Long before CSI glamourized the world of forensic sciences, in the mid 1970s it was all about one coroner – Quincy M.E.
Starring Jack Klugman as the smart-witted and irascible Dr. Quincy, the show debuted on NBC in October 1976, as a one hour drama, produced by Glen A. Larson Productions.
Quincy was always referred to by his last name, and his character’s first name was a mystery – eventually it was known to begin with the letter R, but never revealed during the series.
In each episode, Quincy as the forensic pathologist for the city of Los Angeles would investigate suspicious deaths, and determine the cause of death, usually due to murder.
Working with his assistant Sam Fujiyama, Quincy was often in conflict with his boss Dr. Asten and LAPD homicide detective, Lt. Frank Monahan, as he pursued the evidence to solve the case.
Quincy was also a lady’s man and lived on a sailboat – adding to his character’s unique allure.
In consequent years, Quincy’s storylines included commentary on plastic surgery, drunk driving laws, punk rock, airline safety, hazardous waste, handguns, orphan drugs and poverty.
A popular show with viewers, Quincy ME was the first to show in-depth forensic evidence and research, two decades before the creation of CSI, Crossing Jordan or NCIS. It was shown in the UK, Canada and Australia and dubbed to be shown in Germany and Japan.
I regularly watched the showing, liking the independence of Quincy from authority as well as his dedication to science revealing the answers of what had happened.
The series was on air for eight seasons, until it was cancelled in the early 1980s, but was another success for Glen A. Larson, who created a show that was a definite influence on the way to solve a crime.