Picks and Pans Review: Chiefs

updated 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (8-10 p.m. ET)

This is a corking good murder tale set in a fictional Georgia town that grows from a 1920s dirt-water hamlet to a 1960s bustling metropolis. Director Jerry (Shogun) London makes stunning use of the social canvas. As the town's founding father, Charlton Heston employs a corn-pone accent that is the only phony thing in the show. The title refers to three policemen who cope through the years with the unsolved murders of teenage boys. Wayne Rogers, the first chief, discovers that one of his neighbors may be a killer. Chief No. 2, Brad Davis, is a bigot for whom the case has murderous consequences. It is Billy Dee Williams, the first black chief, who uncovers the truth. The acting is superb, and Keith Carradine shines in the large, impressive cast. Robert Lenski's script is more decorous than Stuart Woods' novel on the sexual nature of the crimes, but kids shouldn't watch anyway. Chiefs is adult television—strong, stinging and memorable.

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