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…
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.
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.
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.)
That’s all for now!