Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell are escorting a notorious outlaw back to Dodge City to stand trial. A member of another outlaw gang sees them traveling by stagecoach and switches out cotter ... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Doc
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Tate Crocker
Charles Seel ...
Eli
Warren Vanders ...
Reb
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Clete Walker
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Frankie
James Almanzar ...
Indio
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Jud
Charles Kuenstle ...
Luke
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Monk Wiley
James Nusser ...
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Sam

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Storyline

Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell are escorting a notorious outlaw back to Dodge City to stand trial. A member of another outlaw gang sees them traveling by stagecoach and switches out cotter pins on the yoke that keeps the stage tied to the horses. The pin obligingly breaks on a mountain road, causing a spectacular crash. Kitty crawls out unscathed and checks on Matt, who's unconscious but will be okay, and the outlaw -- who's comatose and dying. When she hears the outlaw gang approach, she takes Matt's Marshal's badge off his shirt and puts it on the outlaw, then spins a deceptive web for the gang, who believes her until the outlaw awakens and uses his last breaths to tell the gang what really happened. Most of the occasional-player cast of Dodge City is on hand for Kitty's later speech asking the citizens of Dodge to ransom Matt. Written by Peter Harris

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Western

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11 September 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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First episode not to originally air on Saturday. See more »

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A Case of Bad Writing
14 February 2014 | by See all my reviews

This episode broke three cardinal rules of good fiction writing.

Number 1. You want your protagonist to encounter difficulties which he or she has to overcome, but the difficulties have to be caused by things he or she can't control, things from the outside, not by his or her own stupidity. When the protagonist brings things upon himself or herself, the reader or the viewer is not interested. That viewer just gets disgusted. In this case, both Kitty and Matt acted stupidly and caused the very problems the viewer was supposed to care about.

Number 2. You don't want to have people acting out of character, because that just doesn't make sense to the reader or the viewer. In this case, the deputies acted out of character in that they did not try to help.

Number 3. Your protagonist should get out of his or her difficulties by his or her own wits, not by chance or fluke. In this case, our protagonists did not get out of their difficulties by their own ingenuity but instead basically by fluke.

I would provide more specific information except that I don't want to give it away to people who haven't seen it.

I do not wish to see any other shows written by Hal Sitowitz.


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