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The Fugitive (1963) - My Second-Hand Nostalgia Experience

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Written by   99
3 months ago

My father watched a series called "The Fugitive" as a child. The other day he told me to find it for him. I watched it with him and I learned what a second-hand nostalgia feels like.

NOTE: This is about the 1963 series, not the 2020 Remake.



I experienced the first 5 episodes of this series. My father watched the episodes in full, while I listened as I worked on my computer in the same room. Occasionally, I'd watched with him. After the first episode, I got used to how the series works so I think I understand enough to write a review about these four episodes though.

The Fugitive tells the story of Richard Kimbell, a doctor accused of murder and couldn't prove his innocence. On his way to the Death Rows, the train taking him there crashed, leaving him a chance to escape. He became a fugitive, and his journey of fleeing from Law is leading him to visit many places in the united states while hiding his true identity.

"Name: Richard Kimble. Profession: Doctor of Medicine. Destination: Death Row, state prison. Richard Kimble has been tried and convicted for the murder of his wife. But laws are made by men, carried out by men, and men are imperfect. Richard Kimble is innocent. Proved guilty, what Richard Kimble could not prove was that moments before discovering his wife's body, he encountered a man running from the vicinity of his home. A man with one arm. A man who has not yet been found. Richard Kimble ponders his fate as he looks at the world for the last time, and sees only darkness. But in that darkness, fate moves its huge hand."

--- The Opening Narration

The first thing I noticed is that the story, (at least the first season,) is episodic. You can jump from one episode to another without losing too much. Considering the nature of The Fugitive's journey, each location will give its own cast. Episodes 4 and 5 are in the same location, but you won't get lost watching episode 5 without the context from episode 4.

Richard Kimble feels helpless most of the time. A kindhearted man who's screwed over by the circumstances. He's tired from all the running he had to do. He changed his identity many times and doesn't stick in one place for a long time.

The hard and unfair life of a fugitive is explored very well with him. I think if this was a modern series, it’ll be much harder to live in circumstances like his.

My favorite character is Lt. Philip Gerard, the person pursuing Richard. He's intelligent and knows his job of of law enforcing! He understands how Richard mind works, and won't stop until he brings him to justice.

While I don’t agree with his philosophy, I find it fascinating: He doesn’t care if Richard is actually innocent, his job is to obey law and would do everything to make law happen. I wonder if at some point this mindset will prove wrong to him, or cost him his (adorable) family.

Other than these two, there doesn't seem to be too many recurring characters. The episodes' narrator introduces the cast of each episode, and they changed every time so far.

My favorite thing about this series however is something outside of it. My father's nostalgia. When he asked me to find this series for him, and I actually managed to find him. The look on his face was of someone meeting an old friend. Ss he watched, he keeps telling me about this and that.

My father's English isn't good, and I couldn't find a subtitled version, but even when I don't translate for him, he understands of the story more than he did when he watched it on TV many years ago. Je clearly loved it at the time. I don't want to miss this chance of bonding with him.

Since this series is now almost 6 decades old, I was interested in seeing what the different USA was like compared to now. It's a whole different culture. I only experienced USA through media, and I have no plans of visiting it, but comparing shows with 60s architecture/culture to shows of the 00s is really enjoyable.

What do you think?

I'm curious what will happen next. This series has 4 seasons each with 30 episodes, but it's a type of story that would get repetitive quickly. The episodic nature must've been great for the TV at the time, but not for binging on the internet 60 years later. If my father continues to watch it, I would with him. Especially since so far, I like both the protagonist and the antagonist.

I haven't seen the man with one arm yet, but from my research while writing this, it looks like it'll be a huge revelation!


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Written by   99
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Very interesting

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