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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great TV series.

Author: Blueghost from The San Francisco Bay Area
8 August 2004

I really miss this series. Well acted, well shot, high production values, a touch over the top here and there in terms of story and characterization, but all in all a very good mini series.

Trevor Eve does an excellent job of portraying Superintendent Albert Tyburn, a duty bound independent thinker and detective in the Kenyan colonial police force, but he is not there by choice. To find out why you have to watch the series :-)

Some of the other commentators have remarked on some of the details of the series, costuming, props and so forth, but I found the art direction quite thorough, and very convincing when combined with a talented cast and direction. There may be some inaccuracies here and there (note the antenna on the plane), but in general the series does portray the appropriate visuals for both time and setting.

I found the cinematography quite complimentary to the characters and setting. There's a definite feel for a place distant, warm, inviting and full of intrigue all at the same time. The visuals draw you into the series, and appropriately enhance the drama.

If I were to offer any kind of criticism it's that there wasn't enough exposition of Eve's character's background. There're references here and there, and synopsized tidbits, but not much of a good exploration of his military background and general history: We do know he's a man of discipline and high ideals, even when it comes to race. But, be that as it may, much to the director's and Eve's credit they don't portray Tyburn as a racial crusader, but a man who believes in the sovereignty and application of law to all people.

On that note the series does explore racial relations in 1930's Kenya, but doesn't make its primary theme. It's a mystery series, and crimes are committed by people of all shades and stations. Its Tyburn's unfortunate duty to bring justice to Nairobi's malefactors :-)

Part of the series appeal isn't just that it's a period piece, but a series set in Africa with an unlikely and welcome portion of action. It's primarily a mystery series, but not exclusively. Again, to see why you have to watch it :-)

An excellent series that deserves to be reaired.

Do yourselves a favor and rent, buy or check out the series from your local library. You won't be disappointed.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A joy to watch.

10/10
Author: Kathleen Palmer (palmer-1) from United States
7 June 2002

In 1931, after taking justice into his own hands, Scotland Yard detective Albert Tyburn (Trevor Eve) is given the choice of prison or reassignment to Nairobi. He chooses Nairobi determined to do the best job he can, but he encounters obstacles everywhere he turns. You will find yourself loving to hate his superior, Police Commissioner Ronald Burkett (Michael Byrne).

From the beginning Tyburn doesn't fit in with his fellow countrymen. Mainly because he sees the natives as people. that have feelings, intelligence and rights. Tyburn seems to view the behavior of the pompous Englishmen he encounters embarrassing at best and down right despicable at times.

This video set includes three separate episodes: "Private Lives", "Hide in Plain Sight" and "The Sport of Kings". Investigating these cases Tyburn encounters arson, drug-dealing and murder. Each head scratching mystery will keep you riveted to your seat, but watch out for some surprising twists along the way. Running through the stories is the possibility of a budding romance between Albert Tyburn and the fiercely independent Emma Fitzgerald (Susannah Harker).

Great writing, compelling characters, beautiful scenery and a wonderful music score all combine to make "Heat of the Sun" a joy to watch over and over again.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Marvelous escapist entertainment!

Author: anonymous from Washington, DC
3 March 1999

Colonial Kenya provides an exotic, fascinating backdrop for this excellent PBS Mystery series. Heat of the Sun is what I call the "kitchen sink" approach to detective fiction, with every crime imaginable--from murder, arson, and drug-running, to blackmail, banditry, and slave trading--perpetrated under the hot African sun. The excellent acting, the palpable romantic chemistry between the two main characters, the hypnotic setting, and the clever, convoluted plots, all combined to make this a memorable viewing experience. Hopefully, we'll be seeing the continuing adventures of Superintendent Tyburn, Emma Fitzgerald, and company, before too long!!

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

It's a Humphrey Bogart Style American Movie

10/10
Author: VRBC from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas USA
5 January 2000

It took me a while to think of what this series reminds me of. It just hit me. Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, Key Largo, etc. Before you curse me, hear me out because I am a huge Bogart fan. I put my money where my mouth is. I bought all of his films.

Set in the 30's. The exotic and mysterious locations. The leading man is tough but fair. He is rebel but has a moral code of honor. The leading lady is all of those qualities but still a Lady.

