"The Fugitive: Season 2, Volume 2" -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. David Von Pein

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    Yeah, that's what I thought must surely occur when watching 4x3 material on 16x9 TVs.

    But I could swear I've heard people talking on this forum (somewhere) about being able to stretch 4x3 into 16x9 screens without any distortion (or chopping off of picture) at all.

    I guess I'm mistaken about that though. I must be...because it seems impossible to achieve to me.

    Thanks for the 16x9 insight, Harry.

    (I still prefer a 4x3 TV with "squeeze" mode, though. Especially since most of my TV-watching consists of older television shows, which are, of course, in the OAR of 1.33:1.) [​IMG]
     
  2. David Von Pein

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    Well I'll be dipped and hung out to dry on the balcony of the Edmund Hotel! I guess Kimble is a little "plump" in the menu screens. I hadn't really noticed. [​IMG]
     
  3. Tina_H_V

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    Well done, David. Well done, again!!!!!!! Thanks for the great insight and review.

    That's how I have it in my systems: widescreen 16:9 in my main unit; standard 4:3 in my secondary unit. I still enjoy applying the 16:9 squeeze on the 4:3 whenever possible and get as fine a picture out of my disc presentations nonetheless. I still have no heartburn regarding the black bars all the way around: top/bottom on both TV's...and on the sides of the widescreen. As long as I enjoy the experiene...fine by me!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    Well, as I so aptly predicted...the S2, V2 set arrived ahead of the S2, V1 replacement set. It is now nearly four weeks and still nothing!!!!!! Oh, well, as least S2, V2 is here now so I can see how the music on this classic series is faring from my vantage point.
     
  4. David Von Pein

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    A few notes about two very good episodes in this S2V2 set (which are two episodes I had never seen before today):

    "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want To Meet" -- Great episode, which could really be called "The Marshal Joe Bob Simms Show", because so much of this episode revolves around Arizona Marshal Simms, more so than Richard Kimble.

    Pat Hingle is excellent (as usual) as the corrupt and murderous
    Simms. Hingle recently passed away, at age 84, on January 3, 2009. He appeared in more TV series than you could shake a stick at.

    Something occurs in "Nicest Fella" that I thought was actually pretty unusual for a 1960s-era TV program....

    ...and that's the scene which has Hingle/Simms plowing into his prisoner with his "horn-rimmed" station wagon, with the camera then following the "corpse" down the mountainside for a short distance. Maybe I'm wrong, but that scene seems a bit shocking and unusually-grisly by 1965 standards. And the funny thing is, the same thing happens AGAIN at the end of the episode, when Dabney Coleman plugs his boss (Simms), and we get to see the Marshal plummet to his death as well. I was glad to see the Marshal get what was coming to him, though. Dabney's a darn good shot too. [​IMG]
    Overall, a terrific episode. And watch for bit parts by veteran character actors Dabbs Greer and Burt Mustin. Both of those guys appeared in more 60s shows than even Pat Hingle. [​IMG]


    "The End Is But The Beginning" -- Here we are treated to another top-notch "Gerard Chasing Kimble" spectacular, similar in nature to "Somebody To Remember" in Season 1, with both of those episodes featuring

    the "Trying To Get Gerard To Believe Kimble Is Dead" plotline.
    Barry Morse is perfect, as always, as Gerard in "The End...", which features the unusual occurrence of Captain Carpenter of the Stafford Police reading Lt. Gerard the riot act in one scene (well, sort of). Normally, Gerard's obsession with Kimble doesn't ruffle Carpenter's feathers, but this episode depicts a harder side to Carpenter.

    I now realize why I haven't seen several of these S2V2 episodes in the past -- it's because (for some reason) my VHS tapes full of Fuge shows that I taped in 1995 off of A&E have a big ol' gap in Season 2....with my tape going straight from "Brass Ring" to Season Three's "Conspiracy Of Silence".

    Either A&E skipped a whole bunch of episodes, or I missed taping them. Anyway, I'm enjoying these Season-Two programs now on DVD, even with some "Heyes Blasts" popping up here and there....and I didn't notice too much replacement stuff in either of those shows I just mentioned, although there definitely is some in there, particularly in the more-dramatic moments of "Nicest Fella".

    I'm finding some episodes that are riddled with Heyes' music, and others that aren't touched nearly as much by the replacement junk. But even with some new cues mixed in, this S2V2 set, as Paul Mavis said in his very interesting review, is still highly recommended (IMHO).

    Also:

    A scene in "Nicest Fella" that I thought was hilarious is when Kimble hitches a ride with a man at a gas station. The fastidious driver of the car wants the station's attendant to give him change in nickels and dimes. The look on Kimble's face when he hears this request is hysterical. Worth at least two "rewinds". You can practically see Kimble's mind saying, "Why did I have to hitch a ride with this fruitcake? I'm never gonna get out of here!" [​IMG]
     
  5. Harry-N

    Harry-N Producer

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    "Nicest Fella..." was directed by Sutton Roley, who often used weird camera angles and dramatic touches to his visual work, and this episode is no exception. It's a very effective episode, and I'm surprised that I hadn't remembered much of it at all.

    Back when I'd finished taping all of THE FUGITIVE episodes I could from the old WOR EMI service, I catalogued them into a Lotus 1-2-3 database (gee, how '90s!). I printed up the list of 120 episodes in order, listing my tape number, air date, etc., with a column for whether I'd watched the episode, so I could keep track and view them all.

