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The Fugitive - story lines


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#21 of 36 Jack P

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Posted November 03 2009 - 10:10 AM

Gary I don't agree that if Johnson had been only a witness instead of the real killer, that would have made Kimble look like an idiot.    Kimble's reason for going on, to find what he knows is the only tangible link that can clear him, would still be the same but with a new twist added to it. 


#22 of 36 Jack P

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Posted November 03 2009 - 10:12 AM

Incidentally, I'd add that if we were able to speculate in full on how the hearing went that resulted in Kimble being cleared between Act IV and the Epilogue of "The Judgment" it wouldn't surprise me if Captain Eckhardt from "Trial By Fire" also showed up again to testify since by then with Chandler, his story of seeing the one-armed man running from the scene could now be believed.


#23 of 36 Professor Echo

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Posted November 03 2009 - 11:20 AM

Jimmy's last post sure resonated with me as we are likely near the same age and share similar flashbacks to the original network airing of the two part finale.  I too have memories of a vague dissatisfaction with the denouement, both when it was new and in subsequent viewings over the years, similar to Gary's  astute observations and reservations.  It wasn't until I shared the show with a younger girlfriend who had never seen it and had no idea how it was going to end that I finally made peace with the last show and appreciated it.  Seeing it all through her eyes as best I could and indulging her fresh perspective and instant passion for the series, I was finally able to see what made those last two shows so special.  Far and above the dramatic revelations of the climax, there remained the essential core or heart of the entire series, that moment when Gerard trusts Kimble enough to let him go.  That to me was the true ending,  the exciting final chase and confrontation notwithstanding.  One needs to approach the series as it being Gerard's journey toward salvation every bit as much as it's Kimble's. 

Jimmy might remember that midway through the original broadcast of the series, a rumor about an alleged final episode circulated, making all the newspapers at the time.  Supposedly a final show was shot and stored in a vault until the day the series was to end and in this show the true killer of Helen Kimble was revealed to be none other than Lt. Phillip Gerard.  !!!  It further went on to say that in the story it is disclosed that Gerard was having an affair with Helen Kimble and when she threatened to break it off, he killed her in a fit of rage.  Thus his pursuit of Richard Kimble is twofold: He is not only trying to implicate the husband of his mistress, but also desperately trying to save himself from being brought to justice.  It was an interesting rumor, but nothing more.


#24 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 03 2009 - 03:50 PM

i havent see the finale since it ran.  i mistakenly bought a bootleg copy, so have been watching the ones that play - LOL.  i am almost up to the end, so i will have some comments after i see it again, some 40 years later.

i do recall girard being thought by some to be the killer.  being that i was a kid, and it was 40 some years ago, i just have vague memories of it all - other than i had never seen that much excitement about a tv show.  there was talk everywhere you went about who actually did it.

it was not clear cut at all right before the finale that it was gonna be the one-arm-man.

no doubt, they did an excellent job of advertising - LOL.

back then as a kid, i think i would like to have seen a warmer ending, with girard apologizing and saying he had to do his job, kimble then accepting said apology, understanding girard's point of view, etc.  this would have been true to form for kimble, as he was displayed throughout.  perhaps  it was this that left me a bit disappointed - i just dont recall.

and like another poster said, there was so dang much buildup, that it was gonna be next to impossible to live up to it.


#25 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 03 2009 - 05:24 PM

pretty good line on street savage - kimble rescues boy getting beaten up by 3 other boys.  one of the 3 boys asks kimble why he was butting in, or something to that degree.  kimble says something like "there were only 3 of you.  i thought you might need some help."


#26 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 09 2009 - 02:51 PM

i am now up to the last 2 shows - i am excited all over again - LOL.


#27 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 10 2009 - 01:31 PM

i just watched part 1 - quite good.  i suspect that all the hoopla about who killed mrs. kimble came after the watching of this show.  as i said before, i heard adults talking about it, wherever i went.  for me as a kid, it seemed a bit eerie.  but the producers did a heckuva job.  the statement from johnson saying that he saw the murder is what helped to trigger all this "who done it" talk.

lot of people thought that girard had done it.  this show did not depict girard as willing to help kimble, just do his job as quickly as possible.  when all along, it was supposed to have been johnson, i think this thru people for a loop, in that for the first time they were not so sure just who did it.


#28 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 10 2009 - 02:35 PM

i watched part 2 - really enjoyed it.  girard believed him, gave him his gun, saved his life, made the comment that "we kept an innocent man in hell for 4 years", and helped with the court appearance.

i think, as a kid, i did expect to see elephants fly, with all the talk that was going on.  so that was part of my initial letdown. 

but even to this day, i am not crazy about the epilog.  it just did not capture the show, for me.  there was a warmth between the two.  if girard spoke, it was not until after he turned his back.  kimble and he did keep the handshake for a very short while afterwards.  it still just leaves me "hanging" to some degree.  the desire for some sort of heart felt emotion from girard to kimble.

i believe the 2 actually liked one another, and respected one another throughout the show.  i believe that deep down, girard had doubts about kimble's guilt a long time before the ending.  the ending was just too business like, after having such depth on the characters of the two for four years.


#29 of 36 Jack P

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Posted November 10 2009 - 03:50 PM

There originally was dialogue between the two as scripted for that scene but both Janssen and Morse felt it was ridiculous to do the "No hard feelings, just doing my job" bit that after they finished their lines, they proceeded to kiss each other on both cheeks to underscore how silly they felt the dialogue was, and that silence would be better for the scene.



#30 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 10 2009 - 04:04 PM

well, as i think about it - i think i would like to have actually seen some "acts" regarding the last trial - perhaps even a whole show about it.  when there was just an epilog, and no words between the 2 - for me, a huge piece of a jigsaw puzzle still seemed out of place.

i would like to have seen them actually capture johnson, with him as part of the trial.


