The Fugitive-A QM Production

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by phil*, May 21, 2006.

  1. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    What a great show!

    Here's hoping that not only is it released on dvd, but also on hd dvd.
     
  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,387
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    All this talk is actually wanting me see the one-armed man again [​IMG] I haven't seen this series since its original airing. I can't wait for this one to get here.
     
  3. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    I felt the writers did the show a great service, writing more stories for Fred Johnson (the one-armed man) in the final season...eventually leading up to the grand finale. As an actor, Bill Raisch wasn't that good at delivering his lines, but he didn't have to be because Johnson never had much to say.
     
  4. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,750
    Likes Received:
    9

    I agree. It was Raisch's "menacing presence" that was the most important factor when it came to his character I think.

    [​IMG]

    One thing that probably could have been left out of the final script (involving Johnson), however, was when Johnson runs out of bullets as he's confronting Kimble with a gun...and (implacably, per "TV Rules 101") Johnson tosses the gun toward Kimble, as if throwing the gun at his prey is going to paralyze him! [​IMG]

    (I always get a kick out of the "I've Run Out Of Bullets, So I Must Now Throw The Gun At My Enemy" scenes in TV shows and movies.) [​IMG]
     
  5. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 1998
    Messages:
    2,920
    Likes Received:
    11
    I was an avid fan of this show when it originally aired. I tried to catch as many episodes as I could when they were on Nick at Night or TV Land, I can't remember which, now.
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 1999
    Messages:
    3,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    I heard they have a one-armed man doing the DVD prep, and he's working as fast as he can on it.
     
  7. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha ha! No wonder it's taking so long. [​IMG]

    But then true quality takes time. It should never be rushed!
     
  8. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,575
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.

    When the show first began airing on ABC, I was pretty much of a "comedy" junkie, preferring things that made me laugh. As a result, on Tuesday's at 10 PM Eastern, I was usually watching the old GARRY MOORE SHOW with the likes of Carol Burnett, Durward Kirby, Marion Lorne, etc. I do however recall my father and an older sister watching THE FUGITIVE at that hour.

    When the second season rolled around and GARRY MOORE was gone, I began occasional watching of THE FUGITIVE, but it still wasn't "must-see" TV for me. Sometime in the middle of the third season though, I was hooked, and the fourth season, now in color, was appointment television. No-one who was there will forget the first viewing of the two-part finale, "The Judgment". These final two episodes - at the time, the highest rated shows on television - aired at the conclusion of the summer reruns! Not in May sweeps, but in August! In Philadelphia, we had to wait an extra hour or so because our ABC affiliate had baseball telecast commitments. The wait was excrutiating.

    By the fourth season, ABC had begun airing reruns of the series in the daytime, too. During the summers, I'd use that time to catch up on the older episodes I'd missed the first time around. Our ABC affiliate in Philadelphia didn't choose to carry the daytime reruns though, but one of our independent UHF stations picked it up on a day-delayed basis. It seems that at the hour ABC fed THE FUGITIVE, this channel 17 independent was running a different NBC network throwaway show, so somehow the station made arrangements with ABC for filmed versions to be sent to them. The prints were awful, but at least I got to see them.

    I have vague recollections of seeing THE FUGITIVE in syndication. By that time, I'd seen all the episodes. My next big memory of FUGITIVE airings came on the A&E Network, I guess in the '80s. I remember the altered opening title sequence with the episode title superimposed at the start of Act I, rather than having the announcer say "Tonight's episode...". I suppose A&E just didn't think their viewers could handle the fact that the show once aired at night!

    I was still daunted by the sheer number of episodes that THE FUGITIVE had. Taping it then seemed too much to consider. But sometime in the '90s, I became more "obsessed with his capture" ont VHS tape. I bought the NuVentures videos in the video stores, and amassing all 20 editions with two episodes each. These were the ones with Barry Morse's intros, where he holds up backwards versions of VHS clamshell cases. (Go ahead, those that have them, play the tape and look at them closely as he holds them up - the front cover art is on the back of the box!)

