Monday, September 08, 2014
At Flashbak: Men on the Run: Seven Knock-offs of Quinn Martin’s The Fugitive (1963 – 1967)
My new article at Flashbak remembers many of the various TV series, across the decades, that re-used the format of The Fugitive.
Here's a snippet and the url: (http://flashbak.com/men-on-the-run-7-knock-offs-of-quinn-martins-the-fugitive-1963-1967-19812/)
"The Quinn Martin TV series The Fugitive (1963 – 1967) may just be one of the most influential TV programs in the medium’s history.
The series ran for four highly-rated seasons on CBS, and told the story of Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen), a man wrongly accused of his wife’s murder
After escaping his captor, Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse), Kimble hit the road in search of the one man who could clear him, his wife’s real murderer: The One-Armed Man (Bill Raisch).
Inspired perhaps, in part by Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (1862), The Fugitive nonetheless firmly established a format that was rigorously -- even ritualistically -- repeated by several TV series that followed.
Key elements of this oft-utilized format include the innocent protagonist wrongly accused or targeted by the Establishment, the Hapless Pursuer (who pursues but never catches his quarry), and “the mission” that would bring the crisis to a resolution.
Similarly, on a weekly-basis The Fugitive found Kimble helping people in need while on the run. So while evading his pursuer, he was also helping to solve the problems of those he encountered.
Finally, there were virtually no standing sets on The Fugitive, as Kimble could never stay in any one place too long.
All these ingredients are also re-purposed in the following knock-offs."