Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
7.6/10
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Distant Drummer 

Two roughnecks (Sloat and Grade) cruelly harass Raffie Bly, a confused and defenseless young man who suffered a serious head trauma while serving as a drummer in the Civil War.

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(teleplay by), (story by)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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...
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Doc
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Sloat
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Raffie Bly
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Bill Grade
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William Newell ...
Green
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Hugo
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Storyline

Two roughnecks (Sloat and Grade) cruelly harass Raffie Bly, a confused and defenseless young man who suffered a serious head trauma while serving as a drummer in the Civil War.

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Genres:

Western

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Release Date:

19 November 1960 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Chester: Well, at least Raffie's gonna have plenty to eat and someplace to sleep now. You know, he must've had a pretty terrible time in the war.
Doc: Yeah, I guess it addled him some, too.
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User Reviews

 
What To Do With The Basic Idea
10 July 2013 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A helpless drummer boy Raffie comes to Dodge and is immediately harassed by two rival freight haulers for no apparent reason. The abuse escalates until finally Matt has to intervene.

I hate to disagree with my fellow commenter, but this is a contrived, one-dimensional story not up to the series norm. The basic idea of the helpless drummer boy is a novel and good one. However, the writers seem unsure what to do with it, leaving us unfortunately with a one-note story. Then too, no real motivation is supplied as to why the two roughnecks bully the boy (actually, actor Grinnage is 29!), unless his rather high-pitched voice and scrawny appearance are factored in. But that's still slender reason for the single-minded brutality, unless, that is, the writers are hinting at a TV taboo of the time. Neither, for that matter, is there much suspense since the upshot is apparent from the outset. All in all, the entry suggests this may have been a hurry-up job.


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