Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral and heartfelt, perhaps even schmaltzy at times - but on the whole it's a ride worthing taking, 26 July 2012
This review is from: Highway To Heaven - Season One [UK DVD] (DVD)
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This Highway to Heaven Season One set is a real hit with my 18 year old daughter, and she has already bought the newly released Season Two and Season Three UK sets. Michael Landon's as likeable on-screen as ever, and the series seems well suited to secondary schoolkids & young adults who will appreciate its moral clarity. We got the set for my daughter, who likes it and other old TV programs & films like 'Bewitched', '7 Brides for 7 Brothers', and 'Calamity Jane'. My daughter's review of Highway to Heaven: "It's so sad, but it's so sweet, and the other bits made me laugh ... it's really good though." We thought the show has aged quite well, probably as none of the issues covered have gone away, its storylines weren't always predictable, and when required the series didn't pull its punches.

The series stars Michael Landon as Jonathan Smith, an Angel sent down to earth to do good and so win his wings. He soon finds a human companion soulmate in ex-cop Mark Gordon, played by Victor French, Landon's co-star from Little House on the Prairie. In a similar manner to 'Quantum leap', Jonathan and Mark are given missions by God (The Boss) to advise and help those in trouble overcome their problems and get back on track. It was filmed mostly in California, with the memorable Mark picking up Jonathan sequence set in Tucson, Arizona - the home of Bonanza, Landon's first major TV series break and one of my childhood faves.

Covering lots of difficult issues such as greed, drug abuse, cancer, prejudice and death could have made this a bit of a harrowing ride for those like me in middle age, but these issues are dealt with sensitively and there's fortunately plenty of light relief, largely via the humour between Mark and Jonathan and the obvious on-screen warmth of their relationship. Although not overtly religious as such, the whole series is based around the Good Samaritan parable, with strangers helping out strangers and most eventually seeing the light (and if the on-screen characters don't get it, at least the TV audience will). Michael Landon even extended the series ethos into real life, ensuring that the sick and disabled got to work as the production crew. First screened in 1984 and running for 5 seasons, this Heaven inspired Road Movie is decent enough family viewing.

It's a large seven DVD set, with English audio and English subtitles only, and 4:3 TV (not widescreen) - the words on the subtitles often rephrase what is being said though. There's 25 episodes in season one, each one lasting around 50 minutes. It's rated PG (age 7+) and is region 2 locked. Picture quality is typical of 80's TV film transfers, rather grainy and mono sound but quite watchable. These UK PAL sets can be expensive as the five seasons are newly released in the UK, but their prices are falling with time. Otherwise search on-line for the best price or try and locate a cheap region 1 NTSC set for a tenner if you have a region free DVD player - Amazon.com will deliver to the UK, although the NTSC season sets that were dirt cheap a few months ago are presently quite scarce. Recently the Highway To Heaven - The Complete Collection [DVD] has been released in the UK with all five seasons in one box set.
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