The Fugitive TV series from the 60’s.

22 Aug

I must share with you a favorite TV show of mine. Remember, this was well before the movie with the same title with Harrison Ford. But,  just as there is only one James Bond, played by Sean Connery, there is only one Dr. Richard Kimble, and that was the great actor, David Janssen. The show had 4 seasons and ran from 1963-1967. There were 150 episodes of 51 minutes, not including those dreadful commercials. This show is important to me because I remember my mother and I would watch the show at night. It ran on ABC in black & white, with the final season being shown in color. What made this show so awesome (besides David Janssen’s great acting) was that every week, Dr. Kimble would travel from city to city in search of the one-armed man who was there on the night of his wife’s murder. This show actually packed up, and traveled to each city in the script. How do I know? Because the 7th episode was filmed in Santa Barbara, California, my hometown. I remember as a child  the adults all abuzz because the show had set up cameras, etc, on our wharf. I had to go to school, but man, what I would have given to play hooky, and to have gone down to the wharf just to see the action. The only other big show at that time was Batman, and they also chose to film the 1966 Batman movie on our wharf. Again, I was in school, and missed out. Anyway, George Eckstein, a writer and producer, wrote the final 2 part episode of the show. This decision will go down in history.  The final episode was called The Judgment. It was aired in 2 parts, on 2 Tuesdays, August 22, and August 29, 1967. It brought ABC its highest ratings ever.  Janssen reported being in a motel (he was filming The Green Berets with John Wayne in Georgia) and had to watch the show on a small portable TV set. If you search the net, you can find a picture of him in that hotel watching! It was an awesome show. Clean, with minimal violence, and not like today’s shows where there is so much profanity and violence one finds it difficult to sit through a viewing. Too bad they don’t make shows like those anymore. A real classic. Sadly, Janssen, one of my heroes, died on October 4, 1975 from a heart attack. Rest in peace my brother, and thank you for the memories of The  Fugitive.

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