Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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A Marshall with a warrant to legally execute ten outlaws upon capture, enlist Matt's help, and finds out of one men is his rebellious son.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon
Lucas Murdoch
Robert Random ...
Scott Murdoch (as Bob Random)
Les Townsend
Amos Carver
Tom Waters ...
Timothy Burns ...
Braly (as Tim Burns)
Liz Marshall ...
Sam Noonan
Ted Jordan ...
Nathan Burke


Bob Random, making his last "Gunsmoke" appearance, plays still another rebellious teenaged son. This time he is out to spite his lawman father who is fanatically hunting a notorious outlaw gang. Scott (Random) has secretly joined the gang himself under the alias of "John Doe." Only about half the gang's members' names are known, so there are John Doe arrest warrants on the rest of them for a series of crimes -- some committed long before Scott and a young friend joined the gang. When the gang invades Dodge to try to knock over the freight office for a big payroll, Matt and the lawman are waiting. The ensuing wild gunfight leaves two of the four known gang members dead and the other teenager seriously wounded. To save his friend from dying from peritonitis, Scott surrenders and gets his friend to Doc, but insists that he and the friend are both "John Does" -- and could hang for crimes they never committed. Matt and Lucas Murdoch must somehow track down the last two gang members and ... Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

8 February 1971 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Because of a bullet wound to the head, Lucas Murdoch suffers from severely impaired vision ("Left eye's gone... right eye ain't much good after sundown"). This becomes a major plot point and is a factor in the final gunfight. But, on the night the outlaws plan to raid the bank, Murdoch reads a map by the light of an oil lamp, and after the shooting stops he easily identifies the bodies of two dead gang members by what little light there would be in the street. See more »

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User Reviews

A good concept that did not play out well on the screen
17 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

The story line about this episode seemed to spark an interest in viewing. A notable lawman is after the Carver Gang and it just so happens that the lawman's son happens to be a gang member. Perhaps I was expecting too much but when the abrupt ending came there were questions needing an answer but left the viewing hanging in a state of confusion. A state where the great Jack Elm could not have rescued us even with multiple flotation devices.

Lawman Lucas Murdoch comes into Dodge and alerts Marshal Dillon about the Carver Gang intention of robbing the freight office. So along with his men the office is guarded and the robbery attempt is foiled leaving four dead, one seriously injured and three able to make a get away. The injured bandit is a young teenager being cared for by Scott Murdoch (son of the lawman) Carver tells him to leave him behind and meet up late in another city. But Murdoch refuses and later has to surrender so that his friend will be able to see a doctor.

When Festus brings the two bandits in, one goes to the doc and the other goes to the Marshal's office. Lucas sees his son and just tells Festus to lock him up. Lucas has a 'John Doe' warrant and immediate execution degree on all members of the Carver Gang and his son is a member.

The rest of the show sinks into a world where Lucas wants his son to tell where Carver is located and his son, who never felt loved, refuses to give up the information. As with any father/son story the writer wants us to know that there is still some love deep inside every person's heart. This show is no exception.

When the end of the episode happens make sure not to blink or you could miss the ending. When the screen fades to black there are more question than answers. Felt cheated for watching so long and getting rip at the end. Jack Elam did all he could in the episode as his acting was very pleasant. The problem was the script.

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