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Film / The Last Chance Detectives

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The Last Chance Detectives is a series of Christian Direct to Video movies, and later a Radio series, created by Robert Vernon and produced by Focus on the Family in the mid-1990s. The series followed four young preteen sleuths who solved mysteries in the fictional desert town of Ambrosia, Arizona, while at the same time, learning various lessons from The Bible. As of 2011, three episodes of the video series have been made.


  • An Aesop: Since this a Christian series, the main children characters invariably learn lessons from the bible.
  • Alliterative Name: Winona "Winnie" Whitefeather.
  • Big Bad: Karl Von Paris in "Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa", Dan Plummer in "Legend of the Desert Bigfoot", and Josh in "Escape from Fire Lake".
  • Big "NO!": Mike does one of these while lost in the desert in "Escape from Fire Lake".
  • Cool Old Guy: The old man who finds one of the one hundred-dollar bills that Mike left behind in "Escape from Fire Lake".
  • Cool Plane: Though despite not being capable of flight anymore, the B-17 that Mike and his friends use as their headquarters would count.
  • Crying Wolf: In "Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa", Mike, Winnie and Spence do not believe Ben when he claims that he saw a UFO in the desert.
  • Dangerous Workplace: The rock quarry where Mike and co. follow Jake the dog when he's on the scent of the bigfoot in "Legend of the Desert Bigfoot". Later on, Mike and Dan Plummer then confront each other on the main structure of the quarry in the climax.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Mike is Choleric, Ben is Sanguine, Winnie is Melancholic, and Spence is Phlegmatic.
  • Gentle Giant: The big gorilla that the gang encounter in "Legend Of The Desert Bigfoot" is gentle.
  • Kick the Dog: This was how Jake was treated by his previous owner in "Legend of the Desert Bigfoot". The bank robbers also scared him off with a gunshot in "Escape from Fire Lake".
  • Kid Detective: The main characters are four pre-teen sleuths.
  • Last Place You Look: Used in "Legend of the Desert Bigfoot", with the walkie-talkie that got pushed off the counter into a plastic tub of water by accident.
  • Local Hangout: The Diner run by Mike's grandma is where everyone hangs out.
  • MacGuffin: The jade figurine that Josh and Seth steal in "Escape from Fire Lake", which Mike then takes from them.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: In the beginning of "Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa", Mike is first shown as being 6 years old, then after the first 5 minutes, he is shown as being around maybe 11 or 12 years old.
  • Noodle Incident: Sheriff Smitty once mentions to Ben about a time that he (Ben) told him (Sheriff Smitty) that an old lady was being robbed by a prowler, when in actuality, it was the old lady herself crawling into the window because she was locked out of the house in "Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa".
  • The Smurfette Principle: Winnie is the only female member of the Last Chance Detectives.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the beginning of "Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa", a plane explodes in mid-flight.
  • Title Drop: Mike and the others often mention themselves as the Last Chance Detectives.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: The money trail that Mike left for the police to follow in "Escape from Fire Lake". Mildly subverted after that that the robbers found the trail and discovered Mike in their getaway car.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The jade figurine that Mike took from the bank robbers in "Escape from Fire Lake" was last seen when he unwittingly left it near the den of a rattlesnake while putting on his jacket. When he was about to reach for the figurine, the rattlesnake bites Mike, causing him to fall over the edge of the cliff that he was sitting on. The figurine was then never seen again after that, though it was mentioned by the bank robbers when they confront him about it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Played straight by most of the antagonists with the only exception being Seth, who actually tries to help Mike when Josh dumps him in the desert.