Picks and Pans Review: Due South

updated 09/26/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/1994 01:00AM

CBS (Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET)

B+

This new series, spun off from a much-praised pilot that aired last spring, squeezes fresh life out of an old buddy formula: the cynical veteran teamed with an out-of-his-element naif. In this case a seedy, seen-it-all Chicago cop (David Marciano of Civil Wars) gets partnered with a virtuous, jut-jawed Canadian Mountie (Paul Gross) and his trusty but deaf wolf, Diefenbaker. (Ummm, apparently the animal reads lips.)

Sample repartee: Marciano tries to warn Dudley Do-Right that his new apartment was poorly chosen—"Cops do not live in areas like this. Most people we bust won't even live here."

"Strange," replies Gross. "It's central, convenient. I can walk to work in seven minutes."

"Not without backup."

Inevitably Gross enjoys unexpected success on the streets because he lives by a rigorous, unwavering code, because his outsider's perspective gives him special insights and because his woodsman's skills prove to be oddly fungible in an urban setting.

Light action shows like this were a staple of 70s TV (McCloud, McMillan and Wife, etc.). It's nice to have one back on the schedule.

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