The Fugitive (1963-1967) – 4 seasons
Starring: David Janssen; Barry Morse; Bill Raisch
Synopsis and Tidbits:
The Fugitive is #2 on my personal list of the top 10 TV shows of all time.
Wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife, pediatrician Dr Richard Kimble (played by David Janssen) is freed when the train crashes while taking him to be executed. He is doggedly pursued over four seasons by Indiana police Lieutenant, Phillip Girard (Barry Morse), as Kimble pursues the infamous one-armed man (played by Bill Raisch) whom he saw running from his house on the night his wife was murdered. While he is on the run, he is in constant fear of the police, and of Girard. In spite of that, he befriends and often saves many people, and sometimes entire communities, often using his medical knowledge to do so. He also has many narrow escapes from Girard … that is until the series finale.
The Fugitive was the second of David Janssen’s starring television roles, the first being Richard Diamond – Private Detective. The Fugitive was initially rejected by both NBC and CBS but was picked up by the then new, American Broadcasting Company (ABC). It was the first, hour long weekly television drama when it began in 1963 and it helped raise the profile of ABC. It also turned David Janssen into a television superstar.
I have been fortunate to make contact with a fellow blogger by the name of Mike Phelps (no, not THAT one). Mike was a long-time, personal friend of David and has not only co-written a memoir with David’s first wife, Ellie, but Mike has also written two of his own books about David. I highly recommend them, especially if you are a David Janssen fan, as am I.
The 2-part Fugitive series finale Judgment, during which Kimble finally caught the one-armed man, was the most watched TV show of all time, at the time when it aired in August of 1967 (an estimated 72% of the entire TV viewing audience).
Here is the 5 minute series finale ending on You Tube:
And for those of you familiar with the series, here is the final Epilog (a staple of Quinn Martin productions) which is the way all of the series episodes ended.