An enjoyable mystery tvm that uses the "puzzle" hook well
Despite having left the CSA years ago, Cathy Davis (aka Agent Jane Doe) is picked up by the organisation and taken to their secret offices behind a supermarket. Her former boss is Frank Darnell who is in a bit of a pickle. You see, the CSA had been escorting Miles Crandell to safety due to the sensitive nature of his work. They put him on a small plane but not long into the flight they lose contact with the pilot and the plane falls out of the sky below the radar for about ten seconds. The pilot comes to just in time to pull out of the dive and land the plane but somehow Crandell has vanished off the plane. Davis is brought in as a puzzle expert in order to try and solve this one and recover the valuable Jupiter Project before it is sold on the black market.
This was my second Jane Doe film (yes, I know I've come to them out of order) and although I wasn't that impressed by my first, I stumbled onto this one and a few others so decided to give the series more time. This film starts off well with an interesting premise that acts as a good mystery seed, which the film mostly builds on quite well, keeping the main answers till late in the game but getting closer to them in small steps while also adding layers of mystery. This is not to say it is a great film but it does enough to satisfy for those looking for a solid TV mystery genre movie along the lines of Columbo and Perry Mason ie formulaic and a bit contrived but still quite entertaining.
The general production helps the film by being quite stylish and giving it a nice mystery feel. The parts of the story that deal with Cathy's family life are a bit clunky but they are wisely kept to a minimum as, although they are important in regards the ongoing series but it was not the reason I came to this specific episode. Thompson is good enough on screen but she doesn't really convince in the character she doesn't come across as a real sharp pin and she didn't play like some form of Government agent. She is well supported though by Joe Penny, who is a real good presence throughout, even if the film doesn't use him that well. The support is mostly so-so, good enough to make the genre film work without doing much else.
Overall then, a reasonably enjoyable genre film that is built on a nice mystery. The "puzzle" aspect of the film helps to cover up for the lack of depth and for the lack of real good characters (which is what other series usually require). Worth a look if you want a solid television mystery movie.
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