Quincy M.E. (1976–1983)
7.5/10
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...The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone... 

In the last of the 90-minute Sunday Mystery Movie episodes (this was aired in the Friday time slot), a crook frantically steals the bones of a long-dead football player from a construction ... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (story) (as Tony Lawrence) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lynette Mettey ...
Lee (as Lynnette Mettey)
Garry Walberg ...
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John S. Ragin ...
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Joseph Roman ...
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Frank Hailey
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Sue Courtland
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Mr. Charles Trout Sr. (as Elisha Cook)
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Hal Borden
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Protestor
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Milt Jordan
Louis Guss ...
Spence
John Davis Chandler ...
Robert Gideon (as John Chandler)
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Storyline

In the last of the 90-minute Sunday Mystery Movie episodes (this was aired in the Friday time slot), a crook frantically steals the bones of a long-dead football player from a construction site. But he misses a femur, and it was hit by a pistol slug. The next day, the thigh bone is discovered and turned over to Quincy and a group of medical students. Quincy uses analysis to get a complete portrait of the victim. Written by Peter Harris

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Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Crime

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Release Date:

11 February 1977 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Quincy expresses surprise that the "War Dept." never notified Charlie Sr of Charlie Jr's supposed death in Vietnam. The War Dept per se ceased to exist in 1947 and was replaced by the National Military Establishment, now known as the Dept of Defense. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the compressed, 44 minute syndicated version, Tina Andrews is credited but does not appear. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last 90-Minute "Quincy" Provides an Enjoyable Mystery
10 September 2009 | by (Ukiah, California) – See all my reviews

The last of the 90-minute episodes of "Quincy" is probably the best of those shows, though it also demonstrates that changing the format to the standard 1-hour show may not have been such a bad idea. "Quincy" was at its best when our eponymous hero had the least to work with, and this episode, with Quincy literally building a whole human being from a single thigh bone, shows him at his best.

The episode begins with the apparent villain slugging a security guard at a campus construction site and then (rather easily) pulling bones, a gun, and some clothing out of the dirt where earth-moving equipment has already been working. But he misses a few pieces, and the next day the construction foreman tells his workers to dispose of the remaining bones found there — fearing a work stoppage over what might be an Indian burial site.

In the meantime, Dr. Astin has assigned Dr. Quincy to teach a forensic pathology class at the same university, and one of his students (played by Linda Kelsey, soon to take on the role of Billie Newman in "Lou Grant") obtains this bone through means not shown on-screen. Even though she's only planning to be a psychiatrist, and doesn't recognize it as a human bone, she nevertheless brings it to Quincy's class — after which, one might say, complications ensue.

Other commentators have complained — sometimes justifiably — about the trimming of this and the other early episodes of "Quincy" from their original 90-minute length to an hour for syndication. But in this case it might have been a blessing, because this episode has a number of sequences that are nothing but padding. The "Crazy Credits" note on this page, for example, observes that a scene with Tina Andrews (as a black protester) was cut out. With due respect to Ms. Andrews, however, that scene is completely superfluous; it did nothing to advance the story, and the other protesters either make noise or fall silent on cue, coming across like . . . well, like something staged for a television program.

Otherwise, besides Kelsey, the episode features a young Stephen Macht; a brief scene with Kelsey's future "Lou Grant" co-star Jack Bannon; and a small part by a pre-"Love Boat"/pre-Congress Fred Grandy. It's a fine illustration of what made "Quincy" enjoyable to watch, as our hero picks up clues from obscure things like the amount of fluoride in the dead man's bone, an apparent bullet wound and knee injury visible on the bone, and the possibility that the dead man was an early casualty of the Vietnam War.

The last point leads to an interesting, ironic link to this show. It isn't true, as stated in this episode, that American troops didn't go to Vietnam until 1965 — the earliest names on the Vietnam memorial were "combat advisers" whose deaths date from 1959. And the first mention on an American television program of a combat casualty in South Vietnam likely came during an episode of "The Twilight Zone" first broadcast in September, 1963. The episode was entitled "In Praise of Pip," and the character who mentions Vietnam was played by a gifted, intense actor ... named Jack Klugman.


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