Northern Exposure

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

15
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jul 12, 1990 on CBS
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
87 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Pilot
AIRED:
Dr. Joel Fleischman arrives in Anchorage, Alaska to fulfill his part of a bargain that paid $125,000 for his medical education in exchange for service in the state as a doctor. Sure, it'll be tough for a guy from New York to adjust to Anchorage, but... then he learns Anchorage doesn't need him, and he's been assigned to Cicely, a small remote town owned and dominated by the strong minded Maurice Minnifield, a former astronaut set on developing his little part of Alaska into a vacation paradise and equally decided to make Fleischman honor his professional obligations.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Joel, from Queens, comes to Alaska, thinking he will at least be in the city, but he finds they don't need him there, and he is sent to Cicely instead. He is horrified by his office, figths with Maurice, and calls Maggie a prostitute.moreless

    8.5
    This is cute. A lot of the exposition happens on the plane and the scene really feels like the late 80s, when it must have been filmed. A lot of the more important people in the series like Chris don't show up much in the pilot. If I had looked at this as a TV exec, would I have known how great it would turn out? I don't see how.



    But it is cute and interesting and it you have some interest in seeing more. I sure am glad it got a green light, even though I'm really unsure if I could see all the potential myself.moreless
Barry Corbin

Barry Corbin

Maurice J. Minnifield

Janine Turner

Janine Turner

Mary Margaret "Maggie" O'Connell

John Corbett

John Corbett

Christopher "Chris in the Morning" Danforth Stevens

John Cullum

John Cullum

Holling Gustav Vincoeur

Rob Morrow

Rob Morrow

Dr. Joel Fleischman [ episodes 1 - 102 ]

Cynthia Geary

Cynthia Geary

Shelly Marie Tambo(-Vincoeur)

Denise Kendall

Denise Kendall

Stewardess

Guest Star

John Aylward

John Aylward

Businessman

Guest Star

Anne Gordon

Anne Gordon

Patient #2

Guest Star

Elaine Miles

Elaine Miles

Marilyn Whirlwind

Recurring Role

Peg Phillips

Peg Phillips

Ruth-Anne Miller

Recurring Role

Grant Goodeve

Grant Goodeve

Rick Pederson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The man Joel is talking to on the plane in the very first scene is actor John Aylward, who would go on to have a recurring role on this series as pilot Charles "Red" Murphy, starting with episode #5, "The Russian Flu".

    • Elaine Miles won the part of Marilyn Whirlwind by accident. She accompanied her mother, who was auditioning for the part of Marilyn, and they cast Elaine instead.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Joel: (after a woman attacks her husband twice in two days) The way I see it we have three options: divorce, separation, or you two can start talking to one another. Now, how many hands do I see for divorce? (Marilyn raises her hand, Joel doesn't miss a beat) Separation? Ok, then you two should talk to each other.

    • Pete Gilliam: (to Joel) So what we've decided to do is set you up in Cicely, situated in an area that we Alaskans refer to as The Alaskan Riviera.

    • Holling: You haven't heard back from your attorney, huh?
      Joel: Well, no - but as I'm sure you know, these are very, very complex legal issues here, and they take quite some time to sort out. Besides, she's got finals.

    • Maggie: Look, you know, if you'd rather spend the night here than at my place, don't let me get in your way!
      Joel: Look, I don't want to tell you how to run your business, but this petulant aggressive thing is a real turnoff…
      Maggie: I am not a hooker… jerk. I'm your landlord.

    • Maurice: You signed a contract, Joel. But much more important than that, you gave your word. And I intend to hold you to that word within the bounds of the law. If necessary, without the bounds of the law.

    • Joel: And if I leave? 10,000 dollars or 18 years in jail… AND 18 years in jail?!?

    • Maurice: This is Cicely. She and Roslyn founded the town 97 years ago. Rumor and innuendo notwithstanding, they were just good friends.

    • Ref: Crowberry. Not bad. Tart. Not unlike Petite sirah.

    • Joel: I will under no condition, NO condition, spend the best years of my life in the worst place on Earth!

    • Joel: I don't don't like it - I hate it! And I demand to leave! … Well that is because you are not the one who is supposed to spend the next 4 years of his life in this Godforsaken hole in the wall, pigsty with a bunch of dirty, psychotic rednecks!

    • Maurice: When I heard we had a crack at a Jew doctor from New York City.. well, I don't have to tell you I jumped. You boys do outstanding work.

    • Joel: (to Maggie after a few beers) You're kinda pretty in a like, clean sort of way.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music:- "Louie, Louie" by Richard Berry
      - "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr.
      - "Truly Do" by Bud and Travis
      - "Jolie Louise" by Daniel Lanois
      - "Get Your Life" by Livingston
      - "Good Golly, Miss Molly" by Jondora

    • Ed (Darren E. Burrows) quotes St. Elsewhere and praises the show while driving Joel (Rob Morrow) to meet Maurice for the first time. Northern Exposure creators Brand/Falsey also created St. Elsewhere.

    • John Corbett (Chris) and Cynthia Geary (Shelly) appear in the opening credits but do not have any spoken dialogue in this episode.

      Cynthia Geary appears twice in background shots, (once in The Brick, once at the outdoor party.) John Corbett appears briefly in a crowd scene at the outdoor party.

      One of the deleted scenes on the season 1 DVD features Ed, Maggie and Chris talking more about Maurice's threat to kill Holling.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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