Quincy, M.E. was the perfect fusion of informative and entertainment in a TV show. Critics may scoff it off as just a dumb mystery show from the ’80s. But there was real work being done on the episodes. Scientific theories were being exposed to the mass public in the fictional coroner’s office. Warnings were being given to parents about what their kids might be doing. Exposure was given to little known diseases that might infect viewers. Nowadays we have 24 hour news channels, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, The Doctors and other shows to share the news. But back before cable took over televisions, the cases that arrived on Quincy’s slab were the most effective way to communicate the catastrophe that awaits.
“Memories of Allison” opens up with Quincy working a college job fair. He seems to find kids really want to get involved in the cutting up dead people career. But his joy of finding his future Sam is ruined when a woman turns up without a memory. Even worse is that someone wants her dead. This is close enough to being dead for Quincy to get involved. “The Golden Hour” focuses on how hospitals need more than emergency rooms. The doctors need to be trained for trauma care. This was a major issue as people died of their injuries while stuck in waiting room. “Slow Boat to Madness” is a two parter about people getting sick on a cruise ship. This seems to be very popular today with all the stories about cruises full of infected passengers. John Reilly (Scrubs) and Timothy Stack (Son of The Beach) are on the poop deck. “Gentle Into That Good Night” hints at the issue of doctor assisted suicide. “Dead Stop” warns of truckers dumping their toxic loads on the side of the road instead of using a real dump. “Bitter Pill” warns parents about “legal” pep pills that might be more dangerous than the illegal counterparts. Simon Oakland (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) is hilarious as the pusher man.
“Guns Don’t Die” will upset NRA members since it questions handgun ownership. Turns out a few people are showing up on the slab with the same bullet, but a different killer. Quincy wants to know how this can happen. “When Luck Ran Out” must have been a deeply personal episode since it dealt with a dead race horse. Jack Klugman loved to hang out at the track where he probably bet on quite a few horses that died in the home stretch. “For Love of Joshua” questions if a doctor mistreated a child with downs syndrome on purpose. “Into the Murdering Mind” ponders if a kid can fake a mental illness to get away with murder.”To Clear the Air” brings up the subject of atmospheric inversion.
“The Shadow of Death” investigates cases of PTSD among Vietnam vets. Quincy wonders if they are getting proper therapy by the system. “Stolen Tears” tracks down the killer of an Auschwitz survivor. “Expert in Murder” makes Quincy have to prove he’s an expert while taking the stand against a notorious mobster. He’s Quincy. What more must be proven? “The Unquiet Grave” makes Quincy investigate the death of an ex-lover’s husband. This gets quite tricky since he didn’t have an easy break up with the lady. Although he didn’t end up like her husband. “The Mourning After” exposes a death due to a frat hazing stunt. This continues to be an issue at colleges where students turn up dead attempting to go Greek.
What’s amazing is that even though these episodes are over three decades old, a lot of the issues are current. Bogus “legal” pills, frat house deaths and cruise ship illness remain hot headlines. It’s a shame that people refused to learn the lessons of Quincy, M.E. when these problems were merely new issues. The show remains fun to watch as Quincy and Sam push the edge of science to solve major crimes. The final season of Quincy comes out on March 10, 2014.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers bring out the details in Quincy’s toupee. The show avoids corpse shots so you won’t be grossed out. The audio is Dolby Digital Mono. The levels are right for the jazzy theme song. Episodes are Closed Captioned.
No bonus features.
Quincy, M.E.: Season 7 is another round of warnings for Quincy about all the things that will kill you if you’re not careful. Avoid frats, cruise ships and pills to avoid being on Quincy’s slab.
Shout! Factory presents Quincy, M.E.: Season 7. Starring: Jack Klugman, Garry Walberg, John S. Ragin, Val Bisoglio and Robert Ito. Boxset Contents: 24 episodes on 6 DVDs. Rated: Unrated. Released: December 9, 2014.
Tags: Jack Klugman, Quincy