Old school solid crime drama with some great humor along the way...
Mike Donovan | Middle America | 03/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once you get past the obvious edit splice in the opening, QUINCY is one of the great crime dramas of the seventies and eighties. With so much on TV now about investigating crime scenes, this series will show you how it all started: With Jack Klugman as Medical Examiner Quincy.
By the way, someone mentioned that this will not be the "complete" series release, but a "Best Of.." release. That's not right. Here's what Universal says: "Universal will deliver the first two seasons of Quincy, M.E. on June 7th. This 3 disc set will contain the 4 episode season 1, and 13 episode season 2, and be packaged in slim cases with an outer box to hold them. The set will sport a full frame (1.33:1) transfers, Mono soundtrack, and English, French and Spanish subtitles."
Doctor, the experiment was a success (slight edit)
William Smith | Fontana, CA United States | 06/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Good stuff: Like many of you, no doubt, I'm A. in my mid-thirties, B. have some vague wonderful memories of these shows, C. having no cable, sometimes sit on the fence and comtemplate a purchase and D. am an avid collector of days gone by. I've "Netflixed" what I could and have come to realize all those warm fuzzy memories do not always translate into a satisfing "present day purchase". Most, I would say pan out (The Bob Newhart Show), but then there are others that leave you feeling as though you will never watch it again and it sours the memories you stored up all at once (Land of the Lost). In short, Quincy was a worthy purchase.
One thing intrigued me about Quincy beyond the vague memory of Klugman being very good and the show being interesting. A reviewer here at Amazon stated Quincy, Season One was part of the Mystery Movie format of the 70's and that they were "2 hours". Sadly, they seem to be of the "90 minute" variety (read: 73 mintutes) but still after 2 episodes in I can see why this show stuck with me. The casting is very good (sans some hammy villians), the show's pacing is patient, and Klugman has a passion I just do not find in present day TV. Something as a child I seriously doubt I noticed was the dialogue; it is often witty and has a blend of sarcasm that suits me well.
Not to go on a rant about present day TV but the text on the boxart for Quincy S1/S2 makes a bid for your dollar by name dropping the "CSI's" of today etc, and reminding you Quincy started it all. While I do realize this is a business it just seems so unnecessary because for one, "time" and "quality" have already done for Quincy what was needed by keeping it relevant. Beyond this I still find present TV hollow and empty by comparison. They seem more impressed by the "hows" instead of the "whys". Now how's that for not going on a rant?
Not-so-good stuff: * (edit) I too got a bad "batch" of discs. The pixeling was also at the end of my episodes. The return was no hassle but I'm almost afraid to watch what I've already seen in fears the problems still exist. Not sure how many times you can make returns, plus I went to a mom-n-pop store and returns aren't run of the mill like at Best Buy. And while I'm checking in, how weird is that Dr. Hiro episode?? Strangest thing I've seen in a long long time. I assumed Quincy needed time off but the way the show was handled seemed like "the last day of school" or something.
Technical stuff: The picture quality (DVD transfer) is on par with the best of classic TV and while I'm still hung up as to why they do not remaster the sound, I do find it sevicable. Little gaffs like labeling all 3 discs "Season 1 and 2" when only Disc One is Season One can be overlooked but when it comes to extras I cannot believe my misfortune at always LOVING the shows that get treated the worst (with the possible exception of Kung Fu). There are shows out there, like the X-Files, that seem to have more extras than actual episode material!
More good stuff!: Lastly, I must admit the price point is a sweet spot. The under $30 price tag may go hand in hand with the lack of extras which I guess I can live with. The packaging is handsome and the show, I'm sure, has lived far beyond it's creators vision, which is the best anyone can hope for.
Currently waiting for: Andy Griffith Season 3, Bewitched Season 1, and Columbo Season 3... and where is Starsky and Hutch Season 4??"
Buy this series!
N. Wright | Denver, Colorado | 03/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Happy to give this series 5 stars! I was a teenager when this show first aired, and it was a favorite of my family.
About 4 months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Klugman during his "Tony and Me" book tour and he took questions from the audience; not just about The Odd Couple, but about Quincy. He is extremely proud of Quincy. He said the research that went into each episode was quite extensive and detailed; and it was this way at his insistence. Every word spoken relating to Pathology and Forensics in the show was 100% accurate. There was no guessing on this show. He made sure everything was right on.
Some of the audience members asked him to compare Quincy to CSI, and he boldly replied there IS no comparison. Quincy was about accuracy, drama, good acting, and believeable story lines and it was accomplished WITHOUT the need for blood and gore and sex. He called CSI "awful". And I believe he is qualified to call it that.
You will thoroughly enjoy this series! Hopefully Seasons 3 and beyond will follow soon...
Classic "C.S.I." type series before "C.S.I."
