Quincy, M.E.

Season 1 Episode 1

Go Fight City Hall -- To the Death!

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 03, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Go Fight City Hall -- To the Death!
A young woman is raped and strangled on a Los Angeles beach. Further down the coastline a young boy is shot and arrested for her murder. Quincy doesn't think that it would have been possible for the boy arrested to strangle the woman and decides that he is going to go out and begin a little investigation of his own. He visits City Hall where the woman worked to ask some questions and, after a little checking, finds out that there seem to have been a rash of unexplained deaths there.moreless

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  • [From the DVD case] Quincy believes that the wrong person has been accused of the rape and murder of a civil servant, and soon discovers an epidemic of political cover-ups.

    All and all, it's a very solid pilot from writer/producer Glen Larson. It begins with a shocking (for the time) murder of a pretty girl on a beach and leads into a introduction of our main character. Jack Klugman was fresh off his success in The Odd Couple so his irrascible side was well-established with the audience. Now we also get to see him as a befuddled boyfriend and a dedicated, tireless scientist. The opening credit scene hasn't dated much at all, tho to modern eyes the forensic gathering could probably be much tighter. In this scene you can also catch Donald Mantooth (brother of "Emergency"'s Randy Mantooth) as the young cop.

    The scene also sets up the somewhat adversarial relationship between Dr. Quincy and Lt. Monahan, and by extension between the coroner's office and the LAPD, and between science and instinct. This, to me, dates the show more than anything else. Yes, it makes for good drama but I sometimes want to yell at the cops, "What are the taxpayers of LA County paying big bucks to run a Medical Examiner's Office for if you're not gonna listen to them?!"

    The mystery itself was kinda run of the mill. Even to a casual observer there seemed to be plenty of reasonable doubt that the purse-snatcher committed the crime. After the second mysterious death of a City Hall official that should have clinched it. But they did have another hour of airtime to fill. The scientific process of clearing the boy and tracking down the true killer was the most interesting aspect of it all. The romantic subplot was negligable. Lynnette Mettey's a nice actress, but I knew her character wasn't long for the show. The amazing part is that she put up with Quince for as long as she did.

    The only thing more I could ask for is less police antagonism and more Sam Fujiyama. He's gorgeous! Also, it was great to again see the scene with the six police cadets and their introduction to The World of Forensic Medicine. :Dmoreless
Henry Darrow

Henry Darrow

Dr. Rivera

Guest Star

Harry Rhodes

Harry Rhodes

Deputy Mayor Collins

Guest Star

Denny Miller

Denny Miller

Ben Chase

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Quincy gets home, he removes his shoes. A minute later, the phone rings, and he rushes out the door, but he never puts his shoes back on.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Quincy: (to the police recruits) Gentlemen, you are about to enter the most important and fascinating sphere of police work: the world of forensic medicine. Where untold victims of many homicides will reach back from the grave and point their finger accusingly at their assailant.

    • Quincy: There's one thing about life I can never get used to, that's...the mystery of it. Something goes tilt in me when I see life dead before its time and I want to do something about it. I want to find out who made that terrible thing happen. And, most often, the victim can point the finger in the right direction as if it were still alive.

    • Quincy: It is kinda hard to accept as coincidence the fact that bodies are turning up all over City Hall--assaulted, strangled, hanged--and we're treating it like a rash of head colds. Hey, I suppose if a bus came to rest on the Mayor's chest, we might issue a bulletin against illegal parking.

    • Danny: How are tricks, Marilyn?
      Marilyn: How can you sell it when everyone's giving it away?
      Quincy: May I buy the young lady a drink?
      Marilyn: Don't mind if I do.
      Danny: Relax, Marilyn. This guy's only interested in bodies that are dead.
      Marilyn: I heard about guys like you. What is it they call it...?
      Danny: Pathology.
      Marilyn: It's patthetic.

    • Quincy: (about the victim) Was she a health freak?
      Secretary: I'd like to say she didn't put anything into her body that wasn't organically grown...but I couldn't say it with a straight face.

    • Quincy: Dr. Quincy, Coroner's Office. I'm here in reference to a Peter Gordon.
      Nurse: You're early. He's still alive.
      Quincy: Things are a little slow.

    • Lynn: Oh, I don't believe it. If you can't find a dead body handy, you dig one up.

    • Monahan: (at a crime scene) Who's the medical officer?
      Brill: Quincy.
      Monahan: (sighs) Oh, no.

    • Quincy: I am the presiding Medical Officer. If I tell you you've got a homicide, buddy, you've got a homicide!

  • NOTES (2)

    • James Rosin's role as a Police Officer is uncredited.

    • Note: The usual credit sequence is missing from the 90 minute version of this ep. Also, the end theme tune is the "Mystery Movie Theme" by Henry Mancini (this is true of all the first four episodes)
      Note: scenes from this episode make up some of the credit sequence, namely, the Lecture scene with the cops that faint(not in 44 min version), two cars going over a cliff, Quince arguing with another doctor over an X-ray (although he's not arguing in reality)
      Note: The lecture scene here also explains the apparent cut in the credit sequence in many episodes, because the dialog is actually "Gentlemen, you are now entering the most *important* and facinating sphere of police work" as opposed to just facinating