Year: 1964, 1965
Genre: TV series, Drama
Country: United States
Starring: David Janssen, Barry Morse
Narrator: William Conrad
Guest stars: Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall
Creator: Roy Huggins
Run time: 12 hours 51 minutes
DVD distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
DVD extras: Not much of anything
Related reviews: The Fugitive Season One Volume Two, The Fugitive Season Two Volume One, The Fugitive Season Three Volume One
The opening episode of The Fugitive, Season Two Volume Two, on DVD March 31st from Paramount Home Entertainment, stars David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, still on the run after being wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife. He is no closer to finding the one-armed man who killed his wife. He is no closer to being caught by the feds who are chasing him down. In fact, there is nothing different about this volume of The Fugitive than any other. Except for this first episode. You see, the first names you see on the screen when you pop in this DVD volume are Robert Duvall and Angie Dickinson. Seriously. Robert Duvall and Angie Dickinson. In an episode of The Fugitive.
At this point in their careers, Duvall had two film credits to his name. He had appeared in several episodes of The Twilight Zone, but in terms of movies he was by no means a name actor. He had spent about ninety seconds on screen as Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird, and he had played a bit part in something called Captain Newman, M.D. Angie Dickinson was a far more established actress, having starred in films like Rio Bravo and Ocean’s Eleven. Duvall plays a wheelchair-bound accident victim who needs round-the-clock care, and Dickinson plays his femme fatale scheming sister who hires Dr. Kimble as his caregiver, then tries to convince him to murder her brother.
There are a lot of guest spots on TV shows today by giant stars. (Think, every single episode of 30 Rock). But this one is a real find. Angie Dickinson was the Big Name when the show was shot, but Duvall is the real story. Now, I may just be an enormous nerd. In fact, I know for certain that I am. But there is something incredibly exciting for me to discover a performance by one of the titans of acting in a place I would never expect. This was just a job for Duvall, I’m sure, at a time where he was trying to get his name out there, seven years before he would become a giant of the movie world with The Godfather. For me, nerd that I am, this is kind of like finding a letter to the editor once written by a 20-year-old Ernest Hemingway, or something of that magnitude. And I am excited.
Oh, the rest of the season is cool too. As cool as The Fugitive ever was. But…Robert Duvall! Robert Duvall!