(Daniele J. Suissa, 1986)
It's not just the syrup-drenched score that identifies this as a soap opera - this tale of an escaped bank robber trying to prove his worth to society is soft-focus throughout, never convincing as a social document even if it is based on a true etc. Still, this is pretty impressive for soap opera, a fairly honest and touching piece of work. Suissa's outsider eye may smooth out some rough spots in her search for the humanity of her underworld characters, but she leaves enough in to complicate the texture. Crucially, while she's working on a feminist analysis here, she never falls back on her female characters, never turns them into mouthpieces - the point of view is steady, coherent, and not without humour, and while on balance her generosity may teeter on the brink of wishful thinking, it's surprisingly justified dramatically. It does feel like there's an act missing - Bruno Doyon's entire tenure in the titular radio gig is ellipsed, which further alienates the maudlin finale, though not so's you don't get swept up in it against your will. Kerrie Keane's empathetic performance as the good doctor is another plus.