Dr. Richard Kimble just can’t seem to get a break. First, his wife was murdered by the mysterious and elusive one-armed man. Then, he was wrongfully convicted for her murder and sentenced to hang. On the way to the gallows, the train crashed, which, although it freed an innocent man, only freed him to a paranoid and suspicious life on the lam. To make matters worse, there’s a near-psychotic cop by the name of Lieutenant Philip Gerard on his trail — and he’s the type of man who simply will not let well enough alone.
CBS/Paramount brings us another thrilling half-season set of Roy Huggins’ widely popular television drama The Fugitive with David Janssen as Richard Kimble and Barry Morse as his relentless pursuer, Lt. Gerard. Season Two, Volume Two brings us four discs containing the second half of a truly wonderful season, chock-full of wonderful stories and terrific performances by both the lead actors and some dynamic guest stars such as Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall, Pat Hingle, Dabney Coleman, and Tom Skerritt to name a few — and those are just a few of the guest stars on the first disc alone. Kimble’s adventures (or would they be considered misadventures considering the man’s bad luck?) have him being set up for murder (which is nothing new for him, so you’d think he’d be used to it by now) and running up against good and bad people on both sides of the law.
For once, the bad luck isn’t solely reserved for Kimble this time around — even poor Lt. Gerard gets his share of misfortune when he winds up being hunted by a pack of redneck moonshiners (including R.G. Armstrong and Bruce Dern). Other highlights in this set involve Dr. Kimble trying to pass off a dead body as his own, being fingered as a serial killer by a group of vigilantes, and even winding up in the witness relocation program due to a case of mistaken identity.
The video presentation of The Fugitive: Season Two, Volume Two is very solid — and it really helps to deliver the harsh, sometimes noir-esque photography that producer Quinn Martin’s talented crew uses to relay Kimble’s ostensibly hopeless plight from town to town as he vainly searches for the man who may hold the only clue as to who really did kill his wife.
Each episode has been taken directly from the original negatives and includes restored English Mono Stereo sound, which comes through without a hitch (and it sure makes William Conrad’s awesome narration sound even better — what a damn good voice that man had). The only strike against this set (as with the previous sets), apart from the whole releasing-one-half-season-at-a-time factor, is the fact that a good portion of the incidental music has been changed — something CBS/Paramount has a nasty habit of doing, upsetting many outraged fans in the process. At first, you may not notice the new music all that much — but if you attune your ear to listen for the sound of newer (most likely machine-generated) instrumentals (particularly during the chase scenes, which seldom have any dialogue), you will probably notice.
No special features are included on this set (much like the other entries in this series), which is a bit of a downer, but I won’t hold it against CBS/Paramount… this time… but I still recommend this set to Fugitive fans old and new.