COLD SQUAD TV series (1998-2005)

Creators: Julia Keatley, Philip Keatley, Matt MacLeod

Starring: Julie Stewart, Tamara Craig Thomas, Gary Chalk, Matthew Bennett, Gregory Calpakis...

98 one-hour epsiodes
Not rated.

Genre: Police crime-drama/cold case crimes

Long-running Canadian TV series now in syndication.
For information on availability in your area, check the website

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Cold Squad should NOT to be confused with Cold Case or any other program that solves cold cases! This series is set in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It follows a team of Vancouver police officers as they try to solve old, unsolved cases. In some instances the cases are played out in story arcs lasting two or more episodes which can be very frustrating if you are trying to follow the series on late-night TV and the station airing the series either skips episodes because some "paid programming" opportunity comes along or because the episodes are shown out of order. In that case, one week a cop may be there then not there the next week and then shows up again in other episodes. I'm still waiting for three different cases to be solved that I was following and so far, they haven't been solved or even mentioned in the past three or four episodes that have been aired. It's not the fault of the series creators and writers that the show doesn't make sense sometimes. That's completely the fault of the station showing the program. But I digress...

The storylines are quite engaging and well written. One of the most memorable episodes for me involved firefighters finding a mass grave of decomposing bodies in the cellar of a home. One of the bodies was linked to a cold case. As the firefighters were making their grisly discovery, a recently abducted victim, trapped in the back of a van, was being brought to the house...

Ah, if only there were a way to view this series from beginning to end, uninterrupted. To my knowledge there is no online source currently selling this series in either DVD or VHS format. If you want to watch it, you're going to have to hunt it down on TV and try to keep track of it on your own, with little, if any, help from the TV station on which it's shown. I'm sure the program would have legions of fans if only they could find the program on the same time and channel from week to week.

For the most part, it is worth the effort to try to find it. There is a good ensemble cast and even if there are a few members of the team that don't hold your interest, usually the storylines are spread out enough throughout the cast that you won't lose interest if a cast member you don't like is featured now and then. When I first began watching the series I didn't realize that Sgt. Ali McCormick (Julie Stewart) was the star. I thought she was one of the secondary characters because she wasn't the focus of the episodes I saw.

I haven't seen the early episodes but according to information and publicity about the show, the entire cast, except for Julie Stewart was replaced in season three. She is the only cast member to appear in all episodes during the seven seasons. (And I thought she was only a secondary character...hmph!)

One last comment about viewing the episodes out of order. You may be in for a bit of confusion. The various characters have developed over time. Some were under suspicion of wrong doing at one time or another, whether it be corruption or murder. Once the issue was resolved, it may be re-visited in a strange deja-vu way if the chronological order of the episodes aren't maintained. I could have sworn one of the cops was either fired or died but he's back now! (I'm sure things will sort themselves out eventually and I will discover yet again, that an episode or two have been shown out of order.)

At any rate, if you get the chance, try Cold Squad.

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