Gunsmoke (1955–1975)
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New Doctor in Town 

Kitty finds and reads a letter from Doc Adams, who has disappeared from Dodge. Doc writes that he was so distraught over the death of a young girl under his care, who was suffering from an ... See full summary »





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Episode cast overview:
Doc (credit only)
Ted Jordan ...
Nathan Burke
Woody Chambliss ...
Dump Hart
Sarah Selby ...
Cody Sims
Charles Wagenheim ...
Ed Halligan


Kitty finds and reads a letter from Doc Adams, who has disappeared from Dodge. Doc writes that he was so distraught over the death of a young girl under his care, who was suffering from an illness he didn't know how to treat, that he has gone East to re-enter medical school and catch up on something other than surgery for bullet wounds. (This was actually a ploy to give Milburn Stone, who had suffered a heart attack in the off season, time to fully recover.) Soon a new doctor, Dr. John Chapman, arrives. Chapman is a highly cultured, very standoffish New Orleans dandy. The townspeople treat him with disdain and refuse to see him. Chapman pretends not to care, but his feelings are deeply hurt. It takes an explosion at Newly's gun shop -- and a bone fragment pressing on Newly's brain, causing him to have hallucinations and become a dangerous maniac -- to get people to turn to Chapman for help. Written by Peter Harris

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Release Date:

11 October 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[reading Doc's farewell letter]
Kitty Russell: Living in Dodge has been the most rewarding experience of my life, but I've been so out of touch with modern medicine that when I arrived in Baltimore I felt like a schoolboy. I suddenly realized how little I know about medicine and how much has passed me by in the last twenty years... and that's why I've decided to stay on here at the university.
[Kitty, overcome with emotion, hands the letter to Newly to read]
Newly O'Brien: This letter is the only way I know of to tell you my ...
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User Reviews

Could have been a better script to introduce a temporary doc
6 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After Milburn Stone (Doc Adams) suffered a heart-attack during the hiatus between the 16th and the 17th season and the uncertainty of exactly when he would be returning the writers came up with introducing a new doctor to Dodge as a way of refreshing the scripts.

As Ms Kitty reads a letter from Doc Adams advising that he would be learning new medical techniques in an eastern university, Dodge City get a New Orleans bred doctor named Dr Chapman (Pat Hingle) who does not fit in with the laid-back community of Dodge. Thus begins a conflict between the citizens of Dodge and the new doctor with his new bedside manner.

After an explosion at the gunsmith shop that leaves a bone fragment pushing on Newly's brain - the community has no other option but rely on the new doctor to help their friend. With the life of Newly hanging between life and death, it will be either respect or ridicule for Doctor Chapman. And during this time both sides could learn things that will make them better people in the small town of Dodge City.

Even though this episode really was not bad, it did not fulfill the introduction of a new character. Maybe it was written in haste, but at the end of the show we did not get some of the conclusions that were expected. Perhaps they were saving for future shows, but more could have been done to make this a better watch.

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