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Miracles and Other Wonders

Producer, Allen C. Pedersen. Director, Michael Spence; script, Brian Russell; camera, T.C. Christensen; editor, Jim Friesen; production designer, Bill Cornford; music, Bob Summers.

Producer, Allen C. Pedersen. Director, Michael Spence; script, Brian Russell; camera, T.C. Christensen; editor, Jim Friesen; production designer, Bill Cornford; music, Bob Summers.

Host: Darren McGavin.

Aimed at the same people who read the National Enquirer and other tabloids, this hourlong special uses re-enactments and interviews with people involved in “verifiable incidents” where strange occurrences can’t be explained except by calling them “miracles.” Like the tabloids, most of the tales are hard to swallow; however, there is still something compelling and almost persuasive here.

That something certainly isn’t Darren McGavin’s narration, written by Brian Russell with a heavy hand and an overreliance on cliche.

And it isn’t Bob Summers’ music, which is derivative of John Williams’ score for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” particularly in the first story, swelling behind McGavin’s intonation of the melodramatic line, “The forces of the miracle began gathering ….”

But one is hard-pressed to come up with rational explanations for some of the events re-enacted here. Coincidence certainly is a force, as in the case of a trucker who saved a man’s life, only to have that man reappear when the trucker needed him most.

But weeping pictures of Jesus Christ? Mysterious coded messages from a dead man? Where do these come from?

Although “Miracles and Other Wonders” is overwrought and its re-enactments are somewhat annoying in their literalness (the recent fictional film “Grand Canyon” did a more convincing job of exploring some of the issues raised in the TV program), it fulfills our desire to believe that there is a benevolent force watching over us all.

Miracles and Other Wonders

(Fri. (5), 8-9 p.m., CBS-TV)

Production: Filmed in Utah by Charles E. Sellier Prods. in association with PKO Television. Executive producers, Paul Klein, Charles E. Sellier. Created by Sellier.

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