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EDGE OF DARKNESS (1985)


Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Troy Kennedy-Martin (British television mini-series)

Cast: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay, Ian McNeice, Joanne Whalley...

Runtime: 314 minutes (2 discs - 6 episodes)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Genre: Action/Thriller/Crime

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Thomas Craven (Bob Peck) is an Inspector on the local police force. His daughter Emma (Joanne Whalley) is an activist. In this eco-thriller, as Craven investigates his daughter's death he uncovers details of a massive corporate cover-up of a nuclear "accident" that resulted in the deaths of several other activists, as well as his daughter's. His investigation also attracts the attention of those who prefer the matter to just go away, including Darius Jedburgh (Joe Don Baker) a CIA operative who is sent in to "clean things up" (meaning get rid of Craven, not clean up the radioactivity).

The mini-series is a convoluted thriller, but with 6 episodes, the viewer has time to keep up with the various twist and turns. (The Mel Gibson movie was so truncated due to the time/length restrictions of a movie format as to be more confusing than scary or thrilling). Viewers must still pay attention to details and again, there is far more drama than action, but the actors are top-notch and the storyline is less confusing because there is time to develop it. The murky nuclear policy of Britain in the eighties makes one wonder what the real U.S. nuclear policy is or was.

The line between the good guys and the bad guys is often blurred. The viewer will wonder, from time to time, whose side a particular character is really on, and things don't get sorted out until the very end. This 6 episode mini-series is so superior to the Mel Gibson movie version, it makes one wonder why did they even bother to make the movie and why did they cast Mel Gibson in the lead?!?

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