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Deadly Pursuits

Tim embarks on a search that leads him to scenic Charleston, S.C. (beautifully, if fleetingly, photographed by Herbert Davis), and into the scheming arms of party girl Meredith (Spelling), who picks him up at the airport. They're such total opposites that her determination to stick to him

Tim embarks on a search that leads him to scenic Charleston, S.C. (beautifully, if fleetingly, photographed by Herbert Davis), and into the scheming arms of party girl Meredith (Spelling), who picks him up at the airport. They’re such total opposites that her determination to stick to him

creates instant suspicion (at least in viewers, if not in her target).

Sure enough, she’s keeping an eye on him for the evil Mariano (Richard Belzer), a Colombian who’s also on the trail of Tim’s father. Mariano believes the elder Faulkner bilked him in the money-laundering scheme that Tim has by this time uncovered, and wants Tim to lead him to his father so he can exact revenge.

Numerous red herrings turn up, but nothing deters the dogged Tim from his pursuit. Meanwhile, he and Meredith have the standard romantic diversion; their sexual attraction is the only believable part of their relationship.

Michael Ahnemann’s script inexplicably throws in numerous references to class differences, harping on the gulf between Ivy Leaguer Tim and waitress Meredith as well as the bitter resentment Mariano harbors toward Tim’s father and “his button-down shirts.”

Much of the dialogue is ridiculous, as when Tim says to the FBI man, “Half my family was murdered and all you’re trying to do is put away the other half!”

And yet, somehow the tale manages to maintain viewer interest, thanks to a sympathetic portrayal by Muldoon and constant plot twists. First-class tech contributions also lend an assist, especially camerawork and nice jazzy score by John Frizzell.

Deadly Pursuits

(Mon. (8), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Filmed in Charleston, S.C., by the Konigsberg Co. Executive producers, Robert Levinson, Frank Konigsberg; co-executive producer, Joan Green; producer, Jack Clements; director, Felix Alcala; writer, Michael Ahnemann; camera, Herbert Davis; editor, Tod Brice; production designer, Bernt Capra; music, John Frizzell. #With: Tori Spelling, Patrick Muldoon, Richard Belzer, Mitchell Laurance, Reginald VelJohnson, Leigh Murray, Brittany Brooke Pressley, Mary Lucy Bivins, Lou Criscuolo, Helen Baldwin , Robert Treveiler, Andrew Porter, Wayne Caparas, Alex Van, Bo Parham, Ed Grady, Rasool Jhan, Maria Cabibi, Ralph Wilcox, Jeffrey Pillars, Phil Loch, D.L. Anderson, William Crumby, Charlie Peterson, Blaque Fowler, Joe Insoe. Despite cliched dialogue and an unbelievably naive lead character, this suspenser develops into an involving tale of a young man investigating his father's disappearance. Leads Patrick Muldoon and Tori Spelling are attractive, if somewhat limited in the talent department, and helmer Felix Alcala keeps up steady pace. Princeton student Tim Faulkner (Muldoon) comes home to find his mother and sister murdered and his father gone. Since pop's an international banker, he travels frequently; however, as an FBI agent (Reginald VelJohnson) points out, he couldn't have gotten far without his passport, which turns up at his office.

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