The Fugitive (1963–1967)
One Of Television's All-Time Best
11 March 2008
The 120 episodes (90 in B&W, 30 in Color) of the television drama "The Fugitive" originally ran from 1963-1967 on ABC. The broadcast of the final episodes in August 1967 was a national event.

Most likely anyone reading this already knows the perfect premise of the series. The producers took Dr. Sam Sheppard's long running Cleveland murder trial and blended it with Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". The title character was renamed Dr. Richard Kimble (played by David Janssen who would later star in the detective series "Harry O") and the series began an argument between Kimble and his wife Helen over adopting a child. He storms out of the house showcasing his fury to their neighbors. Upon returning home Kimble sees a one- armed man fleeing the Kimble house. Inside the house he finds the body of his wife.

Kimble is tried and convicted, the one-armed man does not come forward and no one believes Kimble's account of that evening. When the train taking Kimble to prison derails he escapes from the custody of Indiana State Police Lt. Phillip Gerard (Barry Morse).

This begins parallel chases as Kimble pursues the as yet unidentified one-armed man (Bill Raisch) and Gerard becomes obsessed with recapturing Kimble. The beauty of the premise was the total flexibility it allowed the writers with regard to each episodes story and the ease of incorporating legitimate action, tension, and drama.

The series was a Quinn Martin Production (with the same high quality production value as his other television series: "The Invaders", "The Untouchables", "The F.B.I", "The Streets of San Francisco"). Each episode was broken into four acts and they went out with an epilogue- William ("Cannon") Conrad doing the narration. Janssen is excellent in the role and delivers a subtle non-verbal performance consistent with a man on the run who must be extremely reserved to avoid attracting attention.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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