Due South (1994–1999)
7.7/10
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19 user

Pilot 

After the murder of his father in the Yukon, Fraser, a RCMP constable, follows the killer's tracks all the way to Chicago where he meets Ray, a Chicago PD detective. Together they continue their search for the truth and justice.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Wendel Meldrum ...
Leann Brighton
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Insp. Moffatt
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Frank Drake
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Underhill (as Jim Millington)
Victor Ertmanis ...
Supt. Meers
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Senior Official
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Inuit Hunter
Kimberly Ange ...
RCMP Officer 1
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RCMP Officer 2
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Storyline

When a legendary Canadian Mountie is murdered, his son (and fellow RCMP) Constable Benton Fraser follows the trail of his killers to Chicago, where he teams up with a local cop to bring them to justice. However, he soon finds that the trail leads closer to home than he ever imagined. Written by Mark Cabot

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23 April 1994 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Rushton makes his first appearance in this episode playing the guy in the bar who threatens the boys with a bottle. He went on to play various characters throughout the show's history. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt double when Fraser jumps on the back of the speeding van. See more »

Quotes

Fraser: [Diefenbaker is half on, half off Vecchio while the detective is driving the car] He's deaf. You have to speak very loud and very slow and enunciate.
Ray Vecchio: GET-OFF-ME-EXCLAMATION-MARK!
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Connections

References The Rifleman (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Superman's Song
by Crash Test Dummies
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User Reviews

 
A Pilot Movie That's As Fresh And Original As The Series...
5 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Many pilot movies of hit television series are essentially rough drafts, where the kinks will be worked out in the course of producing the series over the first season. Or the second season. This pilot for the television series, "Due South" is one of those rare jewels that gets it right coming out of the gate. The movie effectively combined humor and drama to create a wonderful premise.

Driven to solve the murder of his father who was a legend in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Constable Benton Fraser teams up with Chicago cop Ray Vecchio to find those responsible. Set against the backdrops of the Canadian wilderness and the urban landscape of Chicago, these two major locations serve to highlight the differences between the two main characters.

The character of Constable Benton Fraser could have been easily played only for laughs as the stereotypical Canadian Mountie; stalwart and unyielding in his pursuit of those who break the law. But I was drawn in by Paul Gross' subtle performance of a man who strives to do what is right, even at the cost of all he holds dear. At home in the stark wilderness of the Canadian frontier, Fraser is a fish out of water in the harsh urban landscape of Chicago. Though at first he seems naïve and inflexible, Fraser's powers of observation, his perception of human nature and his sense of justice generally see him through to the end.

With Ray Vecchio, the writing and acting once again effectively transform what could have been another one-dimensional television cop into something more. David Marciano's performance as wily Chicago Police Detective Ray Vecchio serves as an effective counterbalance to Constable Fraser's upright nature. Like Fraser, Ray Vecchio is not what he seems at first glance. A slick dresser with a glib manner, Ray is a cop who is not above bending the law to see justice done. While put off at times by Fraser's manner and methods, Ray shares with the Mountie the same sense of duty and responsibility, and comes to respect Fraser both as a fellow cop and as a friend.

The secondary characters are as engaging and interesting as the main characters, from the gruff fellow RCMP officer Gerard, to Vecchio's raucous family, to the enigmatic Inuit hunter who knows more than he's telling. Even Benton Fraser's father Robert Fraser, whose actual screen time may be all of two minutes is compelling. Though his murder is what starts the ball rolling, we have not seen the last of this character.

The writing is fresh and witty, poking fun at American and Canadian sensibilities, while scratching the surface of the national stereotypes to reveal the humanity underneath. The music, particularly Jay Semko's haunting score, gives the movie a distinctive sound which marks it as a cut above the rest.

This was a movie and series that could not be easily categorized, which may have led to CBS giving it such short shrift. But it obviously resonated with many viewers, as it was their campaigning that forced CBS to bring the show back for a second season, and later a third season in syndication. While I lament that "Due South" is no more, I celebrate the fact that it was made in the first place, and that we had it for as long as we did.


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