December 02, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Breach of Conduct

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
performer
Peter Coyote, Courtney Thorne-Smith
We gave it a D+

When did Peter Coyote turn into a parody of himself? In Breach of Conduct, Coyote exaggerates his usual honeyed tones to play a creepy military commander bent on seducing — and, after a while, kidnapping — the wife of one of his junior officers. The wife is played by Melrose Place‘s Courtney Thorne-Smith, who goes all slack-jawed when Coyote pitches woo like ”You have a severe sort of austerity.” Breach of Conduct was directed by actor Tim Matheson, who has encouraged his performers to intone every line as if it were fraught with immense dramatic significance. But since Coyote acts like a barely under control nutcase right from the start, you just get exasperated that Thorne-Smith’s character and her husband (Tom Verica) don’t tumble to him sooner. By the time Coyote tells her his crackbrained scheme — every weekday morning at 9 a.m. she is to come to his place and be his mistress for the next eight hours — the silliness of Breach becomes smothering. The TV movie tries for a slam-bang climax, with Thorne-Smith turning into a small-screen action hero to save herself, but only ends up seeming like a spoof of suspense films rather than an example of one. D+

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