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Music Review: Pete Rugolo — The Fugitive Soundtrack (TV Series)

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I never actually was around when The Fugitive series originally aired. If I did see it, it was mostly in syndication. The biggest push perhaps for the show, which aired from 1963 to 1967, was the 1993 film adaptation starring Harrison Ford. Listening to the soundtrack for the original series, which was largely scored by Pete Rugolo, I feel strangely transfixed into the film-norish like world of Richard Kimble.

Since I didn't have a recollection of which episodes the scores came from, I mostly judged the quality of the soundtrack on its own merits. Strangely enough, the classic opening sequence theme of the show doesn't work quite as well as a standalone track. For some reason, I kept thinking the people who made the CD should have included the ominous voice-over of William Conrad.

The most effective and character exploring track of the soundtrack is "The Kimbles", a score often played as Richard Kimble would walk the streets alone and scared during the course of the series. "Lt. Gerard" is another outstanding track that is also meant as a device for the character of the same name, which in the original series was played by Barry Morse (the film version was played by Tommy Lee Jones). There is also a Jazz version of the theme which is also quite interesting.

As transfixed as I was while listening to this CD, I kept thinking that a problem someone would have with this CD, without having seen the television series, is that it can get quite repetitive in some parts. Some tracks seem to re-use the theme song more than once, as if Rugolo wasn't given a whole lot of time or a lot of chances to make the score throughout as different from the main theme as possible.

I think for someone to get into the soundtrack, one would have to watch a season or two to get the general feel for why the music fits. I'm not sure the person who listens to this soundtrack is going to do exactly that. On the other hand, this is a soundtrack to a television classic.

The soundtrack would be nothing without the show, and the show would be nothing without the soundtrack.

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