Northern Exposure

Show Type: Drama

First Telecast: July 12, 1990

Last Telecast: August 9, 1995


Dr. Joel Fleischman..... Rob Morrow

Maggie O'Connell..... Janine Turner

Maurice Minnifield..... Barry Corbin

Chris Stevens..... John Corbett

Ed Chigliak..... Darren E. Burrows

Holling Vincouer..... John Cullum

Shelly Tambo..... Cynthia Geary

Marilyn Whirlwind..... Elaine Miles

Ruth-Anne Miller..... Peg Phillips

Rick Pederson (1990-1991)..... Grant Goodeve

Adam (1991-1995)..... Adam Arkin

Dave the Cook (1991-1995)..... William J. White

Leonard Quinhagak (1992-1993)..... Graham Greene

Bernard Stevens (1991-1995)..... Richard Cummings, Jr.

Mike Monroe (1992-1993)..... Anthony Edwards

Walt Kupfer (1993-1995)..... Moultrie Patten

Eugene (1994-1995)..... Earl Quewezance

Hayden Keyes (1994-1995)..... James L. Dunn

Dr. Phillip Capra (1994-1995)..... Paul Provenza

Michelle Schowdoski Capra (1994-1995)..... Teri Polo


Joel Fleischman had just graduated from Columbia University Medical School and, at the age of 27, expected to spend four years working in Anchorage to repay the state of Alaska for financing his medical education. He was not prepared for being reassigned to the tiny town of Cicely (population: 813) on the "Alaskan Riviera," following the death of its only doctor. Life in an isolated town in the scenic, but remote, Alaskan interior was not what this lifetime New Yorker had in mind. Joel spent much of his early time in Cicely trying to get out of his contract and back to his fiancÚ in New York.

The town seemed to be full of eccentrics. Joel was constantly at odds with Maurice Minnifield, a former astronaut and president of the Cicely Chamber of Commerce, who loved the great outdoors. The biggest incentive Joel had to stay, though neither of them was willing to admit it, was his developing relationship with Maggie O'Connell, the feisty, independent, air taxi pilot who owned the cabin he was living in.

Among other offbeat townspeople were: Holling, a retired adventurer who owned the local tavern, The Brick; Shelly, Holling's 18-year-old girlfriend; Chris Stevens, the sexy, quirky disc jockey on Cicely's only radio station, KBHR; Ed, Minnifield's young assistant who was fascinated by tales of big city life; Ruth-Anne, who ran the general store, and Marilyn, the steadfast Eskimo receptionist/assistant in Joel's medical office. Rick Pederson, Maggie's boyfriend, was killed by a falling satellite in a freak accident in the spring of 1991, the fifth of her boyfriends to die under bizarre circumstances. She maintained a shrine to each of them on her mantel. Many of Cicely's citizens were convinced that Maggie had a love curse placed upon her.

During the 1991-1993 season, Mike Monroe, a former lawyer who suffered allergic reactions to toxic chemicals in the environment, moved to the outskirts of Cicely, where he lived in a huge plastic bubble, only leaving it in a protective surplus astronaut suit. He and Maggie developed a romance, but when Joel declared him cured in the spring, he left for Russia to work with Greenpeace. That spring Holling and Shelly, who was several months pregnant, got married. When her daughter Miranda ("Randy") was born in February 1994, she became Cicely's 814th citizen.

In the fall of 1994, Joel and Maggie, who had been alternately sparring and shooting off sexual sparks for years, finally got serious. Joel popped the question to her and they moved in together, but, despite her uncharacteristic warmth, they had problems living in the same space! When she couldn't deal with Joel's obsessive-ness and told him to move out, he left Cicely altogether and went native with the Eskimos to "find himself." With Joel gone and his contract with Cicely about to expire, Maurice hired Dr. Phillip Capra to take his place. Dr. Capra and his wife, Michelle, a journalist, moved into the same house Joel had rented from Maggie, and she went to work for the local paper. In Joel's last appearance, in February 1995, he and Maggie went looking for the mythical city Keewaa Aani and it turned out to be, in true Northern Exposure fashion, Manhattan! He wanted her to go with him, but, since it was his fantasy, she left and returned to Cicely.

Northern Exposure was filmed on location in Bellevue and Roslyn, Washington - not far from the locale of Twin Peaks.

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