The Defenders (1961)

Season 1 Episode 1

Quality of Mercy

Aired Saturday 8:30 PM Sep 16, 1961 on CBS
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8.5
out of 10
Average
3 votes
  • Heartbreaking story

    8.5
    Tough story to watch. From the moment that doctor plunges the needle into the newborn, thus killing it with an overdose of morphine, viewers know they will be in for a rough ride. The anguish of the mother is palpable, though the father's willingness to have the baby "dealt with" seems unrealistic. But the show was a product of its time, when the value of life was dealt with in a more black and white (or seemingly pragmatic) fashion- at the expense of those "exceptions" that arose- in the form of Downs Syndrome babies. That being said, this debut episode put viewers on notice that The Defenders was not going to be just another courtroom drama.