The Fugitive (1963)

Season 1 Episode 11

Nightmare at Northoak

Aired Unknown Nov 26, 1963 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Nightmare at Northoak
Kimble is injured while helping save some children from a fiery crash. While recuperating at a local home, he learns that his caretakers are the local sheriff and his wife. As if this weren't bad enough, a news article describing Kimble's heroic deed goes nationwide. The all-seeing Lt. Gerard reads the article, and then goes to the small town to arrest Kimble.moreless

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  • "I think your nightmare is that after I'm dead, you'll find him."

    After a string of mediocre episodes, "Nightmare at Northoak" explodes onto the screen. It's tense, dark and ends on the downbeat note that makes "The Fugitive" a classic. With a great opening (right out of Kimble's nightmares) and a classic ending, "Nightmare" is easily one of the best episodes of the series and arguably the best of the first season.

    Once again, Kimble's selfless acts get him into trouble - after saving a schoolbus full of children he winds up in a sick bed at the home of the town sherrif. David Janssen is at his best here, attempting to stay calm amid the adulation of the townspeople while realizing that he's trapped and it's only a matter of time before his true identity is discovered.

    Barry Morse is perfect, both as the exagerrated, almost theatrical Gerard of Kimble's nightmares and as the stalwart agent of the law. Watch him in his scene when the sherrif's wife asks him if he thinks Kimble killed his wife.

    Gerard: The law says he's guilty.

    Mrs. Springer: That's not what I asked.

    Gerard actually looks puzzled when he reiterates that the LAW says Kimble is guilty. For him, there's no other choice, no leeway. Kimble is a fugitive, so Kimble is bad. It even clouds Gerard's senses; he can't even acknowledge that Kimble saved every one of those children.

    And, at long last, Janssen and Morse get to share the screen and square off in a real confrontation. I love how to each man's point of view, the OTHER is the one behind bars. Kimble manages to rattle Gerard just a little by reminding him that the one-armed man MAY still be out there; it's this lingering doubt that haunts Gerard, just as the fear of capture haunts Kimble.

    The ending is brilliant, even if it smacks of the "I am Spartacus!" scene. To the people of Northoak, Kimble may or may not be guilty of murder, but they KNOW he is a hero. This is what Gerard can't understand with his view that taints everything Kimble does.moreless
Nancy Wickwire

Nancy Wickwire


Guest Star

Frank Overton

Frank Overton


Guest Star

Paul Carr

Paul Carr


Guest Star

Paul Birch

Paul Birch

Captain Carpenter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions