Fraser returns from his vacation back in Canada to find Ray there but not there, and a copycat arsonist of a man he and Ray put away once.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Det. Stanley Raymond Kowalski (as Callum Keith Rennie)
Beau Starr ...
Camilla Scott ...
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Tom Melissis ...
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George Bloomfield ...
Zoltan Motherwell
Neil Dainard ...
RCMP Inspector
Diane Douglass ...
Vito Rezza ...
Tony
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Storyline

Fraser returns from his vacation back in Canada to find Ray there but not there, and a copycat arsonist of a man he and Ray put away once.

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14 September 1997 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Director George Bloomfield, a regular director on the series and the director of this episode, plays the imprisoned arsonist Zoltan Motherwell. While Fraser refers to Zoltan as as being arrested him and Ray, the event and character in question never was an actual episode. See more »

Goofs

When Ray drives to the flaming Vecchio house, the cameraman is reflected in the outside rear view mirrors when Fraser gets out of the car. See more »

Quotes

Harding Welsh: [Seeing Fraser at the police station for the first time since he got back from his vacation] Ah, Constable, you've returned. Upon reflection, I imagine that pleases me.
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User Reviews

 
When is a Ray Not a Ray?
17 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It happens: a show loses an actor and has to deal with it (or needs to drop one). Sometimes the character is killed off, written out, re-cast, replaced with a new character; or in the case of one TV series, goes upstairs to bed and then never comes back down.

When the show came back from cancellation, Marciano was offered a contract to come back and play Ray again, but in order to afford to stay on the air, the production budget was slashed and as a result his pay was slashed, so he declined to return.

Normally a show at this point might do one of the things I explained above, but the producers took a route I am unfamiliar with happening on any other TV series (except a variation on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"): they kept the character and didn't re-cast it.

The real Ray went deep undercover elsewhere and another officer took his place to keep the cover. Which was not only a clever thing to do, but left the door open for Marciano to return at some point if he changed his mind.

This created a unique situation where not only did Fraser have to play along, but it forced him to remain paired lest the cover start to fall apart, but even more importantly: it meant they didn't have to write-out or do a crummy writing excuse for the disappearance of Ray's sister, so she was able to stay on board with no changes.

There were, however, two changes to the show that are not explained but not immediately noticeable: the dog who played Diefenbaker, was replaced by a new dog, because reportedly Lincoln was becoming slow and difficult to work with. And John McCarthy, who scored every episode with Jay Semko and Jack Lenz for the first two seasons, disappeared.

Other than that the premiere remains very faithful to the original run and even opens up with the familiar wordless male vocal: Do Me Ahhh. The theme music is spiced up a little but the same. It's a fear of anybody that when a show comes back from cancellation, it never re-captures what it originally was, which is a frequent curse, but thankfully the show didn't immediately suffer another curse (see the Pilot trivia page for the first curse).


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