Quincy's hot temper and tenseness leads him to be sent to a small town, to get away from the stress of the city, working in the capacity of the town doctor. On his first night in town, he ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Louise Latham ...
Nurse Katherine Lowry
Chief Hartman
Howard Clausen
Dr. George Bristol (as James Antonio)
Myra Hammond
Dr. Max Gilliam
Bud Cowley
Mrs. Maggiore
Trish Granby


Quincy's hot temper and tenseness leads him to be sent to a small town, to get away from the stress of the city, working in the capacity of the town doctor. On his first night in town, he stumbles across what appears to be a fatal drunk driving accident. What he discovers is sloppy autopsy work and lackadaisical procedures from the town's police chief, doctor, and mortician, leading him to reopen the case so that the victim's widow will receive life insurance benefits. Written by Beeracuda

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Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

20 January 1978 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Fiedler and Jack Klugman starred in 1957 film 12 Angry Men. See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining and different
30 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

Matters of Life and Death begins with Quincy (Jack Klugman) driving out to a rural community after being assigned to fill in for the local town doctor over the next month following several tense confrontations with his LA colleagues. While en-route, he stops to assist at an accident scene, but the driver, Vincenzo Maggiore, has already died. It turns out the deceased and his wife were patients of the doctor Quincy is filling in for, and Mrs. Maggiore asks for Quincy's help when the autopsy results indicate that her husband was intoxicated causing the accident which will nullify a life insurance policy payout. Quincy agrees to look into Vincenzo's death further and finds that the autopsy was not conducted properly which puts him at odds with local officials who insist they did nothing wrong.

I usually don't like episodes that stray too far off the basic Quincy formula of a murder mystery that is solved through analytical work in the coroner lab, but I found this one to be very entertaining and enjoyable throughout. The premise that a busy coroner in one of the largest cities in the country would be sent off for a month to fill in for a country doctor because he has been temperamental with his coworkers and friends is pretty silly as Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) would never have approved that, but if you can get past that the rest of the episode is very reasonable and believable.

There are several funny scenes when Quincy is dealing with patients as he is not used to the people he is examining talking back and reacting to him. There is a good balance, though, as we also see some touching scenes when Quincy handles a more delicate case of a woman in a high risk pregnancy who has suffered several miscarriages in the past. All of this along with the mystery surrounding Vincenzo's death and Quincy battling it out with local officials make for quite an interesting Season 3 episode which I highly recommend!

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