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"The Fugitive" (1963): Season 1; Volume 1 Rumored To Be In The Works!


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#41 of 707 OFFLINE   Ollie

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Posted March 26 2007 - 04:59 AM

Thanks for the detailed and informative responses. I've long been a fan of 60's era sitcoms. Many of the sitcoms (Jeannie, That Girl, Bewitched, Beverly Hillbillies, etc), I grew up with in re-runs even though I missed the initial run, so I was familiar with them when I purchased them. The same has not held true for the dramas, so it's a world of new discovery for me. Two others I have in my Netflix clue to try out are Combat and The Avengers. I'm a fan of war movies, and love the spy genre, so these piqued my interest.

I saw the Fugitive movie with Harrison Ford, but was unable to conceive of how it would work as a weekly series. You guys have thoroughly addressed that issue for me. So I'll have to add this one to the list.

#42 of 707 OFFLINE   Ollie

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Posted March 26 2007 - 05:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Willis
Ollie, are you a "Millinium Kid" like my nephew? Posted Image I continue to be surprised at the younger crowd's interest in series from the 'Boomer' generation. My nephew recently watched a couple of M:I eps with me and he flipped over it Posted Image He was asking "Why don't they make stuff like this nowadays?"

I'm 40 so these 60's dramas began before I was born, or premiered while I was still a toddler. I grew up in a household with a Mom who was an avid reader and NEVER watched TV (still doesn't), and a Dad who rarely watched much other than sports. So if these were on in re-runs in the early 70's I wouldn't have seen my parents watching them, and would have personally been otherwise occupied with Sesame Street and the like! :-)

I do concur with your nephew's sentiment on why they don't make stuff like this these days. I don't even have the words to express how OVER I am mindless sitcoms, and reality TV programming! That's why the TV on DVD medium has been such a joy for both me and my spouse.

#43 of 707 OFFLINE   beatlejam

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Posted March 26 2007 - 06:24 AM

I am 38, so I obviously never got to see The Fugitive during its original run. But my parents used to watch it and talked about it a lot. They told me it was similar to The Incredible Hulk (man on the run, relentless pursuer, etc.), which was one of my favorite shows in my youth (and still is today!). So I was intrigued.

Luckily, the A & E network showed reruns of the show when I was in college in the early 90's. Man, I was hooked!Posted Image Everything the other posters have said is true: the acting, writing, music, etc., were all just top-notch. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next!

This is one of the BIG DVD releases of all-time for me! If you like good drama with action and suspense, you'll dig this show! Can't wait!!!Posted Image

#44 of 707 OFFLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted March 26 2007 - 07:35 AM

I watched The Fugitive after school on A&E (back when they had "arts" in their programming) and loved it--the only BW series I had watched up to that point was The Twilight Zone. The BW photography was utilized well--so many shadows for Richard Kimble to hide in. Whenever I watched the fourth season, I turned the colour off! I can't wait for the DVDs (thankfully it's at the end of summer): I never thought I'd be watching The Fugitive and Twin Peaks S2 in 2007!

#45 of 707 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted March 26 2007 - 10:20 AM

Quote:
Virtually any fan of the series will tell you that somehow the show wasn't quite as good in color as it was in black & white. It was too "pretty". The starkness that black & white gave the show was part of its mood and ambience.
Shows in black and white seem less dated, espacially from the mid 60s. When they started showing programs in color the producers tried to use the most colorful costumes and wardrobes for the people on the show. When you see those in rerun, it really shows the age of the program.
Lawn Ranger Motto: You're only young once, but you can be always be immature.

#46 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted March 26 2007 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70sTVlover
Is the show in black and white or color?
As with The Wild Wild West, GUNSMOKE, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and other series that began in black & white and later switched to color film, The Fugitive looked a lot better in color. It wasn't too "pretty". It still had the edge and danger of a man on the run for a murder he didn't commit. Suspense remained an important element. The premise of the show wasn't different, and the wardrobe changed as clothing was changing during that period (1966 to 1967). If anything real-life fashion was more bold. You never got to see women in miniskirts in The Fugitive (although both U.N.C.L.E. series had their fair share). It was more realistic because real life isn't in black & white (unless you're in the minority that is color blind). Posted Image

But that isn't to put down B & W film. There are a lot of wonderful monochrome series, and The Fugitive is no exception. Of course...it was all budgetary and not for artistic reasons.
All remaining American prime-time network TV series not already in color...went color that year. Posted Image

Another criticism of the final season is one that has some merit: Original producer Alan Armer left the show (to produce Quinn Martin's THE INVADERS, and he was also the original producer of CANNON in 1971-72), and was replaced by Wilton Schiller for The Fugitive's last year. Also, one of the original writers temporarily left and for several episodes until he returned, the stories became much more action-oriented than dramatically structured. I have no problem with that in some of those episodes though, because by allowing one-armed actor Bill Raisch to show up more often as Fred Johnson (who murdered Helen Kimble years earlier), we also learned more about him as Raisch was given more lines than in previous seasons. The only drawback is that Raisch is the only person on The Fugitive who had no formal acting training, and it shows in the lackluster way he delivered his limited lines. Still, the one-armed man was appropriately creepy and that never changed!

