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Due South: Season 3: DVD Review


Due South Series 3

Starring: Paul Gross, Callum Keith Rennie, David Marciano, Leslie Nielsen, Gordon Pinsent

Rating: M
Released by Madman Entertainment.

Cult shows from my youth don't come finer than this - or is it just nostalgia?

Back in the mid 90s, I remember stumbling across Due South, the comedy crime drama series which saw a Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) head across the border to Chicago to track his father's killer.

Paired with a cynical cop Ray Vecchio (David Marciano), Fraser, along with his deaf wolf Diefenbaker and dead father who haunted him from the next world, had a series of adventures and cracked crime on the way.

It was quirky, offbeat and centred around the good nature of the Canadian Mountie who used his manners (oft found saying Thank You Kindly) to appeal to the better nature of the crims involved.

Due South Volume 3 collects together the final 26 episodes of the show's last two seasons which brought the curtain down on the gang.

But the last season was a tumultuous one - dumped from US TV because it bombed in the ratings, this Canadian dramedy (created by Paul Haggis who wrote Crash and Million Dollar Baby) did phenomenally well abroad and that saw it commissioned for a final run by a multi national conglomerate of partners (including the BBC).

In its final year, the original Ray Vecchio went undercover, leaving Fraser with a new partner Stanley Kowalski (Callum Keith Rennie, recently seen in Battlestar Galactica and Case 39 on the big screen) who had to adapt to Fraser's way of working.

The joke with Due South has always been a sly nod and wink to the ongoing relationship between the Canadians and the Americans - with the USA seeing them as being a bit slow and Canada exploiting this to their own ends.

Those quirks continue in Series 3 - and finally wraps up some of the long running plot threads - including the riddle of the murder of Fraser's mother.

It's fair to say the cracks were starting to show in the production of the show's final year - and while the partnership between Kowalski and Fraser works well, it never really transcends the tenderness between Vecchio and Fraser which gave the series so much of its appeal. However, that said, it still remains a rare show in that it has family values (which are never preached) and can be watched by all.

The 7 disc set itself is a bit of a mixed bag - it would have been great to have some form of extras or perhaps a doco which show why Due South is so loved nearly 10 years after its release - instead, there's nothing but the bumper 26 episodes (along with Leslie Nielsen's flatulent Mountie Buck Frobisher).

And while that's great, it's just a shame the show which is ardently cared for by fans who view it isn't given the send off that it deserves.

Still, it is great to be able to have the final set released after a long, long wait.

To Madman, I say: Thank you, kindly.

Rating: 7/10


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