Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Fugitive is the name of at least two major fictional fictional works which have been reproduced in a variety of media.
The Fugitive is an American network television dramatic series (ABC, 1963-1967) starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent man falsely convicted for his wife's murder and sentenced to death, who escapes custody in a train wreck and begins a cross-country search for the one-armed man he believes to be the real killer (Fred Johnson, played by Bill Raisch), while pursued by a relentless police detective (Lt. Philip Gerard, played by Barry Morse ).
The series was conceived by Roy Huggins and produced by Quinn Martin. It is generally believed that the series was inspired by the Sam Sheppard case of the 1950s, in which the wife of Cleveland osteopathic physician Sam Sheppard was brutally murdered in their home; Sheppard maintained she had been killed by an intruder, was found guilty, appealed against this judgement to the Supreme Court, and was finally acquitted, having by that point served years in prison. (Huggins, however, steadfastly denied that the Sheppard case had any role in his creation of the show.) It aired for four seasons, with 30 episodes per season, for a total of 120 episodes. The first three seasons were filmed in black and white, while the final season was in color.
The final episode in which Dr. Kimble finally confronted the one-armed man is among the highest-rated series television programs of all time, and was the single highest-rated episode of a regular program of its entire era.
The series concept of a lead character who was forced to keep on the move, pursued by the law for a crime he did not commit proved to be perfect for television programming. While shows like Route 66 had employed the same anthology-like premise of wanderers finding adventure in each new place they came to, The Fugitive answered two questions that had bedeviled many similar series: "Why doesn't the protagonist settle down somewhere?" and "Why is the protagonist trying to solve these problems himself instead of calling in the police?" Numerous other television series since have imitated this basic series premise, with the twists mostly being mostly in the nature of the fugitives: a scientist with a monstrous alter ego (The Incredible Hulk); a husband and wife (Hot Pursuit, 1984); a young man afflicted with lycanthropy (Werewolf, 1987); and even a German shepherd (The Littlest Hobo, 1979).
A total of 42 episodes have been released on home video (VHS) by NuVentures Video. Of these, 12 episodes were also released on laserdisc.
The original series was later the basis for a August 6, 1993 feature film starring Harrison Ford as Kimble, and Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard (now a United States Marshal rather than a police officer). Jones won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. It also featured Andreas Katsulas as the one-armed man, Sela Ward as Kimble's wife, Jeroen Krabbé, Julianne Moore, and Joe Pantoliano. A sequel released in 1998, U.S. Marshals , starred Jones as Gerard but otherwise had virtually nothing to do with the rest of the Fugitive mythos.
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