The Due South pilot is a television movie that constitutes an introduction to the Due South series.
Storyline: RCMP Constable Benton Fraser is transferred from the Yukon to the Canadian consulate in Chicago to investigate his father's mysterious murder. He teams up with colourful Detective Ray Vecchio who helps him find his way around the city.
Original Air Date: April 23, 1994
Written by Paul Haggis
Directed by Fred Gerber
In a gulch in the snow-covered Canadian wilderness, RCMP Sergeant Robert Fraser discovers the carcass of a caribou encased in ice. As he hikes further up the gulch, he hears a bolt-action rifle being cocked. Unable to see the rifle's bearer, he warns: "You're going to shoot a Mountie? They'll hunt you to the ends of the earth!" But his warning goes unheeded, and he is shot dead.
In the upper reaches of the Yukon territory, Sergeant Fraser's son, Constable Benton Fraser, has just brought in a criminal whom he accuses of overfishing. He receives word of his father's death and flies to his detachment, whose Staff Sergeant, Gerrard, describes Sergeant Fraser's last days. In company with his wolf-dog, Diefenbaker, Constable Fraser visits the site of his father's death, and meets a Native hunter over the dead caribou nearby. When Fraser questions him, the hunter simply states that the caribou "drank too much." Fraser continues to investigate and next questions a bush pilot, obtaining a list of several dentists from Chicago who visited the area on a hunting expedition. He then totes one of the caribou to a coroner's office and asks the pathologist to determine how it died.
Following his father's funeral, Fraser asks Gerrard for a transfer to the consulate in Chicago, but Gerrard turns him down. However, Gerrard's superior, Chief Superintendent Underhill, overrules him and grants Fraser's transfer to ensure that the murderer is brought to justice. Arriving in Chicago, Fraser visits the Chicago P.D.'s 27th Precinct and is referred to Detective Raymond Vecchio, who is managing the case; when they first meet, Ray is working undercover at the time until Fraser blows it on him. However, Ray curbs his impatience when Fraser tells him that "the dead Mountie was my father."At the consulate the next day, Fraser is given a less-than-inspiring briefing by his new boss, Inspector Moffat, and finds himself promptly at odds with Moffat's assistant, Constable Leeann Brighton (who expected to get the deputy liaison officer's job when it was advertised). After Fraser's shift, he and Ray visit the office of one of the dentists on the list; when a colleague shows them a photograph of the dentist in question, Ray recognizes him as a known hit man named Frankie Drake, with whom he has a history. He and Fraser visit a bar in a bad neighbourhood, but when Ray tries to pump the bartender for information, Drake catches wind of it and shoots up the bar with an assault rifle.
While Ray is upbraided by his supervisor, Fraser learns from the coroner that the caribou mysteriously drowned on dry land. Ray learns nothing about Drake from any of his informants, and invites Fraser to dinner at his house. During a typical Vecchio family dinner - a loud, argumentative affair during which Fraser first meets Ray's little sister, Francesca - Ray suddenly has a flash of intuition and rushes out with Fraser in tow. They visit Drake's wife, who claims not to have seen her husband recently. Fraser quietly incites her to give them Drake's address, a seedy apartment in Chinatown. Too late, they find the apartment booby-trapped when Ray spots a trip wire at Fraser's feet and shoves him out the window ahead of a bomb blast.
As a seriously injured Ray lies in the hospital, Gerrard shows up to give Fraser a talking-to for not investigating through proper channels. They are preparing to leave the hospital when Drake shows up and attempts to kill Fraser, who thwarts him - only for Gerrard to shoot Drake dead, claiming that he was reaching for a non-existent knife. Fraser is shocked to realize that Gerrard killed Drake to silence him.
