Case Number 08759


Universal // 1972 // 467 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Cynthia Boris (Retired) // March 8th, 2006

The Charge

Beep, Boob, Bop -- ERRRRRR!
"Squad 51, man gored by a bull."
"Station 51, 10-4, KMG-365"

Opening Statement

People are stupid. Let's face it. They'll play chicken with a crazed bull. They'll shake up a soda bottle and point it in their friend's face. They'll put their hand in a garbage disposal to see what's stuck down there. Thank heavens for stupid people or else Emergency! wouldn't be nearly as exciting as it is.

Facts of the Case

Johnny, Roy, Dr. Brackett, Dixie and the gang are back for another season of tense rescues, close calls, and everyday aliments in Emergency! Season Two from Universal Studios. The show follows the exploits of two paramedics, John Gage (Randolph Mantooth) and Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe) as they try to save lives under questionable circumstances. The series was known for its realism and is actually credited as being the reason paramedic programs began springing up all over the United States. At the time the series was created in 1972, Los Angeles County was the only place in the country testing a paramedic program, but hey -- break your leg now and see who responds! When that cute fireman/medic sticks that I.V. in your arm, say a silent thanks to Jack Webb -- the entertainment powerhouse who started it all.

On this DVD you will find:

Disc One: Side A
* "Problem"
The death of a victim has DeSoto questioning his abilities. A very heavy episode.
* "Kids"
Is a young patient a victim of abuse? and the station attracts a stray dog.
* "Show Biz"
Gage is asked to pose. The wonderful Henry Jones guest stars
* "Virus"
A deadly virus kills a fireman and now Brackett and Gage are afflicted, too. Something different: a tense episode.

Disc One: Side B
* "Peace Pipe"
A dip into Gage's Native American heritage.
* "Saddled"
A school bus crash and Larry Storch (F-Troop) causes trouble for the guys and himself.
* "Fuzz Lady"
Gage is gaga over undercover cop Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey)
* "Trainee"
A trainee thinks he knows more than Gage and DeSoto. Interesting episode all around.

Disc Two: Side A
* "Women"
Women's Lib is the topic when a female journalist rides along. A nice look at a dated subject.
* "Dinner Date"
Blind dates and the usual rescues.
* "Musical Mania"
A girl overdoses, a man is pinned under a house, and Gage tests his musical talents.
* "Helpful"
A young female doctor is having trouble keeping up, while a boy may drown inside a storm drain.

Disc Two: Side B
* "Drivers"
A hotel fire takes center stage.
* "School Days"
Another trainee, but this one lacks the confidence.
* "The Professor"
It's life and death; the delivery of a baby and a man who wants to commit suicide.
* "Syndrome"
The charming Robert Alda guests as an old flame of Dixie's.

Disc Three: Side A
* "Honest"
Is it always best to tell the truth? An interesting study of human nature.
* "Seance"
Is a ghost causing trouble? and a harrowing rescue of a man trapped in a submerged car (one of my nightmares).
* "Boot"
Humorous episode with a dog that won't eat and a woman who's a klutz in the kitchen.
* "Rip-Off"
The boys are accused of theft during a rescue...meanwhile, it's time to deliver another baby.

Disc Three: Side B
* "Audit"
The IRS is after Gage and a construction worker is trapped in a building collapse.

The Evidence

Season Two of Emergency! picks right up where Season One left off: two paramedics and their fireman friends saving lives. We still have the acting talents of Robert Fuller (Laramie), Bobby Troup, and Julie London; the staff at Rampart Hospital; and the fireman of Station 51. We also have a slight shift in tone: they aren't all happy endings. There's quite a bit of death in this season; one in particular has DeSoto questioning his abilities as a paramedic. Gage and Brackett both come down with a near fatal disease (one that kills a fellow fireman) and a doctor dies in a hospital, despite having every possible medical miracle at his disposal. One particularly touching scene deals with a crashed school bus and a nun who simply wishes to hear a prayer or two as she lies dying. Season Two, it seems, is about the human condition.

The packaging on this DVD set is top notch. The graphics on the slipcase are terrific and the raised lettering of the title is a nice touch. I also appreciate the label of "Classic Television" at the top of the box. There are three plastic snap cases inside with nice, but identical, graphics. The onscreen menus are nothing spectacular, but they're clear and get the job done.

Visually, the DVD has wonderful clarity, the sound is clear and even -- all in all, a joy to watch.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Do I even have to say it? It's Universal. I love you guys to death but really, this is getting old, double sided discs and not a single special feature. Also, what's with only putting one episode on the B side of the third disc? Not a life crisis, but it bothers me.

Closing Statement

Like all Jack Webb productions, Emergency! is more like reality TV than shows like Cops. The actors are natural and normal and they don't worry about throwing out a lot of medical and technical jargon. They do what they would do in real life, and you won't hear the audience complain. For me, there are two reasons I love this show. One is basic car crash mentality. As human beings we're drawn to this stuff, don't ask me why. But the bigger reason is more personal. I'm a worrier. I worry about disease. I worry about my husband having an accident of the freeway or my son breaking a leg when he skateboards. Emergency!, helps me get past that. Seeing competent people deal with horrific accidents in a calm and professional manner helps me a lot. I still figure that accident is going to happen and that leg is going to break, but I know that there will be real paramedics there to make it all right again. I know, because I saw it on Emergency!.

The Verdict

This court finds Emergency! -- Season Two innocent of all charges, but they're still sentenced to five more seasons of community service!

Review content copyright © 2006 Cynthia Boris; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 95
Audio: 95
Extras: 0
Acting: 90
Story: 90
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

* English

Running Time: 467 Minutes
Release Year: 1972
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

* IMDb