The Fugitive (1963)

ABC (ended 1967)



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The Fugitive (1963)

Show Summary

Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen), wrongly accused of murdering his wife, escapes custody while en route to Death Row and must elude police and Lt. Philip Gerard (Barry Morse), who is obsessed with his capture. Kimble must constantly relocate and change his name while he continues his quest to find the real killer, a one-armed man (Bill Raisch) he saw leave the scene of the crime. The finale was the most-watched episode of all-time until the final episode of "M*A*S*H."

The original series aired from 1963-1967 (120 episodes) on ABC and inspired the 1993 movie, "The Fugitive," starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. CBS brought the series back in a modern-day version in 2000, which starred Timothy Daly as Dr. Kimble. The original series also inspired a format used in several other shows, such as "The Incredible Hulk" and "Quantum Leap."

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  • The Fugitive and TV Noir

    The film noir concept applied to The Fugitive recognizes the dark side of existence, the guilt, the running from reality and the confusion known to those who seek the light while running in the dark. This is further explained in TV Noir:20th Century-2010, Amazon Books.
  • Seminal Dramatic Series of the Sixties

    It's all been said, and it's all correct. This is film noir done for television in the best way possible. I'll just add that I watched an interview with Barry Morse and was absolutely floored to hear his British accent!

    Maybe the first series to film a true 'final' episode-which was a terrific, logical and thoroughly satisfying ending to one of the finest dramas ever.
  • by far the best

    I dont understand with all of the garbage on TV that they cant find another actor like David Janssen. His movements, facial expressions, and speech are that of great your character. You can find repeats at 10;00 central on ME tv.
  • Dr. Richard Kimble, heading to his own execution for murdering his wife, is freed by a twist of fate. To prove his innocence he seeks the one-armed man he saw leaving the scene of the crime, and is relentlessly pursued himself by a police lieutenant.moreless

    At some time in the future when one can finally decide what the greatest achievements in television history were, a strong candidate for the top of the list will be this absolutely perfect series, with David Janssen as the innocent man on the run and Barry Morse as his obsessed pursuer, Lt. Gerard. Although Dr. Richard Kimble's primary focus while a fugitive from justice is to find the elusive one-armed man, that mysterious character doesn't appear in that many episodes, but when he does, it sure shocks the audience away from the episodic happenings of whatever Kimble's current situation is, back into the main story that it was temporarily distracted from. In one gripping episode, Kimble actually captures the one-armed man and drags him into a police station, that scene featured in the opening promo. Another amazing two-part episode has Kimble trapped in a small town with Lt. Gerard's wife, the two unaware of who the other really is, leading one to wonder who is going to discover the other's identity first, and what will they do when they find out? The highly rated final episode does not disappoint anyone who has followed the story from the very first episode. William Conrad's narration is also perfect, and may have led to his own detective series "Cannon," another of the reliable Quinn Martin productions of which "The Fugitive" is clearly the finest. It just doesn't get any better than this.moreless
  • One of the best shows of all time.

    Is "The Fugitive" the best drama series in TV history? I don't know if I'd go that far, but it certainly ranks in my Top Five. Virtually everything about this series (the music, the writing, the acting) is perfect and it is anchored by the two performances of the lead actors, David Janssen and Barry Morse.

    Even if you've never seen an episode, you probably know the basic story of "The Fugitive." The Harrison Ford/Tommy Lee Jones movie is great, but it really doesn't capture what made the series so good - in my opinion, it's the length of the chase and the toll it takes on Kimble. Aside from the clothing and cars, "The Fugitive" is really timeless. It captures the quiet desperation of small towns, of people in crisis and yearning for hope. The stories (for the most part) told on the show could easily take place today and still be powerful.

    Perhaps the real genius in "The Fugitive" is giving the audience two characters who are antagonists to one another, but neither one is really a "bad guy." Obviously, Kimble has the audience's sympathy as he tries to stay one step ahead of the law and find his wife's killer, but Gerard is a policeman, ostensibly the "hero." He isn't driven to catch Kimble out of vengeance or hatred, but simply because it's his job. Thus, you have two incredibly driven, smart characters who go up against each other. Janssen's quiet, introspective nature is still fiercely intense at times, especially when Kimble seems cornered. And Morse is boiling over intensity whenever he appears on screen. And though he didn't appear in many episodes, Bill Raisch was the perfect elusive menace as the One-Armed Man.

    Often imitated, but never duplicated, "The Fugitive" is an absolute TV classic.moreless

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