He had the least to do that year in "Second Sight", in which Kimble chases Johnson through a chemical storage warehouse...only for an explosion to cause the good doc to be temporarily blinded! Ted Knight had a small role as the hospital physician who treated our hero.
It was in shows like that in which Kimble became the hunter rather than the hunted.

There were other action-packed episodes without Fred Johnson that worked well too. "Ten Thousand Pieces of Silver" (a $10,000 reward is put on Kimble's head) and "The Devil's Disciples" was about a motorcycle gang led by Bruce Dern (in his fifth and last guest appearance...and what a performance)! I think that was the only episode to mention the war, in which Hutch said "You can go to Vietnam....or you can go to jail."

The 2-part finale was entertaining too, although The Fugitive wasn't the first TV series to go that route.
That honor goes to THE PRISONER earlier that year.

#47 of 707 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted March 26 2007 - 01:15 PM

Ollie, you don't need any more persuasion, but since "THE FUGITIVE" is my favorite television series of all time I'll chime in.

Firstly, the guys that have been commenting throughout the day have a done a fantastic job explaining the merits of this series. Between the incredible writing, the superb acting of David Janssen, and the solid incidental music (also heard in numerous TWILIGHT ZONE episodes), this show just can't be beat for my money. Like many of the other people here, I was born in the mid-60's and therefore was too young to see the show in it's initial run. The series largely escaped me until the reruns on A&E back in the early 90's. And once I saw that first episode I was hooked.

I'm also one of those that feel the black and white served the show better than the color. It just gave the series more atmosphere. But all four seasons are fantastic, even though I do feel the final season saw a small dip in the quality of the writing. Just a small one, mind you. All four seasons are solid though!

What I like best about the first 3 seasons is the way Fred Johnson, the one-armed man, was portrayed as a spectre. He was encountered by Kimble just enough to keep the audience aware of his presence. His appearances increased in season 4, but since that was the last season it was fitting that Dr. Kimble would be getting closer and closer to catching him.

And the finale of this series was truly one for the ages. A fantastic two-parter that offered numerous twists and turns and has you second guessing who actually killed Richard Kimble's wife. The final few minutes are powerful as well, and the epilogue is simply perfect.

Gary "this is easily my most anticipated TV on dvd release of all time" O.
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#48 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted March 26 2007 - 01:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary OS
What I like best about the first 3 seasons is the way Fred Johnson, the one-armed man, was portrayed as a spectre. He was encountered by Kimble just enough to keep the audience aware of his presence. His appearances increased in season 4, but since that was the last season it was fitting that Dr. Kimble would be getting closer and closer to catching him.

And the finale of this series was truly one for the ages. A fantastic two-parter that offered numerous twists and turns and has you second guessing who actually killed Richard Kimble's wife. The final few minutes are powerful as well, and the epilogue is simply perfect.
Yet he was much more than a spectre in the third season story "Wife Killer" -- a story that confirmed beyond any doubt still in Dr. Kimble's mind that Johnson murdered his wife. That was firmly established long before the series finale.

#49 of 707 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted March 26 2007 - 01:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
Yet he was much more than a spectre in the third season story "Wife Killer" -- a story that confirmed beyond any doubt still in Dr. Kimble's mind that Johnson murdered his wife. That was firmly established long before the series finale.

True enough, Jeff. "Wife Killer" was a powerful episode that did get a confession out of Johnson. And it delivers, in my opinion, one of the finest moments in the entire series by way of Janssen's response to the confession.

What I meant by spectre was the rare appearance of Johnson in those first 3 seasons. He popped up just enough to remind the audience that there was still a real killer out there that Dr. Kimble had to find. And through the first 3 seasons I compare Johnson's appearances to a ghost-like figure that is almost within Kimble's grasp, but keeps slipping away.

Gary "frankly, I think 'Search in a Windy City' delivers the single best appearance of Johnson, and his reaction to Kimble seeing him on the bus - it was scintillating stuff" O.
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#50 of 707 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted March 27 2007 - 12:57 PM

So since it seems we'll be getting these in split seasons, that means fifteen episodes per set. So what are those first fifteen episodes?

1. Fear in a Desert City
2. The Witch
3. The Other Side of the Mountain
4. Never Wave Goodbye-part 1
5. Never Wave Goodbye-part 2
6. Decision in the Ring
7. Smoke Screen
8. See Hollywood and Die
9. Ticket to Alaska
10. Fatso
11. Nightmare At Northoak
12. Glass Tightrope
13. Terror at High Point
14. The Girl From Little Egypt
15. Home Is The Hunted

In that group we have the pilot episode, an exiting two parter with Susan Oliver, the excellent Nightmare At Northoak, which will have new viewers on the edge of their seats, a flashback story dealing with the night of Helen Kimble's murder, and Kimble's first return home.

This is a great crop of episodes to start the series off with a "bang."