This film has great setting, music, filming, acting and mystery writing. I find new things every time I watch it and that, to me, is a sign of a good movie. It has everything a mystery fan can ask for.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great series

8/10
Author: jolrei from Ottawa, Canada
3 October 2005

This was a great series - Trevor Eve played the part of Superintendent Tyburn with a wry subtlety that fit the part. Having lived in Kenya myself when I was growing up, it was easy to relate to the foreigner in another country who does not fit into his "home" society anymore, but will never be African either. I can not comment on costume inconsistencies or period setting mistakes (one comment mentioned a 1939 rifle in 1933), but these do not detract particularly from what is essentially a mystery novel on DVD. As for the idea of "nazis" in 1933 Kenya, I think other comments may be jumping to conclusion. Tyburn was following leads to drug smugglers, if I recall correctly, and Germans in East Africa would not have been unheard of, considering that Tanzania was, at one point, a German colony (I believe Queen Victoria once gave Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Kaiser for his birthday, hence the strange "jog" in what is otherwise a straight line border between Kenya and Tanzania).

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Engaging, enjoyable, easy suspension of disbelief

Author: oldabelincoln from Silicon Valley
19 October 2000

Acting, directing, and writing are all fine. It's mysteries set in 30's Africa, and uses many of the conventions of films of the time, but from a modern perspective - not unlike the approach taken in Indiana Jones - and it generally works well.

I'm usually the first one to quibble about technical errors, but this series was sooo well done that I never noticed any of the ones noted in other reviews here. Mind you, I had a hard time with Valentine shooting guns out of people's hands, and with a flaming homosexual in that time and place, but I just let the excellent story telling carry things along. Somehow, it seemed ** right ** that Valentine was able to shoot guns out of people's hands, and that there were Nazis lurking, etc.

One of the most enjoyable things on TV in a long time, and I hope there will be more. Let's have a DVD soon, please.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Terrific adventure and romance

10/10
Author: (aturia@webtv.net) from northeast
3 May 2000

This is a terrific series. You totally loose yourself in the times, location; the characters are all too real; you only want it to continue.

The acting has so much depth;one has to believe and hope there may be a sequel. I thought the story lines blended well together; the script was tight; if you left for a second, you missed key dialogue. Happy Valley was an "anything goes" society so characters like DeVille, Hans Dietrick Gessler (it was never implied that he was a Nazi), and Daphne's affair are hardly surprising. As for the insignia on the plane, British and Kenyan planes had different registration schemes; I don't know if this was accurately portrayed. All in all 10 stars.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Most Enjoyable Mix

Author: Thalberg from United States
22 February 1999

This series mixes genres and conventions in a most enjoyable way. It has elements of police procedural, hard-boiled detective story, historical mystery, and colonial soap opera. Trevor Eve is fun to watch as Tyburn, the tough, incorruptible British cop who is both repelled and amused by British society in 1930s Nairobi, Kenya, while refusing to become enmeshed in its racism and decadence. The lovely Susannah Harker is under-used as his aviatrix girl friend. The rest of the supporting cast is highly effective. I am not an expert on the period, but the stories give a good flavor of life as it was lived in that place and time.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

worth seeing

9/10
Author: (daychooch1@aol.com) from tampa, florida
1 July 2002

I have seen this mini-series 3 times and each time I enjoy it. Yes, there are a few technical oddities, but, by and large the movie was well acted out by all involved. I believe Trevor Eve played his part quite convincingly. I hope they come out with another mini-series with the same main characters.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful idea, uneven execution

Author: Tigereyes from West Hollywood, CA
23 November 2001

What a wonderful series concept! A streetwise, professional Scotland Yard detective is exiled to decadent Nairobi colonial society in 1931, and charged with enforcing rules among people who have fled England specifically to avoid them. Before he's even started his first day, the tough but idealistic Superintendent Tyburn has managed to subdue three abusive, upper class drunks and haul them to jail on the back of his luggage wagon, only to find that one of them is the nephew of the governor. And that's just the beginning...

Heat of the Sun displays the wonderful British acting and production values that make public television viewers so spoiled. The art direction and costuming are excellent, truly capturing a sense of Kenya in the 1930's, and the actors nail their parts down, especially Trevor Eve as Superintendent Tyburn and Susannah Harker as the independent bush pilot Emma Fitzgerald.

Unfortunately, the production is hobbled by uneven writing and directing, which may help account for why the series never continued beyond three 2-hour stories. The writers introduce far too much plot and not enough character. People talk about themselves instead of showing who they are. In a glorious atmosphere like this one, I want to know more about these people and how they came here - the flaming homosexual, the literate African constable, the Jewish doctor and the Sikh forensics expert - but the script rarely gives more than a shallow glimpse before bolting on to the next plot twist. As a result, the stories often feel flat, like cardboard characters are marching through a mystery novel.

Some of the directors need to go back to film school. The first episode shows no sense of shot size or angle; people are framed way too tightly and the camera often swirls around Tyburn even when someone else is speaking. Shots don't flow together because actors are looking at slightly different angles to the camera. And so on.

But on the whole, the great sense of atmosphere manages to carry this series far above the mundane. I really hope to see a sequel; just nail down the details next time, and this series could be a classic.

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