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The Tom Bosley/Tracy Nelson murder mystery series gets its final standard-def release....
Paramount / 1049 Minutes / 1990-1991 / Unrated / Street Date: March 12, 2013
This writer is of the age where I can remember watching ads for Father Dowling Mysteries – I think my grandma was at one point a big fan – but I never had much interest in seeing whether the Tom Bosley show was any good or not. I’m a sucker for a crime drama, I guess, but I don’t know: a series about a priest and a nun as detectives never really sparked enough curiosity in me to actually watch an episode.
Decades later I got my chance, in the form of Father Dowling Mysteries: The Third and Final Season on DVD. It’s all here – Bosley plays Frank Dowling and Tracy Nelson his sidekick Sister Oskowski, and their particular talents for getting to the bottom of various conundrums make them particularly in demand as crime solvers. Sister Oskowski goes undercover as a tramp at one point (The Missing Witness Mystery), she becomes the target of a crazy killer during a convent party (The Undercover Nun Mystery), and a gentleman shows up claiming to be Frank’s son (gasp!) in The Prodigal Son Mystery – is nothing sacred?
Let’s call this Father Dowling Mysteries set a prime example of getting exactly what you expect. Viewers who enjoyed the show when it aired in the late 1980s and early 1990s will likely find a compilation like this one to be a fun, wholesome throwback to the kind of mystery programming that really isn’t on the air any more, but for the uninitiated, it might be a tough sell. In any case, those who have been looking forward to completing their Father Dowling collections will finally be able to finish the deal.