The Fugitive (1963)

Season 1 Episode 7

Smoke Screen

Aired Unknown Oct 29, 1963 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Smoke Screen
A forest fire prevents access to a local hospital. Kimble, now a farm laborer, decides to risk blowing his cover when he elects to help deliver a woman's baby at the labor camp. When the news of Kimble's charitable act is reported to the press, Gerard gets wind of it and believes that Kimble is the unnamed doctor.moreless

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  • Is there a doctor in the tent?

    "Smoke Screen" was the first episode of "The Fugitive" I've watched that felt like a botched job. All of the pieces were there for a great story (good guest stars, a plot that pits Kimble not against the police, but against nature), but somehow they did not come together in the right way. Don't get me wrong - "Smoke Screen" is not bad. But after the one-two punch of "Never Say Goodbye" and the taut "Decision in the Ring," this episode doesn't measure up.

    Maybe it's because of that lack of police or outside pressure. In this show, Kimble isn't "found out," which is usually the case. Instead, he voluntarily unmasks as a doctor to help save a life. And since Gerard and the local police never make the connection that Kimble is the hero migrant worker on the news, the pressure for him to run diminishes. Kimble does have human adversaries - namely, the other migrant workers. Their hostility towards him is explained in dialogue from Paco midway through Act II, and it's helpful. Prior to this point, we don't know why the men hate Kimble so much, and it almost feels like the writers just threw in the loathing as a story point.

    The bright side: As always, the acting is stellar, not only from David Janssen (watch his reaction when Paco thinks Kimble is an undercover cop) and Barry Morse (even hundreds of miles away from the action, Gerard remains an ever-present specter around Kimble). Guest stars Alejandro Rey and Beverly Garland round out the cast nicely, and Janssen has good chemistry with both.

    Again, "Smoke Screen" isn't bad, but it suffers in comparison to some of the highlights of Season 1.moreless
Beverly Garland

Beverly Garland

Doris Stilwell

Guest Star

Alejandro Rey

Alejandro Rey

Paco Alvarez

Guest Star

Pina Pellicer

Pina Pellicer

Maria Alvarez

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In this episode we are told that Richard Kimble did his medical internship in New York. But later, in The Survivors, we are told that he interned in Fairgreen, Indiana, where he met his future wife, a nurse named Helen Waverly.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: California, the Imperial Valley. Richard Kimble, now wearing the name Joseph Walker. Occupation: farm laborer. The California sun is hot. There is a strange antagonism in the eyes of the other workers. A hatred which he cannot fathom, but one which Richard Kimble tries to ignore in his effort to keep the secret of his identity.

    • Closing Narration: There is no celebration for a fugitive. Richard Kimble moves on, his objective always the same: to find the man who alone can deliver him from execution.

  • NOTES (1)