Midsouth precinct police Detective Kevin O'Brien (Scott Hylands) and his partner Detective Frank Giambone (Jeff Wincott) investigate after an elderly man is viciously strangled with piano wire in the garden of the seniors home he lived at. Undercover narcotics cop Dave Jefferson (Clark Johnson) thinks he knows who committed the murder and why. He sees a fiendishly clever criminal conspiracy with unlikely participants.
The very decrepit potential witnesses living there appear either to not remember anything or to think they saw something they didn't see. The owner of the place doesn't care one way or the other about the people there and has gone out of his way to avoid noticing anything. There may be more lives lost if the police can't figure out who is doing what and stop it.
On the surface Canada's screen acting community looks small. Under the surface, and specifically in the 1970s and 1980s, Canada's screen acting community used to be positively microscopic. What that meant for a show like 'Night Heat' was a steady procession of guest stars who had already portrayed, or would go on to portray different characters.
These actors became flexible via things every Canadian actors know all too well - humility and unemployment. To subsist they would accept a walk on a season after having played a more sizable role on the same series a year earlier. Those of us in the audience weren't supposed to notice that the same people kept popping up but how we could we not?
Great Canadian character actor Cec Linder appeared here in one of four separate roles he played in different episodes of the series as did Jack Creley, his co-star in this episode. Kay Tremblay played a different character in each of six episodes including this one. Dapper star Anthony Sherwood only played a different character in each of three episodes.
The series only ran for four seasons so you can imagine the effect on the viewer watching first run episodes as well as reruns and seeing these guys multiple times. The deja vu effect could be confusing if you track one plot line thinking it is part of another from seeing familiar faces in similar roles. It can be even more difficult when the plot lines are also similar.
The inevitable conversations between guest performers probably went something like 'Hey, didn't I kill you on this show in a drug deal gone wrong a few weeks ago'? or 'See ya next week. We'll be playing terrorists on Adderly and we get to beat up Winston Rekert' or 'Wasn't it fun throwing Booth Savage down a flight of stairs on Hotshots'?
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