Upon return to the Yukon, Fraser meets the Inuit hunter again and learns that the construction of a new dam in the middle of the wilderness has seriously impacted the ecosystem. "Told your father," the hunter says. "He didn't do anything. Neither will you." In his next meeting with Gerrard, Fraser accuses him of taking a bribe to keep quiet about the dam's faults; Gerrard claims that Fraser's father took a similar payment, and quietly admits that he ordered the assassination of Sergeant Fraser to keep him from talking out of turn. He uses the protection of Sergeant Fraser's good name to dissuade Constable Fraser from arresting him.As Fraser goes through some childhood effects in his father's cabin, Ray shows up out of nowhere (still not fully recovered from his injuries) and announces that he has used the records from a Chicago pay phone to tie Gerrard to the shooting. They settle in to wait for Gerrard to show up, but they haven't long to wait; seven assassins riding snowmobiles arrive and riddle the cabin with bullet holes. Diefenbaker dispatches one of them whilst Ray takes out another with a hand grenade. Fraser and Ray team up to knock out a third and make their escape via dog sled, with the remaining four killers in hot pursuit.
Another man loses control of his snowmobile on a steep hill; a fifth falls into a sinkhole, leaving two to chase the dog sled. Ray takes a flying leap from the sled and clobbers one of them with a boomerang-shaped stick. The last man falls to Fraser's superior knowledge of the area as he careens off a cliff. Fraser finds Diefenbaker wounded, but his attention is drawn by the sound of a bolt-action rifle being cocked. "It's over, Gerrard!" he shouts. "You can't cover this one up! You shoot me, and they'll hunt you to the ends of the earth!" A shot rings out - but Fraser is not the one hit; instead he watches as Gerrard falls from a rock outcropping nearby. The Native hunter comes along with his rifle held over his shoulder, saying, "Sorry, I thought he was a caribou. So many hunting accidents around here."
At the trial of himself and the government representatives involved with the construction of the dam, Gerrard pleads guilty and testifies against his co-defendants. With the environmental scandal exposed and Gerrard imprisoned, Fraser is ostracized by the RCMP and sent back to Chicago "until things calm down," as Underhill suggests. Underhill also reassures Fraser that there is no evidence of his father accepting a bribe from Gerrard's co-conspirators. After repairing and shuttering his father's cabin, Fraser returns to Chicago, where he and Ray start to kindle a legendary partnership.
- Paul Gross as Benton Fraser
- David Marciano as Ray Vecchio
- Ken Pogue as Gerrard
- Page Fletcher as Frankie Drake
- Wendel Meldrum as Leeann Brighton
- Chuck Shamata as Captain Walsh
- Joseph Ziegler as Inspector Moffat
- Gordon Pinsent as Robert Fraser
- Kaye Ballard as Mrs. Vecchio
- Jim Millington as Underhill
- Victor Ertmanis as Staff Sgt. Mears
- Eric Schweig as Yukon Hunter
- Ramona Milano as Francesca Vecchio
- Paulina Gillis as Maria
- Vito Rezza as Tony
- Elizabeth Berman as Mrs. Drake
Memorable Quotes Edit
Benton Fraser: That's the last time he'll fish over the limit!
Benton Fraser: It would have been a party of six.
Herb Lantrell: Brought a bunch of nuns up on a retreat. Does that help?
Benton Fraser: Not unless they were carrying firearms.
Herb Lantrell: You're sure they were Americans, eh?
Benton Fraser: They were all wearing new boots, they were driving a Jeep Wrangler, and they carried big guns.
Herb Lantrell: Americans it is.
Nun: Food for the hungry?
(Benton Fraser takes a slice of dried meat from his bag and puts it into the nun's box)
Nun: What is this?
Benton Fraser: Pemmican. If you're still hungry after you finish it, drink water; it expands in your stomach.
Ray Vecchio: So, uh, what's your first name, anyway? I mean, I can't keep calling you 'Fraser.'
Benton Fraser: Benton.
Ray Vecchio: So what's your first name?
Benton Fraser: Benton.
Ray Vecchio: Do you have a first name?
Ray Vecchio: You know we just took out seven guys? One more and you qualify for American citizenship.
- "From a Million Miles" by Single Gun Theory [album: Millions, Like Stars in My Hands, Daggers in My Heart, Wage War] (Fraser's arrival in Chicago)
- "Superman's Song" by the Crash Test Dummies [album: The Ghosts that Haunt Me] (journal scene)