Review

  • This series begins with a whimsical and blowsy saxophone as if the visuals are showing a women raising her skirt to check a torn stocking rather than an aging pathologist with surgical gloves. There follows a scene in which police rookies are shown an autopsy being performed by Quincy and they collapse one by one. But is it the sight of the corpse or the effect of Klugman's shouting that is doing the damage? Next we see Quincy examining a leg which turns out to belong to a beautiful women on a yacht. The women is, of course, young enough to be his daughter despite his conspicuously charm-less looks and zimmer frame status.

    To be fair, this program was never less than interesting in debating the medical, social and political issues of the day and the failures or contradictions inherent in the American capitalist system but mostly, it has to be said, you remember the shouting. Jack Klugman is from the 'can-you-hear-me-at-the-back?' school of thespianism. He's a passionate man with all the patience of a boiling kettle. When he loses his rag only dogs can hear the top notes. Corpses shake so violently that you are fooled into thinking they've risen again. Even minor conversations seem to rise in decibels as he holds forth on any subject no matter how trivial. His colleagues even dread asking him whether he wants a coffee. "This coffee. This coffee is TOO HOT! (Ceiling cracks) Does nobody CARE about the victims of this HOT coffee? How many people are going to be HORRIBLY DISFIGURED (Window shatters) by this coffee machine until something is DONE? I WILL TELL YOU THIS!!!....(Fire hydrant bursts on street)....I will not REST until the truth is OUT, you HEAR ME? You BETCHA!" Storms off, room covered in spittle.

    Highlights of the series include his fishing holiday. "The FISH? Where are all the FISH?" (Boat wavers precariously). Also any fish eaten are bound to be polluted resulting in an immediate investigation by Quincy involving dodgy corporations, femme fatales, hit-men and local police sporting ear muffs. And then there's the daily trip to the canteen. "THE GRAVY!!!!! (Glasses explode on every table) The gravy is LUMPY.... (stern thespian pause).....AGAIN!" A lethal mistake after just rebuilding the canteen.

    But Quincy is a man who cares, you have to give him that. He cares so much his face is permanently beetroot. And women adore him. But it's amazing that women who don't have hearing aids are able to spend an evening with him. "WAITER! THE CHECK! And don't you REALISE the TERRIBLE consequences of DIRTY spoons and BAD air conditioning? If you think I'm gonna BACK DOWN (Spittle) over this, you can GUESS AGAIN, PAL!!!!!!"