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DVD Review: The Fugitive – Season Three, Volume One

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The third season of The Fugitive continues the adventures of Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen), a man falsely charged with killing his wife. He roams the country, taking on different aliases and odd jobs in an effort to stay away from the law, particularly the dogged Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse), and in the hopes of finding the real murderer, the one-armed man.

"Volume One” is a four-disc set comprised of the first 15 episodes, which aired from September through December 1965. The third season won an Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Series and was the last shot in black and white. While almost always well-written and engaging, the are a few standout episodes:

Kimble finds himself on a bus approaching a police roadblock on season opener “Wings of an Angel.” However, he’s not the fugitive the police are looking for and the target makes his presence known by taking a woman hostage. Kimble’s heroic nature gets the best of him and while rescuing her, he gets injured, resulting in his being taken to the nearest hospital, which happens to be at a prison. While there, an inmate who recognizes Kimble makes known he will give Kimble up if he doesn’t get him drugs.

Many people try to put Kimble’s identity to their advantage. In “Crack in the Crystal Ball,” a psychic wants to drum up business and thinks helping the police capture Kimble is just the ticket after seeing a wanted poster.

“Middle of the Heat Wave” finds Kimble reliving his fate as he is wrongly accused of attacking Laurel, a woman he has been dating. They were seen fighting earlier and Laurel doesn’t know who attacked her. Kimble must find out the assailant’s identity to clear his name before the police realize who he is.

There’s a break in the Kimble murder case in “ Trial by Fire” when a witness comes forward who can verify Kimble’s story about almost hitting the one-armed man with his car that fateful night. A judge is willing to reopen the case, but it means Kimble will have to turn himself in, which naturally doesn’t sit well with him.

While Lt. Gerard appears in a few episodes, the best is the two-part “Landscape With Running Figures.” While on vacation, Gerard drags his wife along in pursuit of Kimble. She is frustrated by what little attention she receives from her husband, and decides to skip town on a bus. The bus gets into an accident and she is temporarily blinded. A fellow passenger comes to her assistance and she discovers it is Kimble. She tries to get him to stay so the police will find him and she will get her husband back.

TV watchers will notice a bevy of guest stars: Greg Morris, Harold Gould, J. Pat O'Malley, Marion Ross, Richard Anderson, Edward Asner, Suzanne Pleshette, Kim Darby, Joseph Campanella, Clint Howard, Norman Fell, Earl Holliman, Bruce Dern. Before they all got full-time gigs with Star Trek the following year, fans can find William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan.

Season three of The Fugitive continues the high quality of drama the series was known for. “Volume Two” will be released December 8, 2009 to complete the season set.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS