Highway to Heaven: Season 5, Episode 13

Merry Christmas from Grandpa (4 Aug. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Fantasy
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 14 users  
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A wealthy tycoon / grandfather loves His young grandson dearly. His company is doing underhanded things that damage the environment. Jonathan takes Grandfather into the future to show Him ... See full summary »

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Title: Merry Christmas from Grandpa (04 Aug 1989)

Merry Christmas from Grandpa (04 Aug 1989) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tom Kifer
...
Ronald Hays
Mark Roberts ...
The President
...
Barbara Hays (age 35)
John Howard Swain ...
Gordon Hays
Pamela Kosh ...
Agatha
...
Ruth Ann Kifer
Laurence Haddon ...
Bob Traynor
Dorothy Dells ...
The President's Wife
...
Samuel Hays (age 7) (as Will Nipper)
Judy Jean Berns ...
Bonnie (age 37)
E.R. Davies ...
Limo Driver
James Cavan ...
Blind Man
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Storyline

A wealthy tycoon / grandfather loves His young grandson dearly. His company is doing underhanded things that damage the environment. Jonathan takes Grandfather into the future to show Him the environmental devastation His company has caused, directly affecting His beloved grandson, and future generations. Written by anonymous

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Drama | Family | Fantasy

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4 August 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Plays out like one long public service announcement
26 December 2012 | by (pa) – See all my reviews

While most shows go out with highly publicized series finales, "Highway to Heaven", which ran for 5 seasons, went out with a whimper. This episode, which was supposed to air around the holidays, was relegated to the lightly-viewed summer schedule as NBC was "burning off" the remaining episodes. By this time, the show had long been canceled, series star Victor French had passed away and Michael Landon had moved on to his next project.

The episode is set on Christmas Eve with three separate stories intertwined with one moral: the danger of industrial chemicals and pollution. Jonathan and Mark appear to three different men: an energy official, a farmer and the President of the United States (who is supposed to resemble then president George H. Bush). They try to convince the men that pollution will destroy the Earth and that they are now in a prominent position to stop it. First, they do it through talk and when that doesn't work they appear via eerie futuristic dreams. One of the dreams is a glimpse of the future where there is a shortage of pure water and people are getting shot for the limited resource.

While through its run, this show had taught many lessons and made people aware of many social issues, this episode comes across as way too preachy. Landon uses examples from several disasters and meltdowns to drive home the point. Had this been any other show or any other star, I highly doubt that a major network would have allowed it to air for an hour in prime time. It reminded me of one of those corny public service videos that they used to show us in grade school. Only those videos did not last for an hour and had D-list actors. Sadly, this would be one of Landon's last television appearances as he would die nearly two years later. This episode was hardly the best way for Landon, French, and the five-year series to go out.


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