Top positive review
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Dick Van Dyke strikes again !
on 20 February 2009
If anything this is better than series one ! The cast rise to the challenge superbly ! Victoria Rowell is perfect as the ever demure & graceful Dr Bentley and Scott Baio is first class as the Italian-American charmer. Jack Stewart is one of the more complex & darker characters - his criminal past in hinted at when he tries to help Amanda get her money back from a con-man and he is superb at fishing around for clues. But he has a heart of gold and feels a real debt of loyalty to his good friend Dr Mark Sloan ( played superbly by Dick Van Dyke ) - this a golden thread running through season two of this fine drama series.
Barry Van Dyke is excellent as Lt Steve Sloan - as with Poirot in the early days 1989-1994 it made sense to have the same investigating officer every time. Barry can play the part of Mark Sloan's long suffering son very well on TV because he is Dick Van Dyke's son in real life - talk about acting with conviction ! Delores Hall is a great actress who wisely plays the part for laughs with just enough wry social comment and the personal chemistry between her & the rest of the cast is a joy to behold.
Michael Tucci plays the part of the hapless Norman Briggs very well indeed. Although initially set up as the penny-pinching bogeyman we do discover that he has done much good work in the past and really does care about other people. Norm is not just a single dimensional idiot of a character- far from it ! I feel sorry for Norm & Delores who try in vain to get Dr Sloan to focus on hospital paperwork rather than fighting crime.
This part plays to Dick Van Dyke's musical hall acting skills and as such is a joy to behold. I know that the plot-lines do retread the past successes of other American detective dramas like Quincy , Murder She Wrote , Colombo , Perry Mason and even Kojak but the acting is so great that it really does not matter. The episode about vampires will certainly appeal to fans of Bram Stoker & Arthur Conan-Doyle - it is one of the darker , sombre and more powerful installments of season two. But like previous famous American TV sleuths Dr Sloan is filled with compassion & a desire to do justice as well as being a wise person.
I have really enjoyed this great series and am looking forward very much to future DVD releases ! Well done Amazon for offering such excellent retro- TV classics such as Diagnosis Murder at a nice low price. This set will only enhance any DVD collection for any discerning viewer ! Don't delay - buy today !