Dr. Richard Kimble is accused to be the murderer of his wife. The night before his execution, he escapes. The only chance to prove his innocence is to find the man who killed his wife. Kimble, persecuted by the Lt. Gerard, risks his life several times when he shows his identity to help other people out of trouble. Written by
Florian Baumann <email@example.com>
David Janssen was working on The Green Berets when the final episode of this series aired; when Part Two of the episode was aired, he was interviewed on Joey Bishop's ABC nighttime program from Fort Benning, Georgia, where he commented on the series' finale. See more »
Name: Richard Kimble. Profession: Doctor of Medicine. Destination: Death Row, State Prison. Richard Kimble has been tried and convicted for the murder of his wife. But laws are made by men, carried out by men. And men are imperfect. Richard Kimble is innocent. Proved guilty, what Richard Kimble could not prove was that moments before discovering his wife's body, he encountered a man running from the vicinity of his home. A man with one arm. A man he had never seen before. A man who has not yet ...
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'The Fugitive' is a classic dramatic series I watch whenever I have an opportunity. David Janssen was (and still is) the best Dr. Richard Kimble (sorry Mr. Ford and Daly!). Barry Morse was equally effective as Lt. Philip Gerard, the man obsessed with capturing our hero. This classic lasted four years and 120 episodes. (The real reason I watch this show is because some of its elements would be later used in 'The Incredible Hulk,' which is my all-time favorite episodic TV series.)
Of course, the character of Richard Kimble was loosely inspired by Dr. Sam Sheppard. The major difference was that while Dr. Richard Kimble spent four years chasing the real killer (a one-armed man) of his wife Helen, Dr. Sheppard spent ten years in jail for the 1954 murder of his wife Marilyn.
It might be interesting to note that when Dr. Sheppard was acquitted in a second trial in November of 1966, 'The Fugitive,' which was then in the middle of its fourth season, began to slip in the ratings. For this reason, the producers were smart not to wait for the ax to fall and risk having the series cancelled without doing a finale.
"The Judgment," the two-hour series finale, aired in the summer of 1967. After four years of chasing and being chased, Kimble finally catches up with Fred Johnson, the one-armed man, who admits to having been Helen's real killer. He is then shot and killed by Lt. Gerard, who saves Kimble in the process.
While the finale was weak in some respects, it was generally a fitting conclusion to the 'Fugitive' series. Of course, it was also one of the highest rated TV finales of all-time.
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