Quiet possibly one of the best pilots in television history, not just in terms of acting but also a brilliantly written and directed episode. The three writers/creators deliver each character in the perfect way beginning with Frasier and Roz with the former on the radio giving advice in both a serious and comical way. In just the short time with see the characters of Frasier and Roz together its obvious that Kelsey Grammer and Peri Gilpin have great chemistry, as if having worked together for years.
The introduction of Frasier’s brother Niles, played by the ever great David Hyde Pierce, is delightful. In most comedies the writers would have the brothers to be completely opposite of one another so their contrasts would be funny but these three writers/creators got it right by making the brothers the same, both psychiatrist both pompous. Some see Niles the way Frasier was when the latter first walked into a bar in Boston nines years prior. We see a very important part of Niles’s character when he wipes down his chair with a handkerchief showing how meticulous he is, this piece of brilliance was James Burrows's, who directed the pilot, idea. We also hear the first of Maris, Niles’s never seen wife.
The next scene shows great talent from Kelsey Grammer with not a word been said as he disconsolately trudges across his beautifully decorated apartment to let his father Martin, played by the talented John Mahoney, in as he is moving into Frasier’s apartment. Right away we see the contrasts between Martin and his two sons and we also see Martin’s distaste at having to move in with Frasier because of his bad hip. Frasier’s reaction to Martin’s chair is hilarious but one of the most hilarious and side splitting scenes is with Martin’s dog Eddie just staring at Frasier making him feel very uncomfortable.
Frasier and Niles decide to get their father a physical therapist to help him with his exercises and take care of the apartment. With the interview of Daphne Moon, played by the lovely Jane Leeves, we can see that Martin doesn’t like the idea of having to be taking care of but as the Manchester born Moon begins to aggravate Frasier she begins to grow on Martin getting the job and adding another person to Frasier’s househol. The scene involving both Frasier and Martin was a risky scene to do in a comedy pilot with no funny jokes and a serious ending to their argument about the way Martin has been treating Frasier. The scene was a chance made by the three writer/creators and Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney pulled it off.
The ending of the episode takes full advantage of Frasier’s new career as Martin calls he to talk to him about the trouble he’s having with his son. We see here how difficult it is for Martin to talk about his feelings, something that will slowly change as he evolves through the next few years.
The ending credits show Martin, Eddie, Frasier and Daphne watching the television with Eddie staring at Frasier. This brings to an end one of the best written, directed, acted and most intelligent comedy pilots in television history.