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Ghost Canyon

(Ian Tracey, Klea Scott, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2008 / Acorn Media)

Overview: This critically acclaimed drama from the creator of Da Vinci’s Inquest takes you deep inside the murky world of organized crime and the cops who keep tabs on it. As a dedicated father, respected businessman, and big-time drug smuggler, Jimmy Reardon (Ian Tracey) feels the heat from outlaw bikers muscling in on his territory. Mary Spalding (Klea Scott), the ruthlessly ambitious head of Vancouver’s organized crime unit, fears her rivals in the intelligence community more than she fears criminals. Together, Jimmy and Mary form an uneasy alliance that threatens to undo them both.

DVD Verdict: Chris Haddock of 'Da Vinci's Inquest' has done it again with his signature high quality production of compelling characters in a series with a rivetting story. Nobody who loves 'DaVinci's Inquest' will be disappointed, trust me!

That said, while there are some intriguing ideas here, both professionally (especially in the early episodes, when a file containing the names of the police's confidential informants falls into the wrong hands, putting many lives in jeopardy) and personally (including Reardon's competition with his ex for custody of their daughter and Spalding's struggle to get ahead in a male-dominated world), 'Intelligence' falls short of consistently compelling viewing ... which is where 'Da Vinci's Inquest' never did.

On most levels - acting, writing, action, excitement - the show has a kind of second-tier vibe that simply doesn't measure up to its more flashy American counterparts; these days, dealing pot seems mighty small-time, and when it comes to "mean streets," Vancouver doesn't exactly resonate like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Basically, this first season takes us through the politics and turmoil of everyday life with snippets of the mundane, which is also everyday life. This is, of course, the foremost appeal of the series, and which makes it a staple of adult television in more than a third of the countries of the world. Something like the better half of the planet watches this show. Take a lesson, America: More Intelligence, less trash TV! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Bio of Creator/Writer Chris Haddock
Character Descriptions
Cast Filmographies