DVD Review: Emergency season three.

Before we get to the review, I would like to take a minute to welcome Miz Naomi to the Crimespree home.

Emergency: Season Three
Universal Studios Home Entertainment

If you can make it through the 1970s melodrama and the quasi-Dragnet speechifying of the first two seasons, you’ll find that, in the third season, this series finally comes into its own. The scripts are better paced, providing a better balance of talk and action, and the actors are more comfortable in their roles.

One of the keys to the success of the show is the chemistry between the two main characters. Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto are partners in the Los Angeles Fire Department’s fledgling paramedic program. Roy (Kevin Tighe), is the quiet, grounded one; married with kids. Johnny (Randolph Mantooth) is, of course, the complete opposite: single, impulsive, given to flights of cockeyed reasoning. There is some fine acting here. Tighe plays the more reserved DeSoto as alternately amused and exasperated with his partner. Mantooth plays Johnny with puppy-dog charm.

When the alarm sounds, however, both men are focused and competent. This show is a fine action series and, even after more than 30 years, it still holds up as a procedural show. Its influence on today’s emergency medical field can’t be underrated. If you read the internet fan sites, you’ll get an idea of how many people were inspired to take up emergency medicine after watching Gage and DeSoto defibrillate victims and set up IVs with ringers lactate and D5W. (As a matter of fact, teen idol Bobby Sherman retired from show business to become an EMT after a guest turn in the season 3 episode “Fools”.)

This show brings back fond memories of being a young teen in the 70s. While all of my friends were sighing over Randolph Mantooth, I was a Kevin Tighe girl. I still recall the cover of a February issue of Tiger Beat showing the two actors reaching out from a heart-shaped picture and a caption reading: “Randy and Kev have a valentine for you!”

Not that I subscribed to Tiger Beat, you understand. I just saw it on the news stand when I was picking up my copy of The Smithsonian.

Naomi J Krueger