    I decided at that time to also tape the episodes that had just begun airing nightly at 9 PM Eastern on the WWOR-EMI cable service. This was when imported signals had to have different programming, so Channel 9, New York blacked out its regular shows and fed reruns of THE FUGITIVE and other cheap series. I'd tape this every night and then check to see which episode it was. If it was one I needed, I kept it. If it was one I already had, I'd rerecord over it the next night.

    Doing that, I managed to grab nearly all 120 episodes of the series. I think I'm missing about 4. Most of these televised prints were of the time-compressed variety, making Pete Rugulo's magnificent score sound warbly.

    I'm more than ready for THE FUGITIVE to appear on DVD. It deserves the classiest presentation on DVD that any series could hope for, and I hope that it's that classiness that's causing it to take so long.

    Harry
     
  9. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    You mean the second season for you, Harry. The Garry Moore Show (was on for about 5 years in the late 1950s and early 60s. Carol Burnett left the show in 1962 to do a stage play and also two CBS specials with Julie Andrews at Carnegie Hall.

    For years I never got to see any of Garry's sketch comedy series, until 2005 when one of The Twilight Zone Definitive Collection sets featured one sketch with Rod Serling! It wasn't that funny, but then maybe that's because it was a poor quality kinescope filmed copy of what must have originally been shot on B & W videotape.
     
  10. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,744
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    Real Name:
    Gary

    Yea, that was pretty lame. But that entire ending sequence was masterfully done, as were the many previous encounters between Kimble and Johnson. The show did a fantastic job of giving us just a little bit at a time.

    Fact is, if I had to nominate an absolute favorite "dramatic moment" in television history, it would be the moment Kimble first sees Johnson on the bus in "Search in a Windy City." I still remember the chills that ran up my spine as I watched that frantic scene unfold in the bus depot. Man, did that series keep me on the edge of my seat unlike any other.

    The way the series portrayed Johnson as a spectre, just looming in the shadows and rarely appearing, kept the suspense level high.

    Gary "I've got all 120 burned onto dvd, after buying the 20 NuVenture vhs volumes and recording the rest off A&E - but having this set on Paramount dvds is my #1 dvd wish" O.
     
  11. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,575
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.

    I was referring to when the second season of THE FUGITIVE was originally aired. I know that GARRY MOORE did rather well in the ratings until it was effectively clobbered by David Janssen, et al. My recollections are that the two shows overlapped that one year and I favored the final season of GARRY MOORE to the initial season of THE FUGITIVE.

    It's possible I'm off by a year. Did the two shows air more than one year opposite each other?

    Harry
     
  12. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure how Garry Moore's comedy series did in the ratings, but what happened was that Garry was worn out from doing both that show and I've Got a Secret (which he hosted for 12 years) and for his health's sake he quit both series in 1964. Moore later returned to TV in 1969 for the syndicated revival of To Tell the Truth, and he did that for its first 7 years until he retired from show business.
     
  13. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,575
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.
    There was a short-lived revival of an hour-long variety show hosted by Garry Moore a couple of years later. It aired on Sunday evenings and lasted maybe a half-season. I think it aired after Ed Sullivan in the 9 PM hour. It was probably a pre-cursor to THE SMOTHERS COMEDY BROTHERS HOUR in that timeslot.

    I'm pretty sure that THE FUGITIVE did serious damage to Garry Moore's ratings, though you're probably right about him quitting for health reasons. My guess is that CBS would have stuck with him had he wished to continue at that point. If memory serves correct, in addition to I'VE GOT A SECRET and THE GARRY MOORE SHOW, he also did either a weekly or daily radio show during some of those years.

    Harry
     
  14. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    84
    It's been such a long wait. I thought surely this would be the year we'd find "The Fugitive" on dvd. It's an old favorite of mine. Being too young to have seen it on its initial run, I did discover its daytime reruns back when I was in grade-school in the mid-70s, and was immediately fascinated by it. I think most of my childhood pals were still gorging themselves on cheesey Saturday morning kid-shows, but I ditched those in a hurry, upon discovering old reruns of "The Fugitive," "The Untouchables," "Wagon Train," "Life of Riley," and all sorts of other vintage fare. But, "The Fugitive" really stood out foremost for me, and it only seemed to improve as I got older and the years went by. I'm just chomping at the bit to revisit the series, uncut and in chronological order. Although I have about half of the series' episodes on tape, I haven't really watched them in well over a decade, and I've been holding off lately in hopes some dvd-sets were just around the corner.
     
