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1.1 - Pilot episode
The basis for the series: Joel's journey to and eventual displacement within the mighty state of Alaska. All the initial gears and cogs and bolts and belts of the series are set spinning in this first episode as characterizations are strongly, cleanly and cleverly introduced. Maggie and Joel's instantaneous hostility is hilariously apparent, while the tension between Joel, the hired doctor, and Maurice, the rich boss, is also established. Joel's overwhelming disgust for his surroundings and intense desire to leave is unmistakable, and, well, hilarious. The new doctor's desire to leave is encapsulated in a nearly spasmodic seven-mile run into town. Yet the humor is tempered by compassion as the new physician gives up his frustration (albeit temporarily) to treat and counsel patients. Another of the shows most basic storylines, the love triangle of Maurice and Holling and Shelley, is well established. It's almost as if this betrayal between friends and lovers is as fundamental to the show as the good doctor's despair and fascination with his surroundings. The best part is the beginning of our beloved Northern Exposure.
It was great to see the pilot after viewing so many of the later episodes. I'd never been sure how Joel or Maurice actually got to Cicely or how Marilyn came to work for Joel. Seeing a short-haired Ed, a grizzled Holling, and a very, very angry Joel made me realize once again how these characters grow on you. To see a virile Maurice leap from the rooftop when Joel first drove up or to hear Ruth Ann ask "What's a bagel?" to the cocky NYC Joel was worth the wait. No wonder this series caught so many viewers the first time around. This is a wonderful episode. From all the little quirks and flashes of personality, I couldn't stop laughing.
by Andy Noodles
1.2 - Brains, Know-How and Native Intelligence
1.3 - Soapy Sanderson
1.4 - Dreams, Schemes and Putting Greens
1.5 - Russian Flu
1.6 - Sex, Lies, and Ed's Tape
1.7 - A Kodiak Moment
1.8 - Aurora Borealis
Northern Exposure is no longer available on video or on DVD, but may be soon.
Click here for a list of videotapes and DVDs available starring Rob Morrow or actress Janine Turner, including a list of any Northern Exposure episodes which are currently available on tape or DVD
Fans of "Northern Exposure" also like the Twin Peaks movie & tv-series
Northern Exposure has moved from A&E to the Hallmark Channel (previously Odyssey) but is no longer showing there. Archive webpage for Northern Exposure on Hallmark and on OdysseyFamily.com
Site map from 2002
Maurice, Joel's retired-astronaut boss, also played the General in charge of the movie WarGames, in which he says this line that might start World War 3