Cat & Mouse Intrigue with 'The Fugitive'!

Jun 12, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The stories draw sympathy and interest.

Cons:Some sexist and racial overtones, but that was common in the writing of the time.

The Bottom Line: Great example of dramatic network television, unlike today's reality show nonsense. Must-watch!

I dropped by my local library and picked up Volume One of Season One of the television program The Fugitive.  I had seen the Harrison Ford film but what was the television show about?

It aired on CBS in the early 1960s, about a man (Kimble, played by David Jansen) falsely accused of murdering his wife, and yet he is found guilty and is on his way to death row.  A train accident allows him to break free. 

On the run, the detective who let him go chases Kimble across the country to put him back in jail.  Kimble however is looking for the real killer, whom he believes is a one-armed man he saw leave Kimble's residence upon the discovery of his wife's murder.

As with most TV shows, this prelude is at the beginning of each program.  It's a Quinn Martin production.  I love Quinn Martin shows such as The Invaders, etc. 

The Fugitive is a compelling drama, that at times leaves you emotionally drained, as your sympathy for the characters is quite high.  The high quality of writing and direction is some of the best of Sixties TV. 

In gorgeous black & white, the episodes featured some of my favorite actors from the Sixties.

The two parter in the first cut had Susan Oliver and Robert Duvall!  It was great seeing these actors in early parts.  Susan had later played the green dancer in the pilot Star Trek episode.  Robert of course has had many large roles including the film Apocalypse Now.

Another tale had Alejandro Rey (from The Flying Nun!) as part of a migrant farm worker crew who all hated Kimble, suspecting him of being with the border patrol. 

In all these and other episodes, he at times may have to reveal he is a surgeon.  He knows that if the detective gets wind of it, the hunt will be on.  A careless match left with the name of the place Kimble worked at.  An errant radio story about a farm worker who suddenly performed surgery because he was a doctor. 

One interesting episode actually had the detective almost die in a sea accident and ironically, Kimble had to save his life.  After saving the detective's life, of course the chase would be on.

It was good to see Barry Morse as the obsessed detective.  I recall him being one of the main cast members in Space:1999.

Anyway, this is an exciting show.  Each episode creates a scenario where Kimble either almost finds who the one-armed man is, or he is forced to use his medical skill to help others, or he is almost found out and is back on the run. 

Recommended as a great example of excellently produced television.  The series lasted five seasons on CBS, 1963 to 1967.  A remake was attempted  in 1993 but only lasted one season.

Recommend this product?

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!