19
Oct
10

Due South returns to the BBC

Due South

It’s good news this week for fans of the Canadian Mountie who always got his man (and more than a few women) in the mid-1990s: Paul Gross, aka Benton Fraser, is back on the BBC in a repeat run of the comedy-drama, Due South.

Due South followed the exploits of Fraser as he left the far north of Canada on the trail of his father’s killer and headed to the mean streets of Chicago. On his arrival, Fraser finds himself unwittingly teamed up with a fast-talking cop, Ray Vecchio (David Marciano), the pair searching Chicago’s seamier side to uncover the truth.

Created by Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis (Crash), Due South was an instant hit in the UK when it first aired here in 1995. The mixture of clever scripts, witty dialogue and genuinely heartfelt moments as Fraser discovered a new connection with his dead dad (Gordon Pinsent) and attempted to understand life in the big city, made it unmissable telly.

Sadly, audiences in the US, where series need to do well if they’re going to survive, never quite got Due South: producers noted that for many people it wasn’t gritty enough to be a “proper” cop show and not overtly funny enough to be a comedy, falling somewhere between the two. The fact was that Due South wasn’t really either, a bizarre mash-up of genres which somehow just worked.

Viewer and TV Network confusion led to numerous cancellations and revivals for the programme over the years, which led to the departure of  Marciano between seasons two and three and the arrival of Callum Keith Rennie as Stanley Kowalski, the ersatz Vecchio. For me, the series became a shadow of its former self around this time, the humour levels taken to ludicrous heights and the drama lost in the mix. To this day I still haven’t watched many of the episodes such is the stark difference between these and the glory days of Hawk and a Handsaw and Victoria’s Secret.

I still maintain that this first season is one of the strongest of any series I’ve seen, the actors, writers, directors and entire team pulling together to make TV gold. There’s barely a dud in this run, even the weaker scripts benefitting from the pairing of Gross and Marciano, the latter’s constant disgust at his friend’s behaviour always a delight.

Interestingly, Due South began trending over on Twitter this afternoon, as the nation began realising that the programme was back. I can’t help but wonder if the BBC are missing a trick by not scheduling it later in the evening, but for the moment you can find it on BBC 2 for the next month or so, or you can bookmark the BBC iPlayer page to see what I’m going on about.

I’ll also be mentioning Due South on Twitter in the coming weeks, so please come and say hello.

Finally, for the hardcore fans out there, I’ll mention that a Due South convention, Duesers Day Off, recently took place in Toronto. The organisers have just made available a DVD of the event, featuring Paul Gross and various other actors/production team members, which can be bought from the website.

Here’s a trailer:

Thank you kindly.

Image copyright BBC

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28 Responses to “Due South returns to the BBC”


  1. 1 cat holmes
    November 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    i’m so glad it’s back on air. and i just want to tell someone, because i don’t want it to go off air. i love due south and remember watching it last time it was on tv, when i was 10 or something. great :)

  2. 3 CumfyC
    December 3, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Hey, really liking due south being back on, makes me giggle n smile :)

    however where is episode 26? is there an episode 26?

    or the last one to be played from series 1 is episode 25/26?
    :)

    Cumfy (chris)

  3. 4 Ben
    December 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Ive gotton megga addicted to Due South since its been back on tv. A bit confused about a few things though. The sky Plus info tells you what episode you have recorded and there seemed to be an episode missing from series 1, cant remember which one. Does anyone know why. Oh and i was megga gutted when i noticed that the re runs have stopped a couple of episodes in to series 2. How come. is it just because of the christmas period. will it be back on again soon does anyone know when.

  4. 6 Rob
    December 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Fantastic to have DS back on tv, but frustrating to see it come and go with no explanation.
    Will the BBC be finishing what it began??
    Info please!

  5. December 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I suspect that the BBC have only taken the show off the air for the festive season but just to be on the safe side I emailed them this afternoon to ask what the situation is.

    There’s no guarantee they’ll reply of course, but fingers crossed.

    Great to see so many new converts to the programme – any favourite episodes yet?

  6. 8 Amy T
    January 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I really hope it hasnt been cancelled, My favourite episode is were Fraser and RayV are stuck in the woods while fraser is blind, VERY Funny!!

  7. 9 Rosemary
    January 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Due South is returning to our screens on January 24th. Great news.

  8. 11 James N
    February 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Its always to seeDue South on the TV again, but what I would really like to see is a whole new series. Imagine how cool that would be!

  9. 12 JLo
    March 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    It’s March 2011 and it is still on – though for how much longer? Please keep repeating it – on a never-ending loop? Perfect!

    Due South is the great, with old or new Ray (old was best (sorry Callum), but new is very good in a different way….) I think all the episodes have feb storylines, but the one with Leslie Nielsen (always brilliant) was memorable.

    I can’t recall, but I hope Thatcher and Benny DO NOT get together – he’s mine!

