Quincy M.E. (referred to as QME from now on) aired as a weekly television series on NBC from 1976 to 1983.
The show revolved around Los Angeles Chief Deputy Medical Examiner, Quincy, portrayed by actor Jack Klugman. He consistently found himself in opposition to a range of both common and uncommon abuses within the system. In this role, Quincy was compelled to meticulously record and vehemently combat instances of social injustice and the bureaucratic red tape that typically accompanied them.
His challenges spanned a variety of scenarios, from exposing unethical pharmaceutical companies that supplied dangerous over-the-counter medications to unlicensed “pill shops,” to dealing with foreign diplomats who encountered chemically-empowered assassins during their visits to the greater Los Angeles area.
Throughout the series, Quincy confronted a greater number of charlatans, antagonists, and mobsters than any other committed pathologist, showcasing his unyielding dedication to seeking the truth and justice.
nProfessionally, Astin supports Quincy in many of the positions he takes, but that may be partly because he knows that Quince is useless around the lab and office until he gets his distractions off his mind. In the probable words of Asten, “Quincy is a really, really, really nice guy… (hesitation) Now if only he’d say something nice about the great job we’re doing here at the Office of Medical Examiners the next time he appears on the Dick Mercer Show…”n
nnnnnMaintaining his boat and working on his classic Etsel automobile.nnnnn
nnnnnHis own car is always in the shop getting fixed, so Quincy uses the county car. Shhh… Don’t tell Asten though. Heck, he only lives 7 miles away so that’s not too much mileage per day!nnnnn
nnnnnTwo things… Bureaucracy and Lawsuits!n
nnnnnWhy Quincy eats and works at Danny’s is something of an enigma. Whether it’s a desire for good food or a great M.E.’s dilemma to face his boat alone… is a mystery in itself.n
nnnnnHmmm… Let’s see (excluding Helen and Emily) first there was Lee Potter (Lynnette Mettely), next came Lynne (“Promises to Keep”), Jeri McKrakin (“New Blood”), Elizabeth Chesler (“All of Sad Words”), Allison/Mary Latham (“Memories of Allison”), Annie O’Connor (“When Luck Ran Out”), and finally Jeannea Powell (“An Unquiet Grave”).nnnnOkay, so did we leave any out? If so, let us know by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
nnnnnIn “Promises to Keep,” Helen (Anita Gilette) died from a malignant brain tumor, which surgery was unable to cure. Quincy was at her bedside when his wife died in the hospital.nnnnn
nnnnnActually, He does! The Quincy character was married twice, the first time was to Helen (Anita Gilette) and the second was to Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette). Parts one and two of “Quincy’s Wedding” detail the marriage to Emily, while “Promises to Keep” supplies background on his first.nnnnUpon interviewing Anita Gilette, she confirmed that Jack Klugman insisted on wanting her to play the part of Helen after having played Emily in a later episode. And if anyone would dare to ask, Jack just figured that his new bride would look very similar to his first wife! Problem solved! ;)n
nnnnnOther than “Promises to Keep,” (where we meet Quincy’s first wife, in retrospect) no episodes indicate Quincy’s first official case. However look for the pilot episode, “Go Fight City Hall To Death” to witness Quincy’s first introduction to the principles at LACC Office of Medical Examiner and LAPD.n
Quincy’s first initial is “R.” However, you won’t even hear Jack Klugman addressed as anything else but Dr. Quincy or Quince throughout the series. That’s because there was NEVER a first name Officially given (on camera) to the “tough-as-nails” pathologist! Instead, the only evidence of a first name is in a particular episode entitled, “Accomplice to Murder,” where he hands his business card to battered housewife, Bonnie DeMarco while visiting her at work.
Therefore as far as audiences are concerned, his first name could be almost anything that begins with “R.” Take your pick, “Robert,” “Richard,” “Raymond,” no one knows for sure. Inside sources do indicate though that Quincy had a first name! During an early 1980s LA radio interview, Executive producer Peter Thompson was asked what Quince’s first name was after the “Accomplice to Murder” episode had just aired. After turning to one of his writers (whose first name was Robert) his response to the interviewer – Robert, of course! 🙂
nnnnnA review of the episode guide reveals that present-day Sci-Fi writers like Jeri Taylor and Michael Braverman (Star Trek: TNG, Voyager, and DS9) as well as “Equalizer” Creator Michael Sloan have contributed to the QME universe at one time or another. While an in-depth analysis of the credits indicate that some of the more prolific QME writers and contributors include Sam Egan, Steve Greenberg, and Aubrey Solomon, Robert Crais and David Mossinger (who later produced the series), and Jack Klugman (main character of the series).nnnnn
nDuring the episode “Hit and Run at Danny’s,” Quincy speaks with Janet Martin by phone and indicates that she should come down to the docks and meet with Quince the following day. He tells her, “You can’t miss it! Its a large sailboat named, ‘Fiji.’”nnnnn
nQME fall premiered at 9:30-11:00 PM EST on Sunday, October 3, 1976. The NBC Television series ran for seven seasons on network television before being canceled in September of 1983.nnnnnnnnn
nWhile both Glen Larson and Lou Shaw hold joint on-screen credit with creating the show, Mr. Larson has held executive producer, creator, and writer positions for many other shows. Larson represents the driving force behind numerous television hits like Knight Rider, Magnum, P.I., Battlestar Galactica, P.S., I Luv You, and One West Waikiki. nnnnNot surprisingly, one of his more recent projects, One West, involved strikingly similar plot elements initially presented in the QME series; namely, the “forensic pathologist/ homicide detective” angle of a criminal investigation. This time Larson cast ex-Charlie’s Angel’s Cheryl Ladd and Richard Burgi, in the medical examiner and cop roles respectively that Klugman and Walberg had successfully performed years earlier. nnnnWhile it was clear that the new series could stand on its own, this up-to-date drama also re-visited many similar plots and sub-plots which were successfully pre-tested as QME storylines and subject matter.nnnnn
nEver wonder why TV shows like Quincy M.E., Trapper John, M.D., Doogie Houser, M.D. and Marcus Welby, M.D. have some sort of hang-up about initials after their name? The funny thing is that it’s not just that way with medical late night dramas; even Tom Selleck landed a whopper of a hit with his Magnum, P.I!While I can easily understand that many people are easily confused by the title of the series when it first came out, but many people still don’t get the title right and it’s been over 20 years since Quincy first aired! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people mistakenly, call the show “Quincy, M.D.,” “Quincey” or just plain Q.M.E.nnnnHow hard can it be? Here’s a guy who’s not only checking out the cause of death on the table but runs around after thugs and crooks as well. This was one of the concerns Quincy co-creator Glen Larson was up against when he had tried to sell network executives on the show’s potential. Time and again, they would tell Larson that no one is interested in a series about coroners, causes of death, and crime scenes. However, the story as Larson indicated is that Quincy wasn’t going to be a show about your typical sterile, white, lab-coated coroner! Rather, this coroner was going to have an insatiable curiosity about the scene of the crime, and the detective work needed to flush out the most irresponsible of killers. This is why the show tends to rank more as a CRIME DRAMA than a medical show. Who knows maybe with a little coaxing we could have Universal change the title to “Quincy, P.I.” (grin).nnnnn