In the Fugitive-The most wanted complete series, Richard Kimble, A Pediatrician from Stafford, Indiana, is incriminated of murdering his wife, Helen. He is found guilty and is sentences to death sentence based on no concrete evidences for his defense. While he is being transported to Death row by Train, an accident happens and the train derails over a switch.
This provides Dr. Richard an easy way to escape from custody in search of the real murderer to prove his innocence, a search that begins across the country. The search for the serial killer is led by Lieutenant Gerard. While the accused doctor seeks to pursue the real killer: “one armed man”, he risks his life many times due to his habit of helping other people out of trouble.
The Fugitive was directed by created by Roy Huggins and produced by QM Productions and United Artists Television. The TV series consists of four seasons aired during 1963-1967. All seasons have 30 episodes which are about 51 minutes long. The Premise was narrated in the opening of the first season but the full details were not entailed on the running of the season.
The first season starts while Kimble as being on the run for about 6 months where he falls in love with a married woman. Her husband, being physically abusive and alienated, wants Kimble dead or out of town. Escaping from there, Kimble gets falsely accused of trying to kidnap a little girl in the woods and later on in the season, Kimble escapes a lot of dangerous situations like this while trying to find the murderer of his wife.
He gets real close to Lieutenant Gerard who is seen casing him. In the second season, for more than a year on run, Kimble has developed skills in escaping difficult situations. While on the run, Kimble tries to end the pursuit of Lt. Gerard by faking his death. He keeps on taking small jobs while finding one-armed man. In the third season, he is arrested multiple times by Lt. Gerard but manages to escape. He also encounters the murderer of his wife, the one-armed man Fred Johnson but he escapes. This continues his quest for justice into the fourth season. He manages to continue his search for the murderer while coming to close to an arrest as many times as possible. At the end, one-armed man is arrested in LA but is bailed by someone before the arrest could prove Kimble’s innocence.
Some of the main characters of “The Fugitive” are:
· Dr. Richards Kimble: He is the lead character of the series. David Janssen was cast to play the role of Richard Kimble. He was the only character who appeared in all 120 episodes of the series.
Richard, a respected pediatrician, is convicted of the murder of his wife, Helen. The case gets stronger on the fact that his wife Helen became unable to bear children during a surgery to save her life. She refused to adopt children as Richard suggested. They had many heated arguments which their neighbors overheard. Richard nearly struck a one-armed man who is seen fleeing 5 blocks away from Richards house on the day of murder.
Richard is found guilty of the crime and is sentenced to death as no evidence falls on his side. As already mentioned, after 18 months in prison and while he is being transported to the Death House through train, an accident happens which gives an escape opportunity to Richard. The cross-country serial killer hunt starts while Richard moves from town to town to find the real killer, “the one-armed man”. He is accosted by someone who threatens to hand him over to the police. He, however, always finds a way to out of the plots. He is also very good at hand-to hand fights which aid him during his run.
· Lieutenant Philip Gerard: He is the detective whose assignment is to capture Richard Kimble. Barry Morse played the role of the stubborn detective. He appeared in 37 episodes.
Gerard was a man bound to his duty. When Kimble escaped, he was under the custody of Gerard so he felt he was responsible for the recapture of the convict. Gerard was not concerned about the depth of the accusation of Kimble, rather he said that he was a servant of the law and the law had accused him of the murder so it was his duty to capture him.
Due to this obsession, Gerard started to have problems in his family life where his wife Marie leaves him and their relationship crumbles. As the hunt continues, Gerard starts to have doubts on considering Kimble guilty of the crime but he sticks to the fact that it’s his duty to capture him as law has accused him and he is a man of law.
· The One-Armed Man: A shadowy character played by Bill Raisch is One-Armed man. He only appears in about 10 episodes revealing a very little about his personal life and how he lost his one arm.
The one-armed man goes by many different names and roles to escape from Kimble who is trying to capture him. He also tries to reveal Kimble’s identity many times to the police to get rid of him. At last he is known by the name of Fred Johnson.
Some of other characters of prime focus are Kimble’s wife, Helen played by Diane Brewster. Jacqueline Scott plays the role of Kimble’s married sister, Donna Taft. Paul Birch Appeared as Gerard’s Superior, The captain Carpenter. Marie, Gerard’s wife appeared in 3 episodes played by Eileen Heckart.
Unique in Concept, The Fugitive, drew a great attention of both audience and critics. In US Nielsen Ratings, the first season was rated as 21.7% and ranked at 28th number. The fame grew and the second season got the highest rating of 28% with the 5th ranking.
The last two seasons were ranked over 30th position. In Overall IMDb ranking, The Fugitive is ranked amongst the top TV series at 8.1/10.
Due to high popularity and quality, The Fugitive won 5 different awards and got 10 nominations. It won the Golden Globe, USA in Best TV series category in 1966 and was nominated for it in 1965 and 1967. The series also won Primetime Emmy Awards in Outstanding Dramatic series category in 1966 and was nominated for outstanding continued performance by leading role actor in 1964, 1966 and 1967.
It was also nominated for Best Edited TV Program American Cinema Editors, USA in 1968. It won Best episode award in Edgar Allan Poe awards in 1965. It also received PGA award in 2000 and Online Film and Television Associations Hall of Fame award in 2013.
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