  10. March 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I can understand why it was not such a big hit in the US. I seem to want to compair it with Life on mars, as it is too sutle for them and more an Brit humour.
    I feel is as such a feel good factor you would do well in the Economic climate, as you have to laugh. I watch some of the rubbish directed at the viewers of ‘1’ and ‘2’ and I dispair of the comedy content I cannot even smile.
    BBC most of your viewers are now falling inti the Baby Boomers with a resonable IQ but It is not, that being just female I have had enough football on a Saturday with vast coverage over a large period. I would rather watch your afternoon progs on in the evening. I like good comedy but what is ‘Fast and loose’ what genre does that fit in. Fridays with all the young people out on the town, and since Christmas your films have been Dire except on Sat afternoon when we are all out.
    BBC who’s running your shedueling
    New tricks Again, tonight film a repeat. Sam L Jackson is what you put on last Fri by its discription, but this weeksis a bril film but how many times have you shown it.

    At one time I never turn over from Beb 1 now I seem to check the big 4 and turn the TV off.
    Listen to viewers try a pilot Due South on a Fri or Sat evening on !

  11. 15 Jon Haigh
    March 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    It seems that the run of Due South is over. The Beeb aren’t showing the second series of the spin-off. There are 13 episodes left culminating with Call of the wild parts I and II, where Fraser is reunited with the real Ray Vecchio. Come on BBC, what’s the story?

  12. 16 Dennis Mills
    March 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Yup, we’re back to “Diagnosis Murder”.
    Whilst I like the tales of the doctor and his son the cop, I am disappointed that the beeb couldn’t show the rest of Due South first! Maybe we need to start a petition…?

  13. 17 Julia Freezer
    March 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    This having been the first time I’ve ever watched Due South, I am so very disappointed (understatement)that the BBC has stopped showing this fantastic show. Why stop it in season three and not show the final episodes?

    It’s been unmissable TV for me, and I just cant bear not to see it through to the end.

    Stop Diagnosis Murder….NOW!!

  14. 20 Daz Lowbridge
    March 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Ive read some of the comments and cant believe that the BBC arnt going to air the final season of Due South, such a shame as it is a fantastic show, one of my favs back in the 90’s! I mean come on is there anyone with a brain in charge of their schedueling!!!!!!! im gonna havt to email them now to ask what is happening with S4 dont expect a reply though

  15. 21 Philip Day
    March 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Two programmes probably made me the man I am today: Fireman Sam and Due South!

    I was really so happy to see Due South Back on the Beeb this winter, and am now left unhappy that Series 4 has been kicked to the touch-line by yet more Diagnosis Murder – as if that hasn’t had enough air-time already!

    Please Please BBC, listen to us and give us Series 4!

    If there is a petition, show me where to sign!

    Phil

  16. March 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I’m impressed/surprised by the number of comments this topic has generated – there are a lot of unhappy Due South fans out there. As I noted above I feel the last 13 episodes are the weakest of the entire series but fans who haven’t seen them deserve the chance to judge for themselves.

    The last time there was a break in transmission during the run I emailed the BBC to ask what was happening but didn’t hear back.

    Can I suggest everyone visits the BBC’s feedback section and let’s them know how they feel. They do take notice of praise and complaints https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

  17. March 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Consider it done!

    I have written as a “complaint” although I have also suggested that it may be prudent, if they do not wish to schedule the 4th series, to make it available on iPlayer only, or some other solution.

    This really gave me pleasure in my childhood, and it had been almost completely forgotten before it came back again this year – I’m so glad to have been reminded though!

    Let’s hope they give us our forth series!

    Phil

  18. 24 Rachel Almond
    March 13, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I agree that the last episodes aren’t Due South at its best, but i’m still really disappointed that the 4th series doesn’t seem to be airing. Even when Due South got a bit stupid it was still great to watch. I was a huge fan in the 90’s and was so happy it was repeating again. I have complained to the BBC that so far there is no 4th series, bring back Due South!

  19. 25 The A1 Mod
    March 17, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Hi and good to see that i’m not the only fan of Due South. I loved it first time round and I still love it now. Would love to see it on a loop (great suggestion by earier poster) even if it was on a lost and lonely channel. Agree that the whole season should have been televised and would love to see S4 too. Brings back so many lovely memories – even the theme tune. And yes, I my crush on Frasier remains in tact to this day!

  20. 26 Matt
    March 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I hesitate to say it, but Piratebay is a good place if you want a fix of s.4. Or £15-20 from Amazon.

    s.4 isn’t the best, admittedly, especially that god-awful voodoo episode, but the ending with the real Ray [David Marciano] redeems it.

    ITV 2, or maybe ITV 3 was showing Due South s.1-4 a few years ago. I don’t know if they sold the rights to view back to the BBC, or however that works, but I haven’t seen it on their channels in a while.

  21. March 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I have received a reply from the BBC. As expected, they have noted my concerns, but currently have no plans to broadcast through any form of BBC media, the 4th Series.

    Thought others may like to know.

    Phil

  22. 28 Vicki Tubridy
    May 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    its a shame as many of us fans are missing out :(


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