Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Heat of the Sun

Premise: When a child killer evades justice in 1930s London, Detective Superintendent Albert Tyburn (Trevor Eve) takes matters in his own hands--with deadly results. To mitigate a sticky situation, Tyburn's Scotland Yard superior banishes the detective to colonial Kenya. Saddled with an incompetent new boss and primitive police methods, Tyburn struggles to fit into a society populated by affluent British landowners and the poverty-stricken laborers that work for them. It's a place that's ripe for...murder.

Running Time:  100 minutes.

Status:  One season was broadcast on 1998. It's available on DVD in the U.S.

Production Notes: The series was filmed on location in Zimbabwe. Susannah Harker plays Tyburn's love interest, an independent-minded aviator based on real-life pilot and author Beryl Markham. Harker gained fame three years earlier fas Jane Bennet in the immensely-popular BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Star Trevor Eve would later plays a less likable sleuth in the long-running cold case mystery series Waking the Dead.

Our Review: Heat of the Sun benefits mightily from a setting and time that provide a fascinating backdrop for the murder cases. Trevor Eve makes Tyburn a sharp, but cynical detective who pushes the boundaries of what his superiors will tolerate. His attitude meshes perfectly with the show's unflattering portrait of British Colonials, many of whom have no interest in understanding the culture of the country where they live. It's too bad Heat of the Sun didn't last longer than a single season. One suspects that the ratings did not justify the costs of the on-location production.

Grade:  B+.

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