Quincy M.E.: Season 7, Episode 15

To Clear the Air (17 Feb. 1982)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Crime
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Quincy goes on a campaign to clean up the Los Angeles air after an old man dies during an atmospheric inversion.



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Title: To Clear the Air (17 Feb 1982)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Ruben Cardenas (as Ronald Joseph)
Edward Grover ...
Derek Brisbane
Joby Baker ...
Will Sabarosa
Frank Marth ...
Ed / Oil Refinery Mgr.
Joan Pringle ...
Dr. Cynthia Ruddy
Randall Torgen
Anthony Eisley ...
Dr. Ogden
E.J. André ...
Sy Schuster (as E.J. Andre)
Fredd Wayne ...
Michael Gurelnik


Quincy goes on a campaign to clean up the Los Angeles air after an old man dies during an atmospheric inversion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

17 February 1982 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Sam answers the phone in the lab, the caller on the other end only says, "Doctor Quincy" and yet Sam immediately tells Quincy that the caller is a man called Mr Thorgen from the ATMD. See more »

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User Reviews

It brings up a good point but the villains in this one are too one-dimensional to make this a particularly good episode.
29 May 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's summer in Los Angeles and the pollution is even worse than usual. Until the weather breaks, breathing is very tough. But it's even tougher for some patients in a treatment center for patients with lung disorders. It seems that a nearby refinery is pushing out toxic levels of sulfur dioxide and it's killing these folks one by one. However, the people running the plant are evil....pure, unadulterated evil! They know their equipment designed to clean their emissions is broken and they are choking the nearby residents...but they simply don't care. And, to cover their villainy, they rig up the equipment to make it appear that they are in compliance with air pollution laws.

There is a serious problem with this show. While pollution in the late 1970s and early 80s was horrible and discussing this on "Quincy" is reasonable, the show does so in a cartoony fashion. That's because the polluters are one-dimensional fiends--sort of like "Captain Planet" villains! This muddies the message and makes a real problem seem frivolous. To be fair, my wife (an engineer) thought the story wasn't that bad--as she can remember incidents where her employers knowingly acted a lot like those in this show. I just wish the whole thing had been a little less black and white in portraying the polluters, as it would have made the story a bit more believable. It also didn't help that Quincy (literally) makes a soap box speech AND they introduce a cute kid (who you KNOW will soon die of pollution!)--all clichés that make this one tough viewing. It's a shame, as the show COULD have done a nice public service instead of coming off as a bit silly.

By the way, fortunately, the pollution problems in this country have improved tremendously--and plants are much cleaner and air is much cleaner today than in past decades. I remember as a kid growing up in the DC area all the pollution alerts and green-yellow air. Now, when I mention this to young folks, they are amazed since such air conditions are pretty much nonexistent in the States (thank goodness).

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