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SHOW OF THE WEEK

August 03, 1986|Howard Rosenberg

"EDGE OF DARKNESS," 8-10 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (13) (Illustrated on cover)--TV's summer is not entirely lost. The doldrums end with this dark, foreboding, mysterious British miniseries full of intriguing characters, puzzles, sharp twists and dead ends.

Originally a six-part drama on the BBC, it is being aired as three episodes of two hours each on KCOP.

The story begins with tough British cop Ronald Craven's investigation into the fatal shooting of his 21-year-old daughter, Emma, a scientist and anti-nuke activist.

But things are rarely as they seem, as Craven discovers far more than he anticipates, including a gun and Geiger counter among Emma's personal things and an area of her life that he knows nothing about. Side streets become thoroughfares, as Emma is linked to a break-in at a nuclear plant.

Written by Troy Kennedy Martin, "Edge of Darkness" is not many notches below his brilliant "Reilly: Ace of Spies" and is betrayed only by an ultra-socko ending that strains credibility.

It is at once a thriller and a touching character study about a father haunted by memories of his daughter. The story is never more affecting than when he recalls their past and seems to be guided by her spirit in solving the mystery of her death.

Bob Peck is outstanding as Craven, as understated as Joe Don Baker (pictured on the cover) is bigger than life as an outrageous CIA agent from Texas named Darius Jedburgh. Joanne Whalley is a luminous Emma. In other supporting roles are Charles Kay, Ian McNeice, Kenneth Nelson and Hugh Fraser.

Like much of England's best TV drama, "Edge of Darkness" is not for viewers who prefer being spoon fed to using their noodles and joining the story's hunt for the truth. It is, though, an invigorating way to spend six hours.

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