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TV Movie Review: 'Robin Cook's Mortal Fear'

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Based on the writer’s bestseller, ROBIN COOK’S MORTAL FEAR (NBC, Nov. 20, 9-11 p.m.) is about medical-research hanky-panky so complicated that one quickly realizes that the scientific mumbo jumbo can be ignored: All that matters is that innocent people are being used in unauthorized genetic-engineering experiments, and one fearless doctor (Growing Pains‘ Joanna Kerns) fights to put a stop to it. Trapper John, M.D.‘s Gregory Harrison costars as Kerns’ all- too-perfect hospital administrator and lover. Much more entertaining are Max Gail (Barney Miller) as a cynical police detective, and Robert Englund — yes, Freddy Krueger, Mr. Evil Incarnate — as a pompous doctor. Mortal Fear‘s suspense is minimal, but as a supporting-actors’ showcase, it keeps you watching. B-