Monday, 3 April 2017
649 Once Upon A Murder
First viewed : 18 December 1983
Some Christmas holiday viewing now and this superior US mini-series was broadcast in three parts over consecutive nights on ITV. It was an adaptation of Stuart Woods' novel Chiefs and broadcast under that name in the US. ITV re-branded it presumably finding the original title a little prosaic.
The series follows the development of a fictional small town Delano through three generations of its police chiefs observed by town patriarch Hugh Holmes ( Charlton Heston in moustache and toupee ) . The town becomes very prosperous but has one small problem. It's home to a Gacy-like serial killer in lone wolf farmer Foxy Funderburke ( Keith Carradine ) whose killing spree spans over decades. Apart from Carradine who was nominated for an Emmy , the dominant performance comes from Brad Davis as the "middle" police chief Sunny Butts who gets the job because he's a war hero. However he's also a violent racist and sex pest and Davis is marvellously unhinged in the role. The rest of the series just drops a notch when he exits.