This show was filmed before "Gold Train: The Bullet", and actually was Milburn Stone's first work on the show after he recovered from heart surgery. For some reason, the premiere of this show was postponed a week and aired after Christmas.
Among the actors portraying the orphans, several went on to star in TV shows and movies: Patti Cohoon (Apple's Way), Jodie Foster (numerous films and TV shows), Erin Moran (Happy Days), Brian Morrison (Maude), and Willie Aames (Eight is Enough).
This show was aired after, but filmed before, Doc Adams' "official" return in Gold Train: The Bullet. No one seems to know why it would air two days after Christmas (bumped from the previous week by a CBS special, apparently).