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The relentless Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse) has always insisted that capturing fugitive Richard Kimble (David Janssen) was just "unfinished business." But in "The Nemesis," an essential episode that is one of the highlights of this half-season set, it’s personal. An unwitting Kimble has stolen Girard’s car to make a getaway, not knowing that it contains Girard’s young son, Phil, Jr. (Kurt Russell). Phil Jr. is a chip off the old block (he cleverly leaves a trail of his precious football cards to point his father in the right direction), but a selfless act by Kimble raises doubts in the boy’s mind. "You and dad can’t both be right," he questions. This is just one of the compelling human dramas at the heart of one of television’s Most Wanted series. Now in his second year on the run after escaping from the Death Row-bound train, Kimble is "tired of looking over his shoulder… tired of running." In "Escape Into Black," he visits a small-town diner and loses his memory after the gas stove explodes. In "When the Bough Breaks," he hops a freight car that also carries a traumatized woman who has abducted a baby. Until he can find the one-armed man (Bill Raisch) he witnessed running from his home the night his wife was killed, he will have to endure "another shabby room, another lonely night." Not that Kimble doesn’t have his champions. In the season-opener, "Man in a Chariot," a college law professor, argues Kimble’s case before his students in a mock trial. In "World’s End," the daughter (Suzanne Pleshette) of his former defense attorney contacts Kimble with potentially devastating news about the ever-elusive one-armed man and schemes to run away with him. In "Escape into Black," a compassionate hospital welfare caseworker (Betty Garrett) tries to find the one-armed man while Kimble recovers. The episodes in this set maintain an unflagging pace, thanks to taut direction (the late Sydney Pollack directed "Man on a String," in which Kimble is a very reluctant witness in a murder case) and excellent scripts (George Eckstein, who wrote "Man in a Chariot" and "When the Bough Breaks" would co-write The Fugitive’s final episode, a television benchmark). Among the great character actors who guest star in these episodes include Tuesday Weld as a manipulative and very twisted sister in "Dark Corner," Slim Pickens as a poacher in "Nemesis," and Ivan Dixon as a doctor who discovers Kimble’s identity in "Escape Into Black." The Fugitive taps into the primal fear that was one of Hitchcock’s favorite themes: What would you do if you were falsely accused? Janssen is unforgettable in his signature role as the man whose every instinct is to flee the scene and not get involved with the strangers whose paths he crosses. But we offer viewers the same advice the professor gives Kimble in "Chariot": "All I ask is that you stay around and see what happens."

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PA132764 Fugitive Season Two Volume One DVD (1964/David Janssen) $39.99 $35.99