Quincy M.E.: Season 4, Episode 21

An Ounce of Prevention (22 Mar. 1979)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Crime
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Quincy discovers a construction worker died due to pollution in the ground under his home a classic crusading Quincy episode



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Skip Homeier ...
Paul Sellers
Todd Johnson (as Michael Anderson)
Dr. Bellson
Tony Larson
Kent (as Jordon Rhodes)
Mel Carter ...
EPA Official
Barbara Baldavin ...
Mrs. Roselli
Gino Ardito ...
Frank Roselli
Joseph V. Perry ...
Carl Ladin (as Joseph Perry)


Quincy discovers a construction worker died due to pollution in the ground under his home a classic crusading Quincy episode

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

22 March 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The submarine shown in the episode, marked "Maui Divers", is the Makali'i. Maui Divers is a Hawaiian company which specializes in coral and pearl jewelry, and it used the sub for coral harvesting. Originally owned by General Dynamics' and called Star II, Makali'i was given to the University of Hawaii as a tax write-off in the early 1970s, and leased to Maui Divers until 1981. The 17.7-foot sub had a crew of two, and could dive to a maximum of 1,200 feet. It was retired in the late 1980s, and is now on display at Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku. See more »

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User Reviews

Below average episode with a far-fetched resolution
1 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

An Ounce of Prevention begins with construction worker Frank Roselli (Gino Ardito) becoming suddenly ill and taking a fatal fall off a building scaffolding. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and affirms that he died as a result of injuries sustained from the fall, but he also finds additional evidence suggesting that Frank was exposed to toxic chemicals which weakened him and caused the fall. This prompts an investigation into how Frank was exposed to the toxic chemicals and it is discovered that his neighborhood rests upon an old landfill. As a result, the Health Department mandates an evacuation until the toxicity can be effectively treated and removed which leads to many angry residents. Quincy tries to help the people by lobbying the company responsible for the toxic waste while also trying to prevent another crisis by locating more chemicals that were irresponsibly dumped offshore.

I didn't find this to be a particularly good episode for several reasons. First of all, we learn very early on that the death was a result of gross negligence and there really isn't much of a mystery here besides Quincy trying to assign blame and find out where the offshore chemical waste is dumped. The manner in which he does this towards the end is so far-fetched and ridiculous that it just wiped out any credibility of the story for me. I also wasn't buying how the head of the company became so cooperative and helpful in the investigation even as it exposed the company to massive liability and litigation.

If you enjoy the episodes where Quincy is on a social crusade and trying to prevent a public health crisis than you will likely find this one entertaining, but this type of plot is just not my cup of tea. Combining that with the holes in the story and the far-fetched resolution, this makes for a below average Season 4 episode.

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