[Opening Narration. Viewers see two persons - Native Americans - riding in a Jeep in the desert. There is no sign at this point of Richard Kimble, who has been wounded by a shot and is lying unconscious nearby]
A Fugitive has many enemies - the desert is among them. But the desert can also bring friends.
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The series is now in color but that doesn't do much for it. The magazine photographers of the time said "black and white for drama, color for excitement". The Fugitive was a drama, even if there were moments of excitement. Route 66 was a series that belonged in color because the environment was often part of the story in a positive way. Tod and Buz, (or Tod and Linc) would sometimes express delight at their surroundings. Richard Kimble lives a life without delights. He just sees danger everywhere. He's not going to wear anything colorful: he doesn't want to stand out.
On top of that the color used in the series is muted and bland looking. Several of the earlier episodes are shot on obvious studio sets, perhaps because the color camera required it. Color makes their phoniness look more obvious, (the same thing happened on Gunsmoke: Dodge City looks so much better in black and white). Finally, this first episode takes place in a colorless place: the Arizona desert. Why begin with an episode that can't fully utilize the new technology?
Anyway the plot of this is that Kimble is shot escaping form the local police. He's found by some local Indians and taken to a teacher on the reservation, (Hope Lange), who makes him her assistant when he recovers. Meanwhile a deputy sheriff, (Mark Richman) is the son of a lawman who failed to apprehend a murderer who went on to murder others and had his reputation destroyed because of it. He is determined to hunt down Kimble and winds up going after both him and the teacher.
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