Brimstone (FOX 1998-1999)

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Who is that scruffy looking man in the picture, you ask? That is Detective Ezekiel Stone (played by Peter Horton). Ezekiel Stone is the main character in the show Brimstone which aired on FOX during the 1998-1999 season, though it was actually canceled before a full season. Brimstone was one of those shows that I considered to be a hidden gem. I really liked it when it was on and was glad to see that the channel, Chiller, was reshowing the episodes. I have no idea how long Chillers been showing them since I only discovered Chiller while randomly flipping channels a few days ago. They will be showing more Brimstone so remember to check your listings.

Brimstone is the story of Ezekiel Stone who, as it turns out, is dead.

15 years ago his wife was sexually assaulted. Zeke (as he is called) killed the rapist and made it appear to be a drug overdose. A few weeks later Stone himself was killed in the line of duty. Because of his crime of murder he winds up in hell. Move forward 15 years. 113 “of the most vile souls” escape from hell. Stone is sent to recapture these escapees and if he is successful he will have a second chance at “life on earth”. Sounds easy right? Stone has to deal with his share of angst along the way. He still loves his wife, for whom he has been gone 15 years. He’s at a physical disadvantage since strength is proportional to the number of years spent in hell. Having spent “only” 15 years there he’s basically the baby of the bunch. Not that anyone would believe him, but he can’t actually hire extra help because every day he wakes up with only $36.27 which is the amount he had on him when he died.

Then there are the moral dilemmas. Some of the stories and the reasons people wind up in hell really make you think. Did they belong there in the first place? How long before they are forgiven? Will they ever be forgiven? Does Stone himself deserve this second chance he has been given?

The show was cancelled so of course we will never know what would have happened if Stone was able to recapture all 113 souls. Would Devil (played by John Glover) have kept his part of the bargain and return Ezekiel to Earth? Brimstone was a show that I suspect would have found more of an audience if it had debuted on cable. Of course in 1998 cable was making baby steps into original programming.

A bit of action, a bit of fantasy, a bit of historical religious reference (not necessarily Christian either), a world weary lead and a snide but funny John Glover as Lucifer made for an interesting show. You could watch it just for the action or watch it for the trivia. Actually, the $36.27 I mentioned earlier…as it turns out its not just a random amount. Look up Ezekiel chapter 36 verse 27 in the Bible for more insight into the show.

It was a show that was a bit ahead of its time.

I made a special trip to You Tube (I rarely go there, read my post on YouTube and you’ll see why). Someone actually does have some clips up. Check it out before they get taken down. Below you will find a vid of the first few minutes of the pilot episode.

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