#31 of 36 Harry-N

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Posted November 10 2009 - 09:56 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyjet 

well, as i think about it - i think i would like to have actually seen some "acts" regarding the last trial - perhaps even a whole show about it.  when there was just an epilog, and no words between the 2 - for me, a huge piece of a jigsaw puzzle still seemed out of place.

 
I disagree, to some extent.  A bit more exposition perhaps, but that was not really the structure of this Quinn Martin production.  Recall that there were never any "live" courtroom scenes about Richard Kimble to start the series, so to bookend it properly, there shouldn't be any to conclude it.

The series wasn't a courtroom drama - it was essentially an anthology series with Kimble involving himself in the daily lives of the guest stars.  And the series concluded with at least one of the two episodes that fit that template.  In part one, he gets involved with Jean Carlisle (Diane Baker) who's helping him out of his currenr predicament.  Part two involves Kimble's attempts to convince Gerard to let him finish some business with the one-armed man that might vindicate him - it also involves how that story interweaves with the daily lives of Kimble's family and more importantly, the Chandlers. 
The fact that we'd never seen nor heard of the Chandler family before represents the "anthology" part of the episode that fit the Quinn Martin template.  That Kimble wasn't personally involved with that part of the story is what makes it a bit weak, I believe, to many who complain about the episode.
As for Johnson's confession and death without Gerard's immediate presence, that just underscored the whole dramatic concept of the series. From day one, Kimble was unable to prove his claims of a one-armed man.  Now here he is, dead, confessed, and Kimble still only has his own word about it.

As for the concluding act, the Epilog, I found it perfect.  Since we weren't going to get a courtroom scene, just seeing Kimble walk down the street arm in arm with the lovely female guest star and not have to avoid the police for a change was a profound moment in the series that didn't need words.

Being the first series of its kind to have an ending like that, and with the fears of the show being devalued in syndication because of it, I can almost envision them discussing ways to have an alternate ending that would allow the series to continue.  Think of it - a couple of scenes of alternate action in the fourth act - Gerard WAS wounded, so Kimble manages to slip away again after the one-armed man falls from the tower - Chandler doesn't come clean, and Gerard continues his chase.  The changed Epilog could have been Kimble meeting Donna and Jean Carlisle in an undisclosed location to wrap things up for now with both of them.

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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".

#32 of 36 Jack P

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Posted November 11 2009 - 09:29 AM

I don't have any complaints with how the epilogue played out.    More exposition would have been I think impossible since to do it justice, you would have had to overload things with minutiae that in those days before VCRs when even diehard fans wouldn't have remembered all these details from past episodes, I think would have mostly gone over everyone's head.    Give them credit at least for doing some continuity in bringing back Diane Brewster as Helen Kimble for the flashback sequence, but I think that was necessitated mostly by the fact that since the image of her lying dead from "The Girl From Little Egypt" was part of the opening of every episode from S2 on, it would have been impossible to recast the part for that one scene (as opposed to how there was never consistency in casting for Len Taft; three appearances, three different actors).

And while I suppose William Conrad's final narration of a simple, "Tuesday, September 5th, the day the running stopped."  (My copy is the Canada broadcast version which is the September 5th date;  I understand the US audience would have heard August 29th) works artistically there is a part of me that would have liked to have heard a longer closing narration in the tradition of the longer closing narrations of many episodes.


#33 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 11 2009 - 05:37 PM

just cuz they had no courtroom scenes in the beginning does not bar out the possibility that they could have had some at the end.

i would like to have seen a more drawn-out event.  not only with a trial, but with many of "his friends" coming forth to give character testimony.

and have the oam at the trial, instead of being killed.

then perhaps with all that commotion, that forces chandler to come clean.

it ties up all the characters at a "grand finale", that may have taken several episodes, as information is shown as it is collected, etc.  and not until the final episode, do we actually get to find out "who dun it" - LOL.

the only 2 things that they could not do is have kimble or girard be the killer.  these 2 events would have negated a tremendous amount of the series, itself.


#34 of 36 Jack P

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Posted November 11 2009 - 06:02 PM

The problem though is that you're describing a climax more suitable to a "Perry Mason" episode and I don't think that's the kind of ending that works for "The Fugitive".


#35 of 36 jimmyjet

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Posted November 11 2009 - 06:25 PM

suitable ?  i might agree to "typical".  i simply dont think the finale had to be typical.  what i described - i  think could have worked very well.

do you know what made the fugitive work ?  it was not the music, nor any of the other technical stuff being discussed in the other thread.  it was the character involvement that kimble had with his friends along the way.  and that is what i would have tied back up.  a bringing back of some characters - certainly the nun.  all these friends giving character testimony about kimble.  or playing some sort of role in the finale.

i dont recall how old you guys are.  but when you go back to the morals of the day, all you need to ask is "what would richard kimble have done ?" - if you had a moral decision that you were pondering.

richard kimble was the epitome of the idealized moral behavior that was being taught to us.  at great risk to himself, he never stepped on the toes of others.  much of 50s and 60s tv had this sort of central theme.  look at superman - fighting for truth, justice, and the american way.


#36 of 36 jdee28

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Posted November 16 2009 - 05:11 PM

I've always felt that it's the acting, especially by David Janssen, that makes The Fugitive. To me, the stories could have been better; often they are weak, contrived, implausible, and overly melodramatic. They're nothing really special; they're the type of stories you'd see on most of the anthology shows of the day, just reworked to include a fugitive angle. Janssen did an incredible job with the material though; no matter what he was given, he sold it with his restrained, humanistic style, and made the series great.