When an embittered Jonathan, now a mortal, turns his back on everything and everyone, including Mark, a young woman offers him shelter and with the power of love helps him to recover his lost faith ...
Jonathan Smith is a probationary angel sent back to Earth to help people. During the series' first episode, he meets embittered ex-policeman Mark Gordon (as Jonathan is walking along a little-used road, on which Mark happens to be driving). Jonathan helps reform Mark, with the grateful Mark agreeing to become Jonathan's right-hand associate in carrying out the heavenly mission. The two begin traveling the country as itinerant workers, receiving assignments from "the Boss" (God), with their mission being to deliver love, understanding and humility to the people they encountered. Typical episodes stressed moral, Christian themes; though many episodes dealt with common human failings, such as egotism, bitterness and greed, some shows addressed such topics as racism and cancer. A few shows, however, were played mainly for laughs (such as Landon recreating his first famous starring role in a takeoff of his 1957 film I Was a Teenage Werewolf and his role in in little house on the prairie).Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Although it was initially a big success, and very important to a struggling NBC, by 1988, falling ratings led to the decision to cancel the series after the upcoming fifth season. Suspecting that if he shot a full twenty-four episode season, many would end up on the shelf unbroadcast, Michael Landon made a truncated fifth season of just thirteen episodes. Landon's suspicions were proven correct when NBC refused to give the series a regular timeslot, and instead announced it would be used only as a last-minute replacement show to fill gaps in the schedule. As a result, the series was broadcast sporadically over twelve months, with the final episode (clearly originally intended for Christmas 1988) not shown until August 1989. Landon's anger at NBC's treatment of the show led directly to the ending of his thirty year relationship with the broadcaster. See more »
One might expect that any show about an angel of god who walks the Earth trying to help people would be heavy-handed and depressing. Highway to Heaven is neither. It's an uplifting show that showcases all the best aspects of religion and niceness. Unlike "Touched by an Angel" and the televangelist shows, HtH deals with whether a person is good, not whether they subscribe to the right religion. There is room in the definition of "good" to include businessmen, politicians, and former criminals. I'm a hardcore atheist and I still love this show.
In addition, the element of God's power is never used as a club. Jonathan has "the stuff," but never uses it until words and persuasion have failed. It almost makes one feel that with a little effort, they might do some good themselves in the world. Throw in the grainy mid-80s picture and you've got a wonderful bit of escapism to a world where just a little good will can move mountains.
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