Harry
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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#51 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted March 27 2007 - 01:07 PM

Harry' s favorites from the first half of the first season are mine too. Posted Image

That 2 volumes instead of 1 per season we've established to also be a rumor as well. Correct? Posted Image

#52 of 707 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted March 27 2007 - 02:13 PM

And "Volume 2" of Season 1 (Eps. 16-30) will be even better....with Vol. 2 including "Search In A Windy City" (with Kimble first encountering the elusive one-armed man), "Somebody To Remember" (a great cat-and-mouse episode with guest star Gilbert Roland) and the fabulous 2-parter with Eileen Heckart as "Sister Veronica" -- "Angels Travel On Lonely Roads".

#53 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted March 27 2007 - 03:59 PM

Eileen Heckart returned to the Sister Veronica role in the final season episode "The Breaking of the Habit", although that wasn't quite as interesting as her first appearance early in the series. But at least she had a modern car in the sequel, and Kimble managed to squeeze into the trunk at one point. Posted Image

#54 of 707 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted March 28 2007 - 01:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
Harry' s favorites from the first half of the first season are mine too.

Mine also! Frankly, I loved the entire first season and felt there were very, very few sub par episodes. In addition to the ones Harry mentioned, I'd also add:


"See Hollywood and Die" - starring the lovely Brenda Vaccaro. Great suspense in this one.
"Fatso" - I always enjoyed the way Kimble stood up for Davey, and how the prologue ended the story on such a high note.
"Terror at High Point" - great episode with Jack Klugman. And another with Kimble standing up for the underprivileged and abused.


As David has said, the second half of the first season will be just as good. Some incredible stand out episodes, especially "Search in a Windy City." The first time Kimble sees Johnson (other than the night of the murder) is just pure magic. I leaped off my seat, as the music, the facial expressions of the actors, and the tension of the scene all came together. I think it was one of the most powerful moments ever in television drama - and no words were spoken!

Other great episodes in the second half of that season would include:


"Come Watch Me Die" - this one has a great twist.
"Bloodline" - we see Kimble's affinity for animals, and the ending is powerful.
"Flight from the Final Demon" - fine performance turned in by Carroll O'Connor.
"The End Game" - played for some laughs, but a very interesting way to end the first season.


Gary "this series is so solid top to bottom that I hope everyone here will give it a shot" O.
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#55 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted March 28 2007 - 03:12 AM

You guys are getting me pumped up for this one Posted Image I'll definitely give this one a shot, Gary. It's almost a blind-buy since the memories are faint when Dad watched this one in its original airing.

Jeff "Countdown to 08/14 begins and also pulling for LITB S3 for Gary O" W.

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My 2 all-time favorite TV shows:
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My 2 all-time best blind-buys: "The Fugitive"   "The Donna Reed Show"


#56 of 707 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted March 28 2007 - 03:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Willis
You guys are getting me pumped up for this one Posted Image I'll definitely give this one a shot, Gary. It's almost a blind-buy since the memories are faint when Dad watched this one in its original airing.

Jeff "Countdown to 08/14 begins and also pulling for LITB S3 for Gary O" W.

The show being almost like a blind buy for you will make it that much more enjoyable, Jeff! And thanks for the LITB support. We need every bit we can get.

Gary "08/14 - the day the waiting stopped (I hope)" O.
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#57 of 707 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted March 28 2007 - 04:32 AM

Looking forward to this being released. It's amazing to me that it has taken so long - I would have expected this show to be among the most-requested on DVD. I wonder if there will be any tie-in with the Warner Bros. Harrison Ford movie?

#58 of 707 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted March 28 2007 - 04:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Favate
I wonder if there will be any tie-in with the Warner Bros. Harrison Ford movie?

Possible, but highly unlikely . . . two different studios . . . WB for the film version, Paramount for the television series . . . never the twain shall meet.

#59 of 707 OFFLINE   Jeff#

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Posted March 28 2007 - 05:08 AM

The Harrison Ford movie got a lot of shining reviews, but I didn't feel it was so great. The slow-motion recreation of Helen Kimble's murder was corny (the Tim Daly "The Fugitive" series remake of that horrible event I can't recall). The second Fugitive series had terrific theme music though, which alone was superior to both the first series' theme and the Ford remake.

Although Harrison Ford has been in some superb movies, I never cared for him as an actor. He was all wrong as Richard Kimble. The late David Janssen's mother had a bit part as one of the juror's at Kimble's trial!

Tommy Lee Jones was perfect as Gerard, yet he wasn't Lt. Phillip Gerard but U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard.
Any relation? Posted Image

The writer of the sequel "U.S. Marshals" at least had enough sense to have a different fugitive character (played by Wesley Snipes) with a name other than "Kimble" but the writing wasn't that good and it proved to be a box-office disaster.

#60 of 707 OFFLINE   beatlejam

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Posted March 28 2007 - 06:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff#
The Tim Daly "The Fugitive" series remake of that horrible event I can't recall.

If anyone is interested in viewing the Tim Daly version of The Fugitive, episodes are available to view for free on-line at AOL's in2Tv website:

http://video.aol.com...e-fugitive/1593

Again, not as good as the original, but I liked it!Posted Image


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