Friday, December 24, 2010

The Fugitive Episode Guide - Season 1 Part 1

Grade A
1) Fear in a Desert City (Brian Keith & Vera Miles) Kimble is an innocent man accused of murdering his wife. The first episode which introduces us to Kimble. Keith shines as the nasty Sheriff.
2) See Hollywood and Die (Brenda Vaccaro) Kimble is taken hostage by two trigger happy hoods. A very taut, well written, well acted episode with Kimble pretending to be crook and killer in order to escape.
3) Never Wave Goodbye-part 2 (Barry Morse) A match is the only thing standing between Kimble and permanent freedom. Kimble tries to find the “one-armed” man but finds only Gerard is hot on his trail. Once again Gerard is so intent on getting Kimble he never even removes his tie, despite almost drowning.
4) Nightmare At Northoak (Barry Morse) Kimble's heroics during a school bus accident may cost him his freedom. While the supporting “Small Town” actors are mediocre at best, this episode was suspenseful and provides us with some background on Gerard thinking.

Grade B
5) The Other Side of the Mountain (Sandy Dennis & R.G. Armstrong ) Kimble teams up with a young girl in a dangerous mountain trek. The episode is rather patronizing and unrealistic regarding West Virginia but Dennis and Armstrong are both excellent in their roles. Morse shows up and comically Armstrong asks him if he ever takes off his tie.
6) Never Wave Goodbye-part 1 (Robert Duvall & Susan Oliver) Kimble tries to hook the one-armed man in Los Angeles. This is the first part of a two part series. The second part is stronger. I would’ve rated it higher but Lee Phillips is simply awful as the "kindly old immigrant" in a wheelchair while Duvall’s ‘Norwegian’ accent is even worse. The writing and Susan Oliver, however, are very good.
7) The Girl From Little Egypt (Pamela Tiffin) A freak automobile accident puts Kimble's secret in jeopardy. This episode flashes back to the murder of Kimble’s wife and the one-armed man. It also includes a rather excellent story about a young girl having an affair with a married man.
8) Decision in the Ring (James Edwards & Ruby Dee) Kimble lands center ring when he gets involved with an ailing boxer. Some excellent acting by all concerned. One of those 60s TV shows where blacks are shown as white middle class people with dark skin. A good show that makes subtle propaganda points in favor of Civil Rights.
9) Smoke Screen: (Beverly Garland) A forest fire turns up the heat for Kimble. Again we get the subtle liberal propaganda sandwiched into a good drama. The illegal aliens are shown as “good people” who just want to work and be good Americans. An excellent story where Kimble has to choose between helping someone and risking exposure.
10) Glass Tightrope – (Ed Binns & Leslie Nielsen) The wrong man is accused of murder and only Kimble can clear him. Another show where Kimble must choose between doing right and risking being caught. Ed Binns is good as the tough amoral detective, Nielsen shows he was better than average at drama.

Grade C
11) Ticket to Alaska – Geraldine Brooks Kimble is aboard a luxury liner for murder on the high seas. More of a Agatha Christie “whodunit” than the typical Fugitive Episode. A murder occurs aboard ship, and the Captain must find the culprit. Kimble has plenty of screen time but its more of an ensemble piece.
12) Home Is The Hunted (Andrew Prine) Old family loyalties could mean the end for Kimble. He returns home to visit the old man who’s sick. Seeing Kimble’s family was interesting, but the episode is curiously slow and un-involving. Somewhat Soap operaish.

Grade D
13) Fatso (Jack Weston). Kimble finds friendship on the run with a kind. A Fugitive episode where Kimble plays social worker and tries to Fix a dysfunctional family. A soap opera.
14) Terror at High Point (Jack Klugman) A construction boss tries to patch up his marriage with Kimble's help. Klugman is miscast as the macho Utah construction boss. Kimble plays the liberal hero trying to protect a mentally challenged kid from a lynch mob. Boring.
15) The Witch (Pat Crowley) A Vicious child's play could cost Kimble his life. An overheated melodrama. Boy those small towns in the 60s sure liked to form lynch mobs. Good thing people like Kimble were around to stop ‘em.