    My check marks indicate that I'd certainly at least looked at "Nicest Fella...", but I still can't understand why if I had, it wouldn't have impacted me the way the DVD viewing did yesterday. Those images will haunt me for quite awhile!

    My database reveals the one episode (in this set) that I couldn't view since I never got it on tape, "A.P.B.", so that should be fun viewing when I get there.

    "The End Is But The Beginning" nearly ranks up with "Nightmare At Northoak" for me, and if I'm not mistaken, the two were paired on the VHS tapes from NuVentures.

    Harry
    ...happy to be discussing the episodes and not the music for a change, online...
     
  6. David Von Pein

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    I just watched the Season-Two episode "Scapegoat" for the first time ever, and I just could not believe it -- it is absolutely the worst Fugitive episode I have ever seen. It just didn't seem like "The Fugitive" at all.

    Everything about that episode is horrible, including the assortment of characters that I couldn't care less about (which is highly unusual for any Fuge entry). Not a single character in "Scapegoat" rings true or is even the slightest bit likeable.

    Another major debit is the fact that the episode was filmed on a backlot (except for the opening and closing scenes), which is, again, very unusual for this series, because "The Fugitive" is a series that relies heavily on its excellent use of on-location filming in real cities and small towns; but "Scapegoat" was filmed on a fake-looking Hollywood backlot.

    And that Act IV finale. Oh, my goodness, how awful it is! I could barely make it through it (and I didn't make it through it without laughing a few times), especially the part which had the gun-toting punk suddenly turning into a retarded kook and envisioning that his father was still alive after all. What in God's name were the writers thinking here?!
    Oh, how dismal this episode is. I still can't believe it's a part of "The Fugitive" series I enjoy so much.

    Even the excellence of David Janssen cannot save "Scapegoat". I'm doubting even Lt. Gerard could have rescued this mess of a script (but his presence sure would have helped some; but, unfortunately, we don't get Gerard here at all).

    And the heavy use of Mark Heyes' terrible (and too-loud) music certainly doesn't aid this episode either.

    I know this post is a downer all the way around, and I hesitated to even post this message about such an overall-fabulous TV series....but I just felt like doing it anyway.

    Does anybody else feel the same way I do about "Scapegoat"? Did anyone else have the sense they were truly watching some other series during that 51-minute pile of dreck?

    Well, anyway, I guess not every episode can be a "Northoak" or a "World's End" or a "Man In A Chariot". Some misfires are bound to occur. And they don't get much worse than "Scapegoat".
     
  7. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Of course there couldn't be a home run every week, and I agree this one was disappointing. The visual criticism is even more dire, though, considering that, in fact, many Fugitive episodes were filmed on the backlot and almost all the others were filmed in the greater LA area. The pilot, I think, was filmed in Arizona, but almost all the others were backlot or close to home. The craftsmanship was so outstanding, though, that it is only in the occasional subpar show that we can see the machinery at work.
     
  8. Jeff Willis

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    VP,

    Ironic, but I recently watched "Scapegoat" and I got the same impression as you did about this one. In fact, I drifted off into "ZZZzzz" land and woke up at the end of the episode. Since I watched this ep from my alternate set before the CBS/P set arrived, I didn't have to listen to any Heyes content in this one.

    I'd have to rate this one close to the bottom of the ones I've seen so far in the series. But as you said, it's a rare occurrence in this show.

    Looking at the guest list for this episode, I'd never have guessed that I'd rate this as a low one, with Diane Foster, Harry Townes, John Anderson, Whit Bissell.
     
  9. buford2

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    I liked this episode. Oh well, to each his own.

    Dave [​IMG]
     
  10. David Von Pein

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    Really? Could have fooled me.

    That's very surprising for me to hear in fact, because I can't think of a single Fuge episode that I've seen (other than "Scapegoat") that has the obvious appearance of backlot shooting (except for perhaps Part 2 of the outstanding episode "Landscape With Running Figures").
     
  11. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The backlot is almost always easy for me to spot in just about any TV show of this era. For "Fugitive" ones, Pt. 2 of "Landscapes With Running Figures" comes to mind with the town Kimble and Mrs. Gerard are stranded in being an obvious backlot community.
     
  12. David Von Pein

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    Yes. Definitely.

    And it's funny you mention that exact episode, because when I watched "Scapegoat" today, I was thinking to myself, I think "Landscape" has a lot of backlot scenes too, when Kimble and Marie are isolated on what looks like an old western-type backlot set.
     
  13. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I really learn to live with the backlot after awhile. IMO "Fugitive" location stuff could suffer when all too familiar California mountains could be seen in the background for shows ostensibly set in the mid-west or in one case, Connecticut. (Bewitched though was the worst case of a show where the CA mountains overlooking a backlot rendered ridiculous the notion that Darren worked in New York City).
     
  14. David Von Pein

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    Well, really, what choice do we have? Hari-kari? [​IMG]

    I guess maybe we could hire animator Dale K. Myers and have him "render" some brand-new realistic-looking towns and cities to replace the backlot scenes in various series. (But then we'd have to battle the purists because we had change the way the show originally was aired. Of course, I'm a "purist" myself most of the time, so I guess I'd be battling myself in that regard.) [​IMG]
     

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