Every property owner in the Valley is in danger of losing their land due to the legal trickery of a ruthless railroad baron who backs up his action with an army of 200 men. Into this tense ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Victoria Barkley (as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
Charles Briles ...
Sheriff Lyman
Abner Wirth
Dennis Cross ...
Napoleon Whiting ...
Mike De Anda ...
Ciego (as Miguel deAnda)
Melvin F. Allen ...
Morgan (as Melvin Allen)
Charles Crown


Every property owner in the Valley is in danger of losing their land due to the legal trickery of a ruthless railroad baron who backs up his action with an army of 200 men. Into this tense scene rides an iron-willed young man who defiantly tells the Barkleys he is the "bastard son" of the dead family patriarch, Tom Barkley - and who demands an equal share of the estate. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

15 September 1965 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lee Majors' shirtless appearance in the bunkhouse scene constitutes the first of his many "beefcake" moments as "Heath Barkeley." See more »


[first lines]
[Nick and Heath meet for the first time in the middle of a narrow bridge, trying to ride in opposite directions]
Nick Barkley: Afternoon.
Heath Barkley: Afternoon.
Nick Barkley: Quite a pony you got there.
Heath Barkley: Yes, she's a runner.
Nick Barkley: Indian?
Heath Barkley: Modoc.
Nick Barkley: Ah, well, they breed'em right up there
Heath Barkley: 'Cept for one thing.
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User Reviews

A nice 'first' episode -as we learn the characters of the show
18 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this first ever 'Big Valley' episode is really an introduction to how Heath became part of the family. It picks up as Heath is riding into Stockton to the Barkley ranch. He first gets a job as a cowhand until he surprisingly lets out the secret that he is the illegitimate son of Tom Barkley.

There is a lot going on in the background as the railroad tycoons are hiring gunmen to help remove farmers from their land. This is exactly how Tom Barkley died--by standing up to the railroad and then getting shot down for his rebellious attitude by the hired gunmen. When the railroad gets a quick eviction notice for a local farmer, it will be the Barkley boys standing with the poor farmers to confront the railroad gunmen.

Heath has no fight with the railroad and wants no part of a family that turned their back on him. But after a talk with Victoria, she tells him to take his birthright. Heath can either ride off or stand with the other Barkleys facing the gunmen.

A nice episode to start the series. With plenty of action and interesting dialog this episode is worthy of a watch. Some of the early acting by Lee Majors is rather green but it was his first regular acting job. Barbara Stanwyck is stunning as the matriarch of the clan and is spectacular whenever on the screen. A nice watch for the first show as we get to learn the characters.

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