Alcoholic and divorced father of a young daughter, DS Jim Bergerac is a true maverick who prefers doing things his own way, and consequently doesn't always carry out his investigations the way his boss would like.
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This definitely feels like the pilot for a TV series but none was forthcoming. Made well before "Touched by an Angel" or "Highway to Heaven", perhaps it was ahead of its time and if it had appeared during the late nineties' fresh interest in guardian angels it would have found an audience.
As it is, this TV movie is chiefly interesting for its cast. Tom Bell and Warren Clark were the most famous cast members at the time, but Alfred Molina was still a few years away from Hollywood success. James Purfoy, Louise Lombard and Nimah Cusack would also go on to greater heights. Nice to see Cathy Tyson playing someone other than a prostitute or ex-prostitute too.
The tone is whimsical and sentimental. The emphasis is on the small human dramas of the recently deceased, rather than the magical elements. Most of the tricky questions about life after death are ducked, whilst Limbo is portrayed as old-fashioned hotel lobby full of comfortable chairs and attentive staff. Of the three 'cases' for the angels, the best concerns Molina as a reporter whose friend dies instead of him as scheduled, causing problems for him and his now zombified pal.
An entertaining little piece from the days when British telefantasy was a rare sight.
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