Bill Gillespie is a police chief in a small town in the American South, and later becomes sheriff of the county. As Bill tries to solve crimes and catch criminals, aided by his capable investigator Virgil Tibbs and police lieutenant Bubba Skinner, he must navigate tricky small-town politics. Racial tensions often run high in the South and this theme is frequently explored. Bill's personal life is often portrayed in this TV drama, as well. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Carroll O'Connor wrote several scripts, under the pseudonym Matt Harris, for the show and two "In the Heat of the Night" movies. He worked under the pseudonym concerned that his scripts would not be received well by television critics. See more »
It's extremely rare these days to find a film-to-tv spin-off that actually works (anybody remember 'Working Girl'?) but this 'Heat' is a worthy exception. It also has a strong, original slant of it's own -- the quirky (and, since this is the fictional South, sometimes downright eccentric) ways that ordinary people behave in extraordinary situations. Of course, in lazier moments this can sometimes mean genre cliches. And as the years go on it becomes increasingly difficult -- due to a series of well-publicized internal troubles -- to find ALL the stars together in the same episode. But at its best, the show has some powerful things to say about the human condition...and at its worst, it's still a beautifully produced hour spent with some very likable characters.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?