Due South” airs as a telefilm, but it’s really a back-door pilot, according to the network. If ever a TV film begged for its own series it is this fish-out-of-water/buddy cop tale. Although formulaic, the actioner scores points in other areas.
Paul Gross stars as Benton Fraser, an unorthodox Canadian Mountie who takes off to Chicago to catch the man who murdered his dad. David Marciano co-stars as Ray Vecchio, a fast-talking and slick detective who teams up with Fraser in the tough city to help him adjust and track the villain.
Naturally, at first they don’t get along, but gain mutual respect.
The producers, director Fred Gerber and d.p. Ron Stannett deftly film both Chi and Canada’s Yukon; Gerber and Stannett never let the camera stagnate and choose nonconformist angles to relay the story. Stephen Lawrence’s editing aids considerably in the fast pace.
Writer/exec producer Paul Haggis has developed interesting characters and touches on enough possible future storylines to keep “Due South” going.
Gross, as the naive yet smart cop, does well. Marciano, although playing a role that has been seen onscreen before, provides comic relief without reducing himself to a caricature.