Quincy M.E. (1976–1983)
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When a fire at a hotel leaves twelve dead, Quincy goes on the hunt for an arsonist, leading him to discover an arson anonymous group, and a vanity fire starter.


Georg Fenady


Michael McGreevey, Glen A. Larson (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Klugman ... Dr. R. Quincy, M.E.
Garry Walberg ... Lt. Frank Monahan
John S. Ragin John S. Ragin ... Dr. Robert Asten
Val Bisoglio ... Danny Tovo
Robert Ito ... Sam Fujiyama
Joseph Roman Joseph Roman ... Sgt. Brill
Barbara Stuart ... Dr. Martha Benedict
Michael Mullins Michael Mullins ... Larry Mitchell
Brad Rearden ... Andy Bergstrom (as Brad Reardon)
Hugh Gillin ... Denny Stagg
Sandy Kenyon ... Captain McKenna
Brian Cutler ... Fred
Ted Gehring ... Mr. Mitchell
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Jake Carter
Philip Baker Hall ... Captain Rasmussen


When a fire at a hotel leaves twelve dead, Quincy goes on the hunt for an arsonist, leading him to discover an arson anonymous group, and a vanity fire starter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

27 January 1982 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The exterior shot of the fire station is of LA County Station 8 from the tv show Emergency. This station also portrayed Station 10 in the pilot. See more »


This fire is in LA County. However, some stock footage shows LA City FD apparatus responding, along with a ladder from San Francisco FD. LA City is its own department, however, it is possible that they may have been called for mutual aid depending on scene location. San Francisco is a definite impossibility. See more »


Edited from Emergency! (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Fair and flawed arson episode
15 December 2015 | by rayoflite24See all my reviews

Smoke Screen begins with a young man, Larry Mitchell (Michael Mullins), meeting a woman at a restaurant for what he thinks is a blind date, but she has no idea what he is talking about when he approaches and an altercation ensues when her boyfriend tells him to leave. Later, a hotel building is found burning and 12 people die in the blaze. The police connect Larry to the crime when his past as an arsonist is revealed, but a therapist (Barbara Stuart) who has been working with Larry through a group insists that he is reformed and they have the wrong person. This leads Quincy (Jack Klugman) and a retired arson investigator (Gerald O'Loughlin) to look into the fire and deaths further.

On the positive side, this episode does feature a crime investigation and murder mystery which is less common during Season 7, so I appreciated this aspect. That said, there are some flaws, and as another reviewer astutely pointed out this is yet another Quincy plot which is very similar to a Hawaii Five-O episode (The Sunday Torch) from several years prior. It's like the writers were watching some Hawaii Five-O reruns at the time and just decided to copy them making their jobs easier. For that reason, this gets no points for originality.

I also found the support group scenes and lengths that the therapist was willing to go to be completely unrealistic. Who puts up their own money as bail for a patient accused with no evidence to support his innocence besides your personal belief? I also couldn't believe her pledge to continue running the program until her own finances ran out after government funding for the program was pulled. OK we get that you're dedicated to the cause, but seriously??

One particular highlight was Gerald O'Loughlin who played a Columbo type character as the arson investigator who is equally amusing and effective. All in all, this is a fairly decent Season 7 entry which is flawed but still has enough going for it to make it worth viewing.

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