by Steve Eastman, Wait Til You Hear This
Faith is the part of everyday life that mainstream TV routinely ignores. But Martha Williamson, who broke ground with Touched by an Angel over two decade ago, is now the creative force behind Signed, Sealed, Delivered on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
Ostensibly, the show follows the adventures of four postal detectives from the Dead Letter Office. But if you look a little closer, you find an undercurrent of faith. The latest episode — The Impossible Dream — is the best example of this I’ve seen so far in the series. It airs 9 PM EDT on Sunday, October 4th.
Martha Williamson and her team are great storytellers. She begins this episode with a gritty start — a female US Army medic helping an Afghan woman give birth near the Pakistani border. The American is eventually captured, leaving the soldier’s father and daughter little information about her whereabouts and condition. But somehow she manages to smuggle a coded letter to the US. That’s where the ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ team comes in.
The head of the team is Oliver O’Toole, played by Eric Mabius. A publicity release accurately describes the character as a Christian Renaissance man. Oliver does his job, knowing it is a calling from God. At one point he says, “What is gentle and beautiful and joyful is worth fighting to preserve.” Oliver is not heavy-handed about sharing his faith; his spirituality just flows out organically as a normal part of life.
By thinking through personal, Biblical and patriotic references in the coded letter, the postal detectives discover it is a road map to the medic’s rescue on a specific date. But can they convince higher-ups in the government to take action?
As all good movies and TV shows do today, there is a subplot. One of the geekier members of the team decides to enter the Miss Special Delivery pageant. This provides comic relief, an opportunity for showing compassion and a great musical backdrop for the conclusion of the story.
Hallmark is known as a family friendly provider of TV programming. But the new episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered kicks it up a notch for me. “The Impossible Dream” airs 9 PM EDT Sunday, October 4th on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.
© 2015 Wait Til You Hear This
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