In Northern Exposure when Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow) graduates from Medical school he has to spend four years working for the state of Alaska who had financed his medical education, what he doesn’t know is that instead of being based in big city Anchorage he has to work in the tiny town of Cicely (population 813) after its only doctor dies. This of course is a huge culture shock to Fleischman, a New Yorker through and through, not only that but Cicely is choc full of quirky characters such as President of the Chamber of Commerce Maurice Minnifield (Barry Corbin), The Brock Tavern owner Holling Vincouer (John Cullum), town DJ Chris “in the morning” Stevens (JOhn Corbett) and Joel’s new receptionist, the monosyllabic Marilyn Whirlwind (Elaine Miles).
One glimpse of sanity on the horizon is provided by air taxi pilot Maggie O’Connell (Janine Turner), whose previous five boyfriends have all had calamities befall them, and with whom Joel has a real love-hate relationship.
Greatly entertaining Northern Exposure was certainly one of the better series of the early nineties. Funny, quirky and engaging, sharing a similar sensibility with shows such as Twin Peaks and Due South.
It took until 1994 before Joel and Maggie finally started a relationship, Joel proposed, they moved in together but it quickly went sour and Joel left the town altogether heading into an even remoter part of Alaska to find himself. To replace Joel as Doctor in came Dr Capra and his journalist wife Michelle.
The series was winding down by this stage and although Joel did return it was only briefly, his contract with Cicely now finished. He and Maggie discovered that the Mythical innuit city of Keewaa Aani was in reality Manhattan. Joel decided to return home but failed to persuade Maggie to go with him.
USA / CBS – Falsey – Austin Street Productions / 110×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 July 1990 – 9 August 1995
Creators: Joshua Brand, John Falsey / Theme Music: David Schwartz / Executive Producers: John Falsey, Andrew Schneider
Rob Morrow as Dr Joel Fleischman
Janine Turner as Maggie O’Connell
Barry Corbin as Maurice Minnifield
John Corbett as Chris Stevens
Darren E. Burrows as Ed Chigliak
John Cullum as Holling Vincouer
Cynthia Geary as Shelly Tambo
Elaine Miles as Marilyn Whirlwind
Peg Phillips as Ruth-Anne Miller
Grant Goodeve as Rick Pederson (1990-1991)
Adam Arkin as Adam (1991-1995)
Graham Greene as Leonard Quinhogak (1992-1993)
William J. White as Dave The Cook (1991-1995)
Anthony Edwards as Mike Monroe (1992-1993)
Teri Polo as Michelle Schowdoski Capra (1994-1995)
Paul Provenza as Dr Philip Capra (1994-1995)