Quincy, M.E., ran from 1976 to 1983 on NBC. The first four episodes of this three-disc set were part of the last season of The NBC Mystery Movie, which was an umbrella title for a rotation of television mysteries like Columbo and McCloud. Quincy was successfully spun off into its own hour-long series, which make up the remaining twelve episodes. It is a creation of Glen A Larson, a television legend of the ‘70s and ‘80s, who has a great track record creating and producing such hit series as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Hardy Boys, Battlestar Galactica, B.J. and the Bear, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Magnum P.I., and Knight Rider.
Jack Klugman, Emmy-nominated for best actor in a drama during the second season, stars as Los Angeles Medical Examiner Quincy. None of the series’ writers ever came up with a first name for him, although the initial R. appears on his business card in one episode. He was even called “Quincy” by the priest who married him in a later season.
The basic premise of the show is that every dead body Quincy encounters is a result of foul play. He is usually the first one to realize something is amiss, and even though his theories always prove correct, each week he has to convince the same doubting Thomases by solving the case, much like Carl Kolchak and Fox Muldar. Aside from the perpetrators, Quincy’s roadblocks are his skeptical, bean-counting boss at the City Coroner’s office, Dr Asten, who is more worried about overtime than murderers running free, and the gruff-talking police detective Lt. Monahan, who just wants to close cases and sees Quincy as a troublemaker. But the deck isn’t stacked completely against Quincy. He gets help from Sam Fujiyama, his loyal lab assistant, Danny, his bartender, and Lee, an airline stewardess. She looks at least 15 years younger than Quincy and appears to have a “friends with benefits” arrangement with him.
Quincy, M.E. is credited with being the first show about medical investigation. The packaging states that he was “The Original Crime Scene Investigator,” playing off the popularity of a current hot television franchise; however, Quincy doesn’t just solve crimes. He pushes science to the forefront and fights against social injustice, dealing issues like euthanasia, child abuse and prisons. Yet at his core, he’s ladies’ man, always turning on the charm when he is around an attractive young lady. Somehow it worked, which is a bit of a stretch for the viewer when you see the fifty-something Klugman in action.