Created by James W. Nichol
One of the best and most successful series airing as part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Mystery Project was Midnight Cab, which was aired in three runs of 13 episodes, 9 episodes, and 13 episodes respectively (making a total of 35 episodes for the series). The first series ran in 1992-93, with the second series going into 1993-1994. I have no tapes from the third series, so I have no idea about the dates for that one at all. It also evidently made an appearance on Australian radio circa 1996.
The show starred David Ferry as WALKER DEVEREAUX, a young man, rather gullible and naive, from Bear River (north of Lake Superior) who comes to Toronto in order to become an author (and to look for his biological parents), but winds up driving a cab on the midnight shift.
From the start, he keeps running into problems (such as that body that someone left in the trunk of his cab), and he solves the mysteries with the help of his girlfriend, wheelchair-bound Krista Papadopoulos (who dispatches cabs), Alfonso Piatelli (his boss), and Metro Police Inspector Wilfred Kiss (a friendly homicide cop). Each episode is fairly self-contained, but the series builds on its past episodes as well, so we see Walker's developing relationship with Krista, his coming to terms with the big city, etc.
And in 2002, Nichol released Midnight Cab, the first in what he had hoped would be a series of novels. It didn't happen, but the novel is well worth hunting for, was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and even won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel
It serves as a sort of prequel to the series, Walker arrives in Toronto, intent on tracking down the parents who abandoned him. At the cab company where he works, Walker befriends the night dispatcher, Krista, a pretty, brave young woman. Wheelchair bound but resourceful, she helps him crack the code of his parents' identity. But the quest to discover his mother's whereabouts swiftly becomes perilous as Walker finds himself within the deadly grasp of Bobby, a young sociopath who has matured from early cruelty to murderous pleasure.
Imagine the pulp's Steve Midnight updated, and soft-boiled for the nineties.
James W. Nichol had been a prominent playwright in Canada since 1970, and one of the founders of The Mystery Project. His dramatic adaptation of Margaret Laurence's novel Stone Angel was produced all across Canada, and Peggy Delaney, another radio series he created for The Mystery Project.
-- Timothy Findley on the novel
Geoff Loker's log of all shows broadcast from Novermber 1992 to July 6, 2002.
Many of the shows from the CBC Mystery Project can be found here.
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