Bill Gillespie is a police chief in a small town in the American South, and later becomes sheriff of the county. As Bill tries to solve crimes and catch criminals, aided by his capable investigator Virgil Tibbs and police lieutenant Bubba Skinner, he must navigate tricky small-town politics. Racial tensions often run high in the South and this theme is frequently explored. Bill's personal life is often portrayed in this TV drama, as well.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The 1989 season was played slightly out of order. The previous season ended with a cliffhanger. However, Carroll O'Connor, who also served as executive producer, wanted to begin the next season with the episode in which Althea Tibbs is raped because he felt that that particular episode had a strong message and that it should be the season opener. The continuation to the cliffhanger was shown a few episodes into that season with Gillespie recapping the events of what happened when he was kidnapped and the events surrounding that period. See more »
It's extremely rare these days to find a film-to-tv spin-off that actually works (anybody remember 'Working Girl'?) but this 'Heat' is a worthy exception. It also has a strong, original slant of it's own -- the quirky (and, since this is the fictional South, sometimes downright eccentric) ways that ordinary people behave in extraordinary situations. Of course, in lazier moments this can sometimes mean genre cliches. And as the years go on it becomes increasingly difficult -- due to a series of well-publicized internal troubles -- to find ALL the stars together in the same episode. But at its best, the show has some powerful things to say about the human condition...and at its worst, it's still a beautifully produced hour spent with some very likable characters.
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