Canadian television has almost always been uniquely Canadian in that it often does not translate or succeed when it ventures across borders. Stuff like King of Kensington or The Beachcombers will always be uniquely Canadian. But once in a while something like Corner Gas or Trailer Park Boys finds a much wider audience and succeeds elsewhere, but it is usually in the comedy genre. Flashpoint broke all the rules when it came out. A taut, slickly produced police procedural show about a group of Toronto police response unit, essentially a S.W.A.T. team, took off across the border and managed to compete with some of the biggest U.S. cop shows ever.
Flashpoint revolves around the Strategic Response Unit led by Gregory Parker (Enrico Colantoni). The SRU is inspired by Toronto’s real life Emergency Task Force, a team of elite, highly trained police officers who deal with high risk situations such as hostage situations, bomb threats and gang violence. Along with team leader Ed Lane (Hugh Dillon), the team have faced multiple personal and professional challenges across four seasons of stories. Season Five finds the team dealing with office gunmen, a gang car bombing at a children’s party, abductions and armored car heists. But it is the personal lives of the characters that keep the show on track and keep the viewers enthralled. Season five finds the team breaking apart near the end with members going their own ways and some staying behind to carry on the teams missions.
Flashpoint is a stellar show that easily holds up against the best cop shows ever produced. With the charismatic leads in Colantoni and Dillon and an amazing supporting cast, the show stayed top notch throughout the five seasons, going out on a high note. The Fifth and Final Season also sports some great extra features for fans of the show including a great retrospective including the whole cast that actually gets pretty emotional. Flashpoint is essential viewing for fans of police dramas and sets a new bar for Canadian programming. Highly recommended.
Available now on DVD.