Paladin is asked by the wife of a man who is condemned to die to visit him in prison and see if new evidence can be found to clear her husband. Not sure if he wants the job, Paladin agrees ...
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Paladin is asked by the wife of a man who is condemned to die to visit him in prison and see if new evidence can be found to clear her husband. Not sure if he wants the job, Paladin agrees to the visit and it leads to quite an unexpected result. Paladin literally finds he now walks in another man's footsteps. Written by
"Cage at McNaab" is one of the last episodes, and the second to feature Lon Chaney, who earlier did "The Scorched Feather." Gene Roddenberry scripted this excellent story, in which Paladin agrees to see a prisoner, Brian Larson (Christopher Dark), condemned to hang after a year behind bars. The guard, Trowbridge (John Harmon), in cahoots with the prisoner's wife Nora (Jacqueline Scott), knocks out Paladin and puts him in the empty cell, awaiting the fate intended for Larson. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, the warden (Ford Rainey) decides to give Paladin a hulking cellmate named O'Connor (Chaney), convicted of murdering a man who had robbed him. O'Connor turns out not to be a bad sort, and aids Paladin's escape through a small window 12 feet above the ground. With the warden's attack dogs hot on his heels, Paladin makes a few surprising discoveries on his way back to the Larson cabin. Chaney's presence is welcome but the role is disappointingly small; still, it provided another opportunity to play a sympathetic character when the movies generally kept him in villainous mode. This Western series also included appearances by Vincent Price ("The Moor's Revenge") and John Carradine ("The Statue of San Sebastian"). Chaney and Carradine also did other Western shows, such as WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE (Steve McQueen), THE RIFLEMAN (Chuck Connors), and LAWMAN (John Russell). Chaney's final appearance on a network series was a 1966 episode of THE MONKEES, "Monkees in a Ghost Town," the last time he did another Lennie impression, and he was a semi-regular in the short-lived Western spoof PISTOLS 'N' PETTICOATS, which begat a compilation feature titled "The Far Out West" (1967). His final TV appearance was the 1969 Halloween edition of THE TONIGHT SHOW, where he informed Johnny Carson that his gravelly voice was the result of too much growling for his Wolf Man fans (it was the same throat cancer that killed his father at age 47). Lon Jr. suffered a fatal heart attack in 1973 at age 67.
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