Favorite TV Episodes: THE FUGITIVE “Man in a Chariot”


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
THE FUGITIVE 9/15/64 “Man in a Chariot” *

This episode, the premiere of the second season, brings in the new opening that simply consists of stills from first season episodes and William Conrad explaining Kimble’s situation. The shots of Gerard are from a dream sequence in “Nightmare at Northoak”. There’s also a “teaser” sequence from later in the episode to intrigue you with Kimble’s latest predicament. I also note some new, more exciting musical cues are used in the tense sequences when the police are closing in. Those old Twlight Zone cues, (and some from Gunsmoke), are not much in evidence. I kind of miss them because the new music is a bit loud and over-the-top at times.

Ever wonder what would happen if Richard Kimble was defended by Clarence Darrow? Ed Begley plays a “Lion in Winter” type of old fashioned lawyer whose career as a defender of the innocent and oppressed came to an end with a traffic accident that killed his wife and put him in a wheelchair. When he claims on TV that he could win Richard Kimble’s case, Kimble contacts him to see if that’s possible. Begley is teaching a law course at a small college and arranges for a “moot court” session based on Kimble’s case in which his students will be the judge, prosecutor and witnesses but Begley will be the defense attorney. But things go wrong in part because of the brilliance of the student playing the prosecutor, (who is played by Robert Drivas who would later play David Janssen’s son in the theatrical movie “Where it’s At”, in 1969).

The story in this one seems a bit more contrived than usual, even for this series, with Begley making an emotional plea for Kimble that is really a plea for himself to be forgiven for the death of his own wife. Kimble becomes (seemingly) more concerned with Begley’s relationship with his prized student than he is with his own situation.

One of the plot devises the writers used in this series was the apparent ally with possible ulterior, (or at least different), motives and a possible conflict of interest who may not turn out to be a reliable ally in the end. Ray Kimble in “Home is the Hunted”, Mike Decker in “Search in a Windy City” and Begley’s character in this (G. Stanley Lazer, who is said to have once worked for Darrow) is another. So is Ellie Burnett in the next one.

IMDB: "The Fugitive" Man in a Chariot (TV Episode 1964) - IMDb

You Tube: (entire episode)

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