Mainland of BC. While most experience the usual uneasiness that comes with passing through immigration and customs, others have more legitimate reasons to feel nervous.
Cameras shadow Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers as they interrogate suspicious passengers who may or may not be hiding something. Passengers react in a variety of unpredictable ways - they lie, argue, play the victim, plead ignorance and even threaten legal action. But they are no match for the investigative tactics of the CBSA officers. After all, the law is on their side.
And unfortunately for the passengers being questioned, so is technology. Throughout the episode, officers question, cross-examine, inspect, pat down, swab, search and x-ray suspects and their belongings, chipping away at the holes in their stories. For viewers, its a wild, unpredictable ride as each passengers secret is finally revealed.
Focus is mostly on land crossings in mainland British Columbia, ships coming into Vancouver, Vancouver International, CBSA Mail Centre in Vancouver and Pearson International in Toronto.
CBSA withdrew its participation in 2014 following privacy concerns relating to an arrest made in 2013, and the series (in Canada) was officially cancelled in 2016.
The show moved south of the border and continued as Border Security: America's Front Line, featuring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at land crossings on the U.S.Canada border (mainly in Washington and Detroit) and international airports (JFK International in New York, Detroit Metropolitan and Chicago O'Hare).
- The Cameo: Corey Feldman appears in an early episode. He is able to enter Canada.
- Canada, Eh?: Naturally.
- Cool Guns: The CBSA's standard issue pistol, the Beretta Px4 Storm (with the double action-only bobbed hammer), appears in the opening sequence, either with a magazine being inserted or the slide being racked, depending on the episode.
- Draft Dodging: A Korean man was mistakenly thought to be attempting to avoid military service by studying in Canada. He eventually reveals he was trying to defer his service long enough to apply as a Combat Medic, which takes months to process, and everything is cleared up.
- Eat the Evidence: A tourist found with a baggie containing a white substance swallowed the entire bag on discovery. He went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital and officers searched his car for any sign of what he ingested. Fortunately, they were able to determine what it was so he could be treated properly.
- Guns Akimbo: An American family accidentally crosses into Canada while driving to a park in northern Washington. The father has two pistols in cross-draw shoulder holsters (and a concealed carry license), which he declared immediately. The were seized for the duration they were in Canada, then returned (via US CBP) when they re-entered the United States. Evidently, the park they going to was on the Wrong Side of the Tracks.
- Pixellation: Used to protect the identities of anyone who doesn't wish to reveal their identity. Everyone must sign a consent form before their story airs on television, but can ask the cameras to stop filming at any time. Additionally, license plates and addresses are also blurred.
- Reality Show: About the only difference between this and C.O.P.S. is that Border Security has a narrator and is about customs and immigration.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Would I Lie To You" by the band Eurythmics.
- Retool: After CBSA's withdrawal from participation, focus was shifted to US Customs and Border Protection.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: People tend to swear when arrested or when something is found in their possession.
- Spin-Off: Of Australian Border Security. After CBSA canned the show, it moved south to become Border Security: American's Front Line.
- Vancouver: Much of the focus is there and the surrounding area.