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before "C.S.I.", Quincy was out there almost single handedly solving those hard-to-pin down cases involving foul play. Quincy is a medical examiner (hence the title) and he has to determine cause of death for people particularly if there's an indication of foul play involved.The first two seasons of "Quincy, M.E." starring Jack Klugman finally arrive on DVD. The first season of the series consisted of four 90 minute (actually 70 minute) TV-movies that alternated with "Columbo", "McCloud" and "McMillan" in 1976. The following year Quincy graduated to full series status with 60 minute (45 after commercials) episodes. In 1977 the second season consisted of 13 episodes. So we essentially get 17 episodes of the series spread over three dual sided discs. Packaged in Amaray DVD holders, "Quincy, M.E." is priced to move into boomers homes and solve the ultimate mystery of all-what to watch instead of all the crappy reality shows. A warning for fans is that Universal has had some problems with many of their "Classic TV Shows on DVD". "McCloud" and many other releases have had this problem so watch you're entire set to make sure that you don't have any problems with the DVD.
Like "Baa Baa Black Sheep", "Quincy M.E." actually looks surprisingly good on this DVD transfer. They aren't perfect but I don't think fans are expecting perfection from a series nearly thirty years old. While there's the usual amount of dust and debris that I've come to expect from these releases from Universal, the colors remain vivid and while there's a hint of edge enhancement on these discs, it's nothing too distracting. Skin tones tend to be more orange than pink in these vintage episodes. The image quality looks sharp overall although there are a few episodes where the image softens a bit. As usual stock footage tends to have the most problems as do "establishing shots" used again and again in multiple episodes. The mono sound while not robust sounds pretty good and isn't as tinny as many mono soundtracks. Dialog is clear for the most part throughout the series.
Now on to the extras--What? Are you kidding? This is Universal we're talking about here! It appears that most of the minimal production budget for these DVDs went to making sure these looked as good as was possible given the money available. Still, would it have hurt to include vintage interviews? Aside from the usual suspects (i.e. Universal's previews for other product), there isn't anything to write home about.
I would have given up my scalpel for Klugman's whispering tones on a commentary track or, at the very least, Robert Ito or Val Bisoglio providing background info on the series. What's frustrating is that these actors are getting much older and pretty soon these vintage series will have no one to turn to (outside of a TV or film scholar) to provide commentary tracks. It's like losing pages from an essential volume on history; you may be able to recreate some of the info but it loses the flavor of first hand observation. Come on Universal! Instead of cranking this stuff out, take a bit more time and ask these actors/writer/directors a thing or two about the series!
Maybe Quincy can uncover the reluctant on Universal's part to open up their wallets and put their money where their mouth is. While these are "classic TV shows" they aren't being treated that way. I do appreciate how inexpensive these sets are on the other hand, Warner Home Video manage to include commentary tracks, featurettes on the "Kung Fu" series AND make them look terrific (except for the letterboxing on the first season of the series). Hopefully Universal will look to Warner as an example of how to treat their TV series (they got off to a great start with "Battlestar:Galatica", "Quantum Leap" and "Sliders" but have consistently dropped the ball since then). I am happy to see this stuff released but, honestly Universal, if you won't do them right license them to a company that will!
Sam, get the coffe ready!
AbeStreet | Mayfield Heights, OH United States | 05/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although the show is centered around a smart and short tempered medical examiner I'd have to say it was the supporting cast that made Quincy, M.E. as good as it was. How many shows keep the main supporting actors for 7 seasons. While fans all like the way Quincy followed his heart and not the easiest or most PC path, fans also liked the way Quincy's friends could be counted on to help Quincy and guide his passion. Lt. Monahan usually dogged Quincy's heels, spurring him on. Danny could be counted on to give Quincy the common mans perspective of any situation as well as the organized criminals perspective. Sam provided the voice of caution at times and encouragement at others. Dr. Asten reminded Quincy of the financial and public limitations that existed. Finally, Sgt. Brill provided proof that there were more detectives in L.A. than just Lt. Monahan.
Here is a list containing the first two seasons shows.
Season 1 1. 10-03-76 Go Fight City Hall -- To the Death! 2. 10-10-76 Who's Who in Neverland? 3. 11-28-76 A Star Is Dead 4. 01-02-77 Hot Ice, Cold Hearts
Season 2 5. 02-04-77 Snake Eyes (1) 6. 02-04-77 Snake Eyes (2) 7. 02-11-77 ...The Thigh Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone ... 8. 02-18-77 Visitors in Paradise 9. 02-25-77 The Two Sides of Truth 10. 03-11-77 Hit and Run at Danny's 11. 03-18-77 Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy? 12. 04-15-77 A Good Smack in the Mouth 13. 04-22-77 The Hot Dog Murder 14. 04-29-77 An Unfriendly Radiance 15. 05-06-77 Sullied Be Thy Name 16. 05-13-77 Valleyview 17. 05-27-77 Let Me Light the Way
As this DVD has not yet been released I'll have to assume it is getting the standard Universal treatment. 8 shows per DVD (four 1 hour shows on each side)and no extra features. Usually I deduct a star for such cheap DVD releases. However, since this show is so good and I'm so thankful it is now available I'll break my own rule and give it 5 stars."