Branded: Season 1, Episode 1

Survival (24 Jan. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Western
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 20 users  
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Jason McCord is traveling through the desert when he comes upon a dead horse. He follows the trail of footprints and comes across a tired, thirsty man. His name is Colbee and he and McCord ... See full summary »



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Title: Survival (24 Jan 1965)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jed Colbee
Robert Carricart ...
Janet De Gore ...
Sally Colbee
Harry Harvey ...
Stable Owner (as Harry Harvey Sr.)
Valerie Szabo ...
Jessie Colbee


Jason McCord is traveling through the desert when he comes upon a dead horse. He follows the trail of footprints and comes across a tired, thirsty man. His name is Colbee and he and McCord strike out together to make the next town before their water runs out. He's a family man with a wife and daughter and his fear of not seeing them again forces him to steal the horse and water and leave Jason in the desert. Written by tomtrekp

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

desert | skull | navajo | canteen | thirst


Action | Western





Release Date:

24 January 1965 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shortly after this episode was aired, Chuck Connors and Alex Cord again appeared together, this time in the film Synanon (1965). See more »


Jason McCord: I lived through a massacre that took everybody else in our company. I've never been able to figure out why.
Jed Colbee: Must have been some experience. Sounds something like Bitter Creek.
Jason McCord: It was Bitter Creek.
Jed Colbee: Well, like you said... only one man came back. Major? Captain?
Jason McCord: Captain. Jason McCord.
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User Reviews

The very first episode
5 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of course, we get the main jest of the story line in the opening song. I love this song, and even my nine year old son is caught singing it every now and then.

This episode opens with Jason McCord (played by The Rifleman's Chuck Connors) walking slowly across the hot desert. The desert scene is done very well. It shows first a dead horse, and later a man stumbling around looking for something to quench his thirst. We see rattle snakes and bones from animals who have perished on the hot desert sand.

I also enjoyed the image of Jason laying down in the sand after he tried to 'drink' it.

The ending, of course, is quite surprising. I expected a confrontation. But then this might have been much more educational and satisfying. Jason did or said nothing. Jed held his daughter in his arms, stared at Jason and knew that Jason was a true friend. Even though Jed had left him out on the hot desert sand to die, Jason was the bigger man. He was no coward, and Jed knew it in that instant. Jason had done him a great favor, and Jed would have to live with the choice he had made for the rest of his life. No words were necessary.

Though some will, and have, disagree with me, I think this is a great way to open the series. Jason let's the audience know that he's not ashamed of what happened at Bitter Creek. Though he's been found guilty of being a coward and running, he knows the truth. And someday the truth will set him free.

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