Gunsmoke: Season 16, Episode 10

The Scavengers (16 Nov. 1970)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Western
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Piney Biggs wanders tired and thirsty into what's left of a family's camp site that has been massacred with no survivors. As he is scavenging through the remains a band of Indians come by ... See full summary »



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Title: The Scavengers (16 Nov 1970)

The Scavengers (16 Nov 1970) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Piney Biggs
Rachel Biggs
Link Wyler ...
Victor Holchak ...
James Almanzar ...
Eddie Little Sky ...
Glenn Strange ...


Piney Biggs wanders tired and thirsty into what's left of a family's camp site that has been massacred with no survivors. As he is scavenging through the remains a band of Indians come by and Piney is forced to play dead. He later identifies them as the attackers and tells the people of Dodge that he had been traveling with the family and he is the only survivor. A posse is formed to hunt them down. The Indians are captured by a slimy band of bounty hunters who find Piney's story suspicious. Written by tomtrekp

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Release Date:

16 November 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This episode won the Black Image Award. See more »

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User Reviews

Piney Biggs accuses Indians of a crime they did not commit.
3 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Piney Biggs (Yaphet Kotto) comes across a massacre of people that was connected to a wagon train. All the people had been killed including women and children. While Piney is scavenging around he finds a pocket watch that plays music. Thinking he could sell this at a later date he puts it in his pocket. About that time about ten Indians come up on the scene. Piney stabs himself so that he will look like one of the dead as the Indians look around. One of the Indians takes the pocket watch from Piney and rides away with the item. When they have all gone, Piney gets up and goes for help.

Later after getting medical attention by Doc, Piney tells Marshal Dillon that the massacre was done by the group of Indians that took his watch. When a reward was set up, a group of hunters come across the Indians and one ever has the stolen watch. They bring the Indians back to Dodge for the reward money.

Piney Biggs, a black man, is now tore between having people prosecuted as his people have been done for years- or saying nothing and let the hunters collect and the Indians die.

With Piney's wife, Rachel (Cicely Tyson), having a baby- Piney goes to tell the Marshal's office to stop the morning hanging of the Indians. But before he can get there the hunters led by Colley (Slim Pickens) hold Piney until the time the Indians will hang. With a innocent newborn coming into the world Piney will have no other option but to let innocent people die.

At the beginning of the episode, I was not happy on how the part of Piney was being played. Yaphet Kotto was playing him in an almost shy, meek manner that is unworthy of the actor or the plot. But after the show had ended it was obvious that the part was done to perfection. Cicely Tyson and Slim Pickens were also cast well for the parts played adding much to the story.. In all the story was interesting and a good watch for viewers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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