Whether helping a young boxer pressured to throw a fight or making a veteran’s Eurasian daughter feel welcome in America, Jonathan finds a way to bring grace and love into the lives of those he touches. And when necessary, he helps things along with a little angel power!
Jonathan Smith (Michael Landon) is an angel on probation sent back to Earth by “the boss,” God, to complete missions with the goal of earning his angel wings. His mission is to help people through their struggles, and spread the message of love and peace on Earth. In the first season of “Highway to Heaven,” viewers are introduced to Jonathan’s helper and friend, Mark Gordon (Victor French). Jonathan’s first completed mission is helping Mark conquer his bitterness and complacency. The two become an inseparable team as they travel where “the Boss” leads to assist those who are down and out.“Highway to Heaven” addresses complex human issues including morality, sickness, death, and racism. The constant theme throughout each episode is the message of loving one another and exhibiting kindness despite differences. Though the show originally aired in the 1980s, the issues dealt with are still relevant in the 21st century. While the storyline is indeed based on an angel sent by God, the message of the series is not to encourage audiences toward faith but rather toward humanity. With its message of morality and human decency while dealing with serious and often mature human problems, the Dove Foundation awards “Highway to Heaven: Season 1” the “Family-Approved” Seal, recommended for ages 12 and older. Episode 1: “Highway to Heaven, Part 1”—Jonathan Smith, probationary angel sent by God, is on his first mission to help save an elderly group of friends from losing their community home. Episode 2: “Highway to Heaven, Part 2”—While intervening for a group of elderly people who are about to lose their community home, Jonathan gains an unlikely ally in Mark Gordon. Episode 3: “To Touch the Moon”—Jonathan and Mark help make a sick child’s dream come true by completing his family in an unexpected way. Episode 4: “Return of the Masked Rider”—When a neighborhood is overrun by dangerous thugs, Jonathan and Mark inspire the community to courageously take back their streets. Episode 5: “Song of the Wild West”—Jonathan and Mark restore “Bronco Billy’s” restaurant to its rightful owner, saving it from the corruption of gambling and enabling a broken family to heal. Episode 6: “One Fresh Batch of Lemonade, Part 1”—Jonathan and Mark are sent to help a teen athlete who is overcome with bitterness and defeat after suffering life-changing injuries in a motorcycle accident. Episode 7: “One Fresh Batch of Lemonade, Part 2”—Jonathan and Mark complete their mission to help a teen athlete who is overcome with bitterness and defeat after suffering life-changing injuries in a motorcycle accident. Episode 8: “A Divine Madness”—A successful man worth millions requires the assistance of Jonathan and Mark to save his company after he suffers a mental break that causes him to believe he is the legendary King Arthur. Episode 9: “Help Wanted: Angel”—Jonathan assists an elderly man who believes one is never too old to dream, while Mark falls in love with a woman who he first misjudged. Episode 10: “Dust Child”—Jonathan and Mark intervene when a family with a Vietnamese relative faces hatred from their community because of racism rooted in the Vietnam War. Episode 11: “Hotel of Dreams”—Jonathan and Mark play cupid as they attempt to match a rich but humble hotel heir with a sweet, unsuspecting hotel maid. Episode 12: “Another Song for Christmas”—Jonathan and Mark are the ghosts of Christmas with their very own version of Ebenezer Scrooge in “The Highway to Heaven” adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.” Episode 13: “Plane Death”—Jonathan and Mark investigate a small-town mystery when they discover Mark’s old friend has suddenly gone missing. Episode 14: “One-Winged Angels”—While again playing cupid for a young couple, Jonathan finds that he is still an angel earning his wings as he struggles with his own romantic feelings. Episode 15: “Going Home, Going Home”—As Mark reminisces about regrets from his past, he and Jonathan discover themselves back in time so Mark can correct past mistakes. Episode 16: “As Difficult as ABC”—A promising young athlete meets Jonathan and Mark just in time to help him reckon with his failed education after heart disease ruins his future in basketball. Episode 17: “A Child of God”—Jonathan and Mark assist a woman attempting to make amends with her estranged father, a Reverend who disowned her for having a child out of marriage. Episode 18: “A Match Made in Heaven”—Again playing cupid, Jonathan and Mark hope sparks will fly between Mark’s cousin Diane and their friend Scottie, a quadriplegic lawyer. Episode 19: “The Banker and the Bum”—In an attempt to help a heartless politician understand the plight of the homeless, Jonathan causes the politician to temporarily switch bodies with a bum. Episode 20: “The Brightest Star”—The broken family of a child actress requires the help of an angel, and Jonathan is there to provide it. Episode 21: “An Investment in Caring”—Eminent Domain is about to take away the homes in a whole neighborhood when Jonathan and Mark arrive to help the neighborhood fight for their properties. Episode 22: “The Right Thing”—When an elderly man’s family puts him in a retirement facility, Jonathan and Mark help him regain his confidence and independence so he can live boldly even in his last years. Episode 23: “Thoroughbreds, Part 1”—Ranch hand Lizzie and Garth, heir of his father’s fortune, discover forbidden love and require Jonathan’s assistance to be together. Episode 24: ‘Thoroughbreds, Part 2”—When disease strikes, Jonathan must work hard to prevent Lizzie and Garth’s relationship from dying.