Cold Heart of a Killer

On the eve of the race, her musher and brother, recovering alcoholic Robb Pierce (Philip Granger), is killed, it seems, in a drunken fall.

On the eve of the race, her musher and brother, recovering alcoholic Robb Pierce (Philip Granger), is killed, it seems, in a drunken fall.

It’s up to Jessie to mush now.

At the race’s start, she meets race rookie Alex Jensen (Bernsen) and Bomber Gates (Damian), a hot-headed musher who will do anything to win; the three become friends, helping each other along the trail.

But as the race heats up, mushers star dying “accidentally,” and the fix is in: The participants offed were the race leaders. Considering that the prize money is $ 50,000, the killer seems to be going to a lot of trouble.

Lots of ineffective contrived scares, red herrings and an incongruous romance , which slow the pace considerably, are off-putting. It’s obvious who the killer is right away; the transparent plot undermines the thrills.

The only genuine thrill involves Jackson’s sled team.

“Cold” makes exceptional use of its beautiful locations and it’s obvious Jackson & co. have done a lot of research into the race.

Kudos to the adorable dogs.

Cold Heart of a Killer

(Tues. (9), 9-11 p.m., CBS)

Production: Filmed in Alaska and Yukon Territory, Canada, by Carla Singer Prods. Exec producers, Kate Jackson, Carla Singer; producer, Joan Carson; director, Paul Schneider; writers, Mimi Rothman Schapiro, Bill Wells, Colley Cibber; camera, Richard Leiterman; editor, Michael Robison; production designer, Patricia van Ryker; sound, Roger Stafeckis; music, Simon Kendall, Al Rogers, Michelle Allen. Cast: Kate Jackson, Corbin Bernsen, Michael Damian, Philip Granger, Shaun Johnson, Kevin Zegers, Matthew Walker, Louise Valance, Nick Allen, David Gillmor, Ron McFadyen, Phil Adams, Ned Cathers. The Iditarod, the punishing sled-dogs-and-driver race from Anchorage to Nome, is the setting for this mild thriller toplining the credible and extremely likable Kate Jackson. The breathtaking scenery -- telepic was filmed in Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory -- and the TV star power of Jackson, Corbin Bernsen and Michael Damian may draw viewers, but the weak plotting and meager payoff will leave auds cold. Jessie Arnold (Jackson) breeds champion huskies for competitive dog-sled racing, but has fallen on economic hard times. Arnold really needs her dogs to run and win the Iditarod to prove the new breed she's devloped is the best.

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