'The Fugitive' gets reprieve on TV network

Recently I wrote that the finale of the 1960s series The Fugitive was being shown again on television. A lot of you responded, so I wanted to pass on good news in case you missed the two-parter or, indeed, the entire rerun of the 120-episode series.


That finale, called The Judgment, will be shown yet again this Friday night. I confirmed with Memorable Entertainment Television, which runs classic series, that it is showing the two hourlong episodes back to back beginning at 8 p.m.

In addition, Me-TV will air the entire series again, beginning at midnight Sunday (meaning it ends at 1 a.m. Monday). That’s good news for fans of Dr. Richard Kimble (played by David Janssen), who returns home to find his wife slain and a one-armed man fleeing.

If you missed the network’s previous run of The Fugitive, this is your chance to have some fun. Watch it each week and count the aliases that Kimble uses as he travels the country seeking the real killer. Count the odd jobs he takes, the women he woos, the injuries he incurs. And, as fellow Fugitive-philes David and Traci pointed out, try to keep up with the number of battered old suitcases he discards during his weekly getaway. Enjoy!

The news about another old story is perhaps good, perhaps bad. Hollywood is bringing out another movie version of James Thurber’s most famous short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

You most likely read that tale in school. It was published in 1939 and reprinted in anthologies and literature textbooks ever since. Mitty is the perfect short story – quick, smart, funny – with not a word wasted.

If you recall, Mitty is a milquetoast (that’s the word that’s always used) husband who escapes his dreary suburban and commuter life by slipping into daydreams of derring-do. The slightest provocation sends him into a fugue state in which he imagines himself as a heroic figure saving lives and winning admiration all around.

On a shopping trip with his wife, Mitty momentarily becomes a Navy hydroplane pilot, a skilled surgeon, a macho witness in a big murder case.

In each trance, Mitty fills in the blanks for specifics by using the not-quite-right terms any of us would fill in: A patient develops “coreopsis,” which in reality is a flower. As a bomber pilot, he battles “von Richtman’s circus,” not von Richthofen’s (aka the Red Baron) Flying Circus. His weapon of choice is the fictitious Webley-Vickers 50.80. All the while, he jury-rigs vital machinery to restore it to its normal functioning, which is to make “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa” sounds.

A 1947 movie based on the story erased the humor and thrills. Mitty, played by Danny Kaye, had no nagging wife to drive him to distraction. Instead, he had a love interest and musical numbers to showcase his talents.

I hope the new film, which comes out at Christ­mas, hews more closely to the original plot. That story, like The Fugitive, is a classic that should be available to us forever.

'The Fugitive' is getting caught soon