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Quincy...DON'T go on vacation!!!
MartinHafer19 May 2013
This is yet another episode that proves that Dr. Quincy should NEVER take a vacation. That's because repeatedly on the show, whenever he travels (on vacation or to a convention) bad things will happen and he'll need to do coroner stuff--and often this means autopsies. While having this happen once or twice is bad enough, but EVERY time Quincy travels?! The show is a bit unusual, as Diana Muldaur returns to the show as the same character she played a year earlier. Now having a guest actor appear several times on the show isn't odd, but they usually play different characters. This time, Muldaur plays the Public Health Officer once again--and Quincy's love interest.

The pair go on vacation to Tahiti. The cruise back looks like it will be wonderful, but wouldn't you know it, folks start dying!! It's an odd case, as they hallucinate and end up killing themselves or others--as if they are having a bad acid trip. What is the culprit? Well, you'll have to watch both part one and part two to know the answer to this one.

Part one consists of the folks preparing for the cruise, going on the cruise and the beginning of the carnage. Quincy, not surprisingly, is asked by the Captain to perform autopsies but they are inconclusive, as there really isn't the equipment he needs for a full analysis of the victims. So, samples are helicoptered to Los Angeles where they can do the blood work. When the nearest ports deny them entry, the episode ends with two dummies jumping off the ship and swimming ashore. All in all a good but amazingly familiar episode of "Quincy" that looks a bit like a "Love Boat" crossover since the boat is a Princess ship (though I am not sure if it's the Pacific Princess or just another of their craft.

By the way, in most "Quincy" episodes, despite the seriousness of the plots, there usually is a bit of humor. In this one, it involves Quincy's sex drive. He and his lady friend have separate rooms and Quincy tries, in vain, to maneuver her into sharing a room. She, however, wants nothing to do with this and Quincy's excuses and machinations become sillier and sillier as the show progresses. A bit risqué for 1981!
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"You only have to be breathed on by the wrong person & your as good as dead." Classic two part Quincy.
Paul Andrews30 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Quincy M.E.: Slow Boat to Madness: Part 1 starts as L.A. county coroner Quincy (Jack Klugman) & his lady friend Dr. Janet Carlyle (Diana Muldaur) prepare for a relaxing vacation on a cruise ship, they fly to Thaihiti where they board the ship & set sail. However their plans for a great time suffer a setback when first a passenger jumps overboard & drowns while another kills a crew-member before dying himself. Captain Edwards (Ed Nelson) calls on Quincy & Janet to help, working together they quickly discover that there is a mysterious & very deadly virus spreading throughout the ship & everyone on board is at risk...

Episode 3 from season 7 this two part Quincy story was directed by Daniel Haller & is another top medical mystery & one where Quincy gets out of the laboratory which makes for a nice change of pace. The script this time has no intention of making a heavy-handed moral point & is pretty much action all the way, it moves along at a nice pace & has some typical Quincy humour along with the death & despair. Klugman is just great to watch as usual although you can tell the producers wanted story lines that were more personal for Quincy as here they try to set him up with a potential wife in Janet, luckily this doesn't overshadow the main mystery elements of Slow Boat to Madness which are strong to retain ones interest & the main reason I think most watch the show. This part has built the situation up nicely & my only real criticism is that some of the character's are a bit one dimensional although I'm looking forward to part 2.

Obviously shot on a real cruise ship this one looks pretty good, there are a few bizarre hallucination scenes including one which involves a slot machine full of eel's & snails. Most of the regular cast like Sam, Dr. Asten & Lt. Monahan only feature for a few seconds at the start but the guest cast do OK except the two trying to be Russians as their accents are just plain awful.

Slow Boat to Madness: Part 1 is another very watchable Quincy story that gets back to the show's roots by having Quincy solve a mystery rather than try to put the world to rights singlehandedly. Well worth a watch for mystery fans.
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Another recycled story taking place on a cruise ship
rayoflite242 December 2015
Slow Boat to Madness Part 1 begins with Quincy (Jack Klugman) and his friend, Dr. Janet Carlyle (Diana Muldaur), embarking on a vacation cruise together where some passengers begin falling ill. One man hallucinates before throwing himself overboard, and another experiencing similar hallucinations kills a crew member before dying himself. As more passengers begin to display symptoms, Quincy and Janet must work quickly to identify and contain the illness before an epidemic breaks out and more lives are lost.

This is an OK Quincy episode which features a public health crisis type story, the same exact type that we saw the Dr. Janet Carlyle character appear in last time she was on. I also found it very similar to the Season 2 episode Snake Eyes which dealt with containing a mysterious virus at a resort, so essentially we have the same story being told here and taking place on water rather than land which is pretty lacking in originality. Another similarity was that Snake Eyes was a two part episode as well, so I guess these epic public health crisis stories were difficult to tell in one hour.

While Quincy and Dr. Janet Carlyle don't make the most exciting couple, I did appreciate her return as they do have careers in common and at least the relationship is age appropriate for him unlike several other ridiculous pairings we've had to witness throughout the series. As a reminder of the latter, there are several actress/model types on the cruise that flirt with Quincy despite the fact that they are young enough to be his daughters, but thankfully he doesn't encourage this nonsense since Janet is around.

Overall this is a somewhat entertaining Season 7 episode which has a lot going on but at the same time seems pretty dragged out and is not very original in concept unless you count the cruise ship. Somehow I doubt things will pick up for Part 2 and I'm expecting more of the same.
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