Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Highway to Heaven

US tv series (1984-1989). Michael Landon Productions/NBC. Pr Kent McCray. Exec pr Michael Landon. Dir Victor French, Landon. Spfx Ray Robinson. Writers Paul W Cooper, Dan Gordon, Vince R Guitierrez, Landon, David Thoreau. Starring French (Mark Gordon), Landon (Jonathan Smith). 1hr episodes. Colour.

Veteran actor Landon created this popular series about Jonathan Smith, a trainee Angel assigned to aid humans while proving himself ready for duties in Heaven (rather like Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life [1946]). Instead of Magic he generally uses persuasion to convince people to help themselves. He is joined in his adventures by Mark Gordon, an ex-policeman who has had his life turned around by Jonathan and has vowed to help others. Together, they travel across the country as itinerant workers, a Plot Device that allows them to meet a steady stream of needy possibilities.

The plots were quite varied: in one Edward Asner appeared as an angel on probation for his past screw-ups; in another Bob Hope was cast as an angel handing out assignments; in a further episode Jonathan tried to help a man who had made a Pact with the Devil to save a boy hit by a car. Most were more mundane. HTH was a long-running hit. [BC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.