The Fugitive: Season 1, Episode 1

Fear in a Desert City (17 Sep. 1963)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Crime | Drama
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After being on the run for 6 months, Richard Kimble falls in love with a beautiful woman who has a young son. She also has a physically abusive, estranged husband, that wants Kimble out of town, or dead.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Richard Kimble / James Lincoln
Monica Welles
Edward Welles
Harry Townes ...
Sgt. Burden
Barry Morse ...


After being on the run for 6 months, Richard Kimble falls in love with a beautiful woman who has a young son. She also has a physically abusive, estranged husband, that wants Kimble out of town, or dead.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

17 September 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the first season, the "Wanted" poster has Kimble's birth place as Beloit, Wisconsin. Later in the series it is changed to Stafford, Indiana. See more »


Dr. Richard Kimble: My picture's in every police station in the country. Right now, they might be realizing who James Lincoln is... a convicted murdere.
Monica Welles: I don't believe it!
Dr. Richard Kimble: I said convicted. I'm innocent. I'm a doctor, a pediatrician... I *was* a doctor.
See more »

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User Reviews

Great start to a superb series
10 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I grew up watching The Fugitive, but did not see the first episode of this superb series until years later. It's incredibly suspenseful, right from the start...beginning with William Conrad's opening narration which dances perfectly with David Janssen's always subtle body language. The musical score augments the tension in every scene.

In this first episode, which is my personal favorite, Kimble is working as a bartender in a Tucson nightclub under the pseudonym, Jim Lincoln. Vera Miles, who portrays a depressed pianist there, becomes understandably attracted (as do most women in the series) to our shy though always supportive hero. The problem is that she's being stalked by her estranged, though possessive cowboy husband, performed perfectly by Brian Keith...who also owns half the state and apparently has significant influence with the local police.

Being a physician with keen clinical acumen, Kimble is quick to pick up on the husband's dangerous paranoia, but is confronted with an internal moral conflict to flee in the interest of self-preservation versus to stay out of Hippocratic devotion to the desensitized pianist and her son. This turns out to be a recurring theme throughout the series, and exemplifies just how much doctors were deified in those days. Ultimately, there is a climactic and unnerving confrontation between Kimble and the psycho husband. (Janssen actually broke a couple of ribs in this scene, which is a testimony to its realism.)

In the epilogue, Phillip Gerard, "the police lieutenant obsessed with his capture" (as he is described in the opening credits), interrogates Miles' character on the whereabouts of Kimble. Now convinced of his innocence regarding the murder of his wife, she provides no clues to the perennially frustrated Gerard.

At the end of Fear in a Desert City, the viewer is left with mixed feelings of relief and sympathy for the good doctor, as well as a compulsive desire to follow Dr. Richard Kimble's plight to its end...4 years and 120 episodes later.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Suspension of disbelief liquidgardener
Which Fugitive's woman do you prefer ? edestci
This has always been a puzzlement to me mrsehj-1
Amusing things I've noticed about the show allyz_2001
Why different dates for 'The day the running stopped'? marmac2768
Seriously brucebrod
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