Bonanza (1959–1973)
8.1/10
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Thunder Man 

While Ann Wilson and her Uncle Fred are en route to her boyfriend Joe's birthday party, Fred suffers a sudden stroke and is rendered unconscious. A man claiming to be a Good Samaritan stops... See full summary »

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William Poole
Evelyn Scott ...
Mrs. Gibson
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Uncle Fred Wilson
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Storyline

While Ann Wilson and her Uncle Fred are en route to her boyfriend Joe's birthday party, Fred suffers a sudden stroke and is rendered unconscious. A man claiming to be a Good Samaritan stops to help, only to rape and kill Ann. Joe is devastated and vows to track down the killer. While Fred is eventually moved to the Ponderosa to recover (and for his protection against anyone who might want to silence him), Joe undermines Deputy Clem Foster's investigation. Meanwhile, the killer - a munitions expert named William Poole - gets a job on the Ponderosa, since his expertise with a new substance called nitroglycerin can help clear old tree stumps off the ranch. Poole, who is staying with a widowed neighbor named Mrs. Gibson, tries to get at Uncle Fred, but Joe, who has been keeping a bedside vigil, stops him at every turn. Eventually, Joe sees Uncle Fred's hand move and begins questioning him. Fred is only able to scrawl a barely legible message before he goes numb, and suffers a subsequent (... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Western

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5 May 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Soundtracks

New Orleans Woman
Traditional tune also sung as "Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight)"
Attributed to William Cool White
Whistled throughout the episode
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User Reviews

 
Excellent episode with a well written script
21 May 2014 | by (Pittsburgh PA) – See all my reviews

As previously stated, Simon Oakland plays a traveling explosive salesman (The Thunder Man!) who also is a serial killer and rapist, but hides his demons well and appears courteous and friendly to almost everyone. Even though we know early on who the killer is, the episode is an entertaining one as we see how he is slowly revealed and wonder at times if he will get away with it, much like the format of the Columbo series. Having an explosives salesman makes for some entertaining scenes, and despite how evil he is it makes one think how interesting of a career that might have been. Also, as the previous reviewer stated, makes one wonder how many serial killers may have existed in the Old West, and today as well, that went or go undetected.

While has a disturbing storyline, is an excellent episode with an intriguing plot and good acting, definitely well worth watching.


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