  15. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,750
    Likes Received:
    9

    Excellent choice indeed! And one of my "Favorite Fuge Moments" as well.

    "Windy City" was the very first episode I managed to tape on VHS off of A&E, when that network re-ran the series many times each weekend (late-night) in 1995.

    "Windy City" is an excellent episode overall, which features the rarity of having BOTH Lt. Gerard and the one-armed man in the very same episode. A great "double chase" episode.

    Another top Fugitive moment for me was one that occurred in "Ill Wind" (an episode when Kimble actually saves Gerard's life TWICE within the same program).

    The scene which has Gerard suddenly appearing out of nowhere at the train depot (in the midst of an impending hurricane in the dead of night) is a spine-tingler indeed.

    And when coupled with Pete Rugolo's unbeatable music score -- well, it's just as perfect as humanly possible. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    0
    You mean "Search in a Windy City", and Pat Hingle was great in that as the reporter who wanted to help Kimble using his newpaper column to warn people about the one-armed man (that was long before Kimble discovered his name). It was the 18th episode of the series and the second appearance of Fred Johnson...but the first time Kimble runs into him after the doc's trial and his escape from Gerard's custody.
     
  17. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,744
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    Real Name:
    Gary

    Yea, technically it was the second time Fred was seen, but the first was all about the flashbacks in "Girl From Little Egypt", so I personally look at "Search in a Windy City" as the first legit appearance of the one-armed man.

    I think it was a smart move by QM and the others to give Johnson only a few appearances over the first three years. This way he was portrayed as more of a spectre than anything else. And each encounter we gained a little more knowledge about him. In fact, I'm told that the directors and writers on the show had begun hearing the rumbles from the general public, prior to episode 19, that perhaps Kimble had made this up in his mind. Was the "one-armed man" even real? That had become the question for a lot of people watching. It was imperative that they, the powers that be, let the viewers know that Fred Johnson was a real person. And it turned into one of the most powerful moments in tv history, IMHO. And some of their other encounters would also turn in great moments ("Escape into Black" and "Wife Killer" being two huge episodes that also involved the spectre).

    And David, you're spot on with the description from "Ill Wind" where at the end of scene one Kimble gets stuck at the train depot and out of the night fog and wind walks in Lt. Gerard, with that great background music pounding away. Another of many great moments from the series.

    Gary "all this talk is going to force me to pull out my dvds and start watching this series again" O.
     
  18. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    5,750
    Likes Received:
    9

    Yes, of course I meant "SIAWC".

    I merely truncated the title because the full title had already been mentioned by Gary "I Want The Fugitive On DVD More Than Anything" O. (to whom I was responding via my truncated "Windy City" remarks). [​IMG]

    OK Perry....your witness... [​IMG]


    "Lieutenant....you've got yourself a deal......the minute I find out where Kimble is, I'll let you know." -- "Mike Decker"; "Search In A Windy City"; Ep. #19; 02/04/1964

    Oddly, TV.com has decided to completely omit Episode 19 ("SIAWC") from its S.1 archive on that site. Weird. Skips from ep. 18 to 20. Somebody needs a visit from Lt. Gerard due to this blatant disregard for "Windy City". .....

    http://www.tv.com/the-fugitive-1963/...=tabs;episodes
     
  19. phil*

    phil* Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    4
    Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case...
     
  20. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,575
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Sunny Central Florida
    Real Name:
    Harry N.

    Actually, Tuesday, August 29th, 1966 was the day the final two-parter began airing on ABC. It aired over two consective weeks, so the final narration that William Conrad intoned on that day is,

    "Tuesday...September 5th...the day...the running...stopped."

    Harry
     

Share This Page