Starring David Janssen

Season Two - Volume Two
USA 1963-1967

Certain classic literature endures because the universality of a storyline that gets imbedded into mainstream culture with repetitious variations of its strong themes directly borrowed and often altered to suit modern lifestyles - one example of this might be Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. Another would be Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. The much awaited (to DVD) TV series The Fugitive starring David Janssen has definite leanings to the latter with Dr. Richard Kimble as the Jean Valjean character doggedly, obsessively and unjustly pursued by Lt. Philip Gerard (Hugo's Javert). I suspect it is a small part of my passion for this classic television - the only TV show I actually copied every single episode to VHS (a medium from the past kids). I suspect the other trait that I am so keen on is The Fugitive's link to Film Noir. It is not a strong association but it does share some of the 'black cinema' style with an ex-convict character, occasional flashbacks, the heavy use of shadowy confine sequences (examples below) and frequent circumstances of the economically depressed. Kimble floats from menial job to job (fruit-picker, cleaning man, farm hand, boxing cut-man etc.) meeting and helping often desperate characters - played by enduring stars (from season two - vol. 2) like Angie Dickenson, Robert Duvall, Telly Savalas, Edward Asner, Bruce Dern, Jack Klugman and Barbra Barrie!

 

In case you are unfamiliar with the story - Dr. Richard Kimble is accused, tried and convicted of the murderer of his wife. The night before his execution, he escapes, because, as deep-voiced narrator William Conrad states '...fate moves its huge hand...' and there is a train derailment. The only chance to prove his innocence is to find the one-armed man he saw fleeing the crime that horrible night. Kimble, relentlessly pursued by Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse), risks exposure several times when he is forced to reveal his medical knowledge to help others out of trouble. The Fugitive works for entertainment on many levels beyond simple suspense and drama and remains my favorite vintage TV series of all time (if I said it about Perry Mason I must have been lying).

Gary W. Tooze

Reviews     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 15 X approx 51:30 episodes
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Sample Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Season 2, Episode 16: Brass Ring
Original Air Date—5 January 1965
• Season 2, Episode 17: The End Is But the Beginning
Original Air Date—12 January 1965
• Season 2, Episode 18: Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet
Original Air Date—19 January 1965
• Season 2, Episode 19: Fun and Games and Party Favors
Original Air Date—26 January 1965
• Season 2, Episode 20: Scapegoat
Original Air Date—2 February 1965
• Season 2, Episode 21: Corner of Hell
Original Air Date—9 February 1965
• Season 2, Episode 22: Moon Child
Original Air Date—16 February 1965
• Season 2, Episode 23: The Survivors
Original Air Date—2 March 1965
• Season 2, Episode 24: Everybody Gets Hit in the Mouth Sometimes
Original Air Date—9 March 1965
• Season 2, Episode 25: May God Have Mercy
Original Air Date—16 March 1965
• Season 2, Episode 26: Masquerade
Original Air Date—23 March 1965
• Season 2, Episode 27: Runner in the Dark
Original Air Date—30 March 1965
• Season 2, Episode 28: A.P.B.
Original Air Date—6 April 1965
• Season 2, Episode 29: The Old Man Picked a Lemon
Original Air Date—13 April 1965
• Season 2, Episode 30: Last Second of a Big Dream
Original Air Date—20 April 1965 

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2009

Transparent multi-disc Keep Case
Chapters: 5 in each episode

 

Comments:

NOTE: Oh my.... It appears as though the score has once again been manipulated. Robert Dahl at Amazon says "CBS, once the acknowledged leader in releasing Classic-TV-on-DVD, has sunk to a new low with this mutilated release of THE FUGITIVE. Discordant and jarring replacement music is all over the place.

The episodes "Brass Ring," "Fun and Games and Party Favors," "Scapegoat," "The Survivors," "Everybody Gets Hit in the Mouth Sometime," "May God Have Mercy," and "A.P.B." are peppered with the blaring Heyes synthesizers, with "Brass Ring" coming off the worst.

The musical inconsistencies are just as annoying. In some scenes, an original musical cue is retained, yet in other scenes the VERY SAME cue is replaced by bizarro synth music.
" (Thanks Roger!)

Let's hope Paramount offer corrected replacements soon.

****

This package is Season 2 Volume 2 with the latter 15 episodes of the second season. The big issue to the die-hard fans is Rugolo's score and in this DVD set it seems intact for all my ears can discern. The uproar from Season 2 Vol. 1 was the absence of the dynamic original music and Paramount generously offer an exchange programme as noted below.

NOTE: - February 09': (From Joyce in email) - CBS/Paramount has now restored much of The Fugitive's original music and is offering a replacement program to those who buy (or already bought) Season Two, Vol. 1. Then, for the price of a stamp, the buyers just mail in the form along with the 2 Proof-of-Purchase tabs, and within 4-6 weeks, they'll receive 4 replacement discs, plus a new paper insert. Read about it at the below link to TVShowsonDVD.com -  And here's the link to the form HERE:  Also, a very knowledgeable fan posting on Home Theater Forum was given a review set of the replacement discs and here's his opinion: "... let me be clear about something. When I said in my review that a "vast amount" of the music had been restored, I was speaking in terms of a comparison to the prior Season Two, Vol. 1 set. And that would be true. Now if you want to compare the replacement discs to the standards of Season One, I would say, roughly, 75-80% of the music in the episodes I have seen has been restored, the bulk of that being Rugolo. But that is just one man's estimate. Everyone is going to have a different reaction to the set, but I am safe in saying it is a great improvement ... The shows feel like The Fugitive again, even if synthesizers occasionally pop up. But having the show FEEL like The Fugitive is the main thing. ... No matter to what degree of detail I go, or what conclusions I draw, if you are a Fugitive fan I believe you owe it to yourself to get this new replacement set and give it a chance. Decide for yourself." Home Theater Forum  Here's to everyone who mentioned the music in their reviews (including you) and to all those who wrote letters, sent emails, and posted online to Amazon and other websites. Here's to the power of the pen and the Internet!! Thanks also to CBS/Paramount for now trying to do the right thing. (Thanks Joyce!)

Paramount's DVD package once again looks very strong. The set has excellent contrast - advertised as 'transferred from the original negative' and good faux grain/noise peeks through a lot in close-ups. Earlier segments show more speckles and dirt till the episode gets rolling - then it is quite clean. The screen captures below will give you a good idea of how strong the transfer is. There are no optional subtitles and the audio 2.0 channel sounded quite clear and clean to me. I was very pleased with the progressive image and consistent sound. 

To my knowledge these are the full episodes, at about 51.5 minutes long, not the 'cut' syndicated ones. This represents the second half of season two - 15 episodes spread over four dual-layered DVDs. Hopefully Season Three won't be too long in coming to digital. There are no extras but the price is a steal for approx. 12 hours of the best TV ever broadcast (IMHO). I'm surely biased and had a huge obsession with this series many years ago but the supporting cast is always great, the stories are gripping and unique in that it's a new environment and back-plot with each episode. Tack onto this they look great digitally and are immensely addictive. Supporting cast is strong with performances by the likes of Angie Dickenson, Robert Duvall, Telly Savalas, Edward Asner, Bruce Dern, Jack Klugman and Barbra Barrie! From this set I particularly liked the episodes with Barry Morse - the moonshiners convicting him of murder and the one with Telly Savalas. Of course I strongly recommend if you are at all keen on this wonderfully entertaining vintage TV!   

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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'Fate moves its huge hand'

 

Man of shadows...

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


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Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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