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2023 Viewing (Q3)

That time again! The previous viewings are here. This is the old TV stuff we watched in the third quarter of 2023…

(NOTE: Yes, I know this is about three weeks early. There was a lot to cover and I just felt like it. OK? Thanks!)

The Fugitive season 4 (DVD)
Kojak season 5 (DVD)
Harry O season 2 (download)
Kojak: The Belarus File TV movie (DVD)
Kojak: The Price of Justice TV Movie (DVD)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series 1 (DVD)
Columbo seasons 1-2 (DVD)
Lonesome Dove TV mini-series (DVD)
Broken Trail TV mini-series (Blu-ray)

Yes, ’twas very sad farewells to both The Fugitive and Kojak. We still have the five “season six” movies from 1989-90 to watch for Baldy, though. As to Doctor Kimble…

2023 Viewing (Q3)
Kimble stalks the one-armed man in the finale of THE FUGITIVE (1967).

Season 4 was, I think, the weakest of the four. It was still very good, but not so many great episodes and a general (if slight) sag in the writing quality. Too, going to colour was almost off-putting! After three B&W seasons, to me, The Fugitive is a B&W show—end of!

The finale itself, although very entertaining, definitely had its problems. The introduction of an actual witness to Mrs Kimble’s murder—a family friend, play by JD Cannon, who just happened to be there, and who was too ashamed to admit he just watched the one-armed man kill her, so he kept quiet for five years—is just too convenient and very contrived*. What it allows the show to do, of course, is have the one-armed man fall to his death, which he fully deserves, but Cannon is still there as a witness to clear Kimble’s name. It sews it all up nicely, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny at all!

(*Can I also point out that there is no way Mr One-Arm, Fred Johnson, having just bludgeoned a woman to death, will notice this witness to his crime, in a helpless state of panic, and just walk out and leave him there! Nope. JD Cannon was gonna get the same treatment. Johnson is no bleeding heart, nor is he psychic enough or smart enough to realise that the guy will be too ashamed to talk…)

Still, what a fantastic show, overall—and David Janssen & Barry Morse both deserve all the praise they can get.

Gerard Kimble Fugitive Finale
Gerard and Kimble shake hands at very end of the show’s final episode…

At the moment, we’re close to finishing season 3 of Columbo and have recently started on season 1 of The Rockford Files. So, there’s been a lot of 1970s cop action round these parts. A nice change of pace is provided by working through the Jeremy Brett run on Sherlock Holmes—the early ones, The Adventures and The Return, before Brett’s health sadly declined, are absolutely definitive.

Brett Burke Holmes 1984
Jeremy Brett & David Burke in a promotional shot for THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1984).

You may notice that we’ve watched no less than two epic western mini-series, and both of them star the excellent Robert Duvall! Well, oddly enough, I’ve never seen Lonesome Dove before. Which is strange, because back in the day (1989), I’d have expected my mother to be watching it avidly, being a huge fan of Duvall as well as (especially) Robert Urich (she absolutely adored Robert Urich, and was so upset when he died, way before his time). But, nope! Glad to have rectified this omission. Both series are great, too, but I might just give the edge to 2006’s Broken Trail, as directed by the legendary Walter Hill, because it perhaps had a more focused narrative. Both are well worth watching, though.

Movie-wise, you know, we haven’t watched so many feature films of late. But very honorable mentions must go to 1966’s detective flick Harper—Paul Newman’s other “H” movie, having rewatched The Hustler, Hud and Hombre in the last year or so… 1969’s Support Your Local Sheriff, a terrific James Garner comedy western (Jack Elam steals it, as he did 1971’s Support Your Local Gunfighter)… and, just to watch a superhero movie that isn’t drenched in CGI, and which features a small but neat late performance from Paddy McGoohan, 1996’s The Phantom.

(I am really looking forward to seeing all four of Pat’s Columbo “killer” episodes in the coming weeks/months, of course. We’re very big fans of P McG at ChezChrissie.)

McGoohan Columbo Agenda 1990
McGoohan in COLUMBO (1990).

That’s all for now!

3 thoughts on “2023 Viewing (Q3)”

  1. Chrissie,

    Re: the finale of the Fugitive. I can attest first-hand that it was a big thing. I was a wee lad and begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it. They complied. I agree that on later viewings there are holes in the plot, but it was such a momentous event to end a TV series in those days. Having recently re-watched The Invaders (another QM production) I only wish it had gone another season, or season two would have wrapped up the story. It was clearly moving in that direction.

    And I absolutely adore The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. That first season is exceptional, as is Brett’s performances.

    1. Thinnes has stated everyone expected The Invaders to get a third season, but Quinn Martin was suddenly persona non grata and all of his shows got canned. A great pity: I would have loved to have seen the loose ends finally tied up, possibly with both sides coming together for a diplomatic resolution (as we almost got in ‘The Peacemaker’).

  2. Sadly, I have to agree that, rather like the train in its opening credits, The Fugitive came off the rails during its final season. Whilst there were still some stand-out episodes, the format was beginning to flag and I kept wondering why Gerard’s boss hadn’t pulled him off the case in favour of someone who might actually catch Kimble. As for the insertion of a previously unknown witness, that was simply ridiculous and — as you state — a blatant device to allow Kimble to take his revenge whilst still getting to walk free, Until all those women he hooked up with during his pursuit turn up in